Letter writer: Hatred is not comedy

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Recently], my wife and I — two locals of more than 15 years — wanted to celebrate a special occasion by checking out the local comedy scene. We went to PULP to see an open mic stand-up show with several comedians.

In the audience was another couple visiting from Mississippi, who made the fatal mistake of chiming in with some comments. Three out of the next four “comics” who went on took the opportunity to not just berate but insult, demean and nearly incite violence toward this couple who were simply visiting and supporting our “inclusive” community. Never in all my time here in Asheville have I seen such animosity, fueled by a pack mentality, toward innocent people.

There was nothing funny about it. The couple were told to be quiet and they did so, yet they were continually singled out to the point where, after suffering this brunt of hatred, they couldn’t take it anymore and left the club.

We happened to leave about the same time and found the woman crying on the sidewalk, her husband attempting to comfort her in the wake of this grim reception by my beloved townspeople. My wife and I assured them that this was not indicative of Asheville and that they should by no means allow this lynch-mob-like experience sour their feeling toward our town. Their response was, “We love this town.”

Personally, I think they fit in great here. As for all the hateful, insulting, angry people (comics and audience members alike) who told them that you didn’t like them and wished they would leave, well, come over to my house and I assure you I will treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve. I will make you feel welcome, I promise. I’ll do that because that’s the world and the town I want to live in.

— Jason Ference
Swannanoa

Editor’s note: Another perspective of the same incident can be found in a response to this letter, “Another View of Comedy-Show Incident” in the July 13 issue of Xpress.

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9 thoughts on “Letter writer: Hatred is not comedy

  1. boatrocker

    “Inclusive”, eh?

    You know what you get for stand up comedy.
    Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, etc,

    Jerry Seinfeld (another titan) refuses to play college campuses for “inclusive” mind sets

    Whether it was an “Inclusive” group of forward thinkers or dudes with swastikas tattooed on their necks, inclusive still means inclusive.

    Margaret Cho will make jokes about her parents being from Asia. Don’t like it? Don’t show up.

    Seinfeld will make a bunchload of growing up Jewish jokes. Don’t like it? Don’t show up.

    George Carlin? Catholic jokes.

    Lena Dunham wants to re-write betty and Veronica from the Archie comic strips as lesbians.

    Don’t like it? Don’t give them your dollars.

    Whining about it here seems a bit “precious”.

    When you show up for any comedian’s set, you are in their back yard. When you heckle them, much like Seinfeld had an episode about, what is to keep them from showing up at your place for work and heckling you all day?

    Again, if they were advocating killing Jews, calling the prez a Sand n&*(%#r, aren’t you used to that for 2 terms from FOX and Friends?

    Caveat emptor for comedy, baby.

  2. The Real World

    “Caveat emptor for comedy, baby.” — Agreed. Thin-skinned people best not go.

    There is a letter in the current print edition from a producer of the show in question. It tells a fairly different story about what happened.

  3. James

    I’m sorry but Asheville is not an inclusive community. I lived there and found it to be the most intolerant, narrow-minded city in the state. Anyone who does not choose to believe in a progressive agenda and its culture is marginalized, treated with utter contempt and ridicule. The Asheville depicted in Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward Angel” novel was 100 times more friendly and positive than the Asheville of today.

    • Amen. This town if chock full of self-righteous resentful angry progressives who don’t enjoy life in a free country and are desperate to make everyone else miserable for it. Now THAT’s comedy.

  4. unclehugs

    I was at this show. The Mississippi couple were blackout drunk, talked loudly during sets, and heckled the comedians. At any other comedy venue they would have been kicked out very quickly but several comedians tried to accommodate them. They kept waving to the bartender attempting to get table service (which PULP does not do) and when they weren’t served THEN they left.

    They talked so much I feel like I know their whole life story. Drunken exclamations such as “Our son is gay but we love him anyways” or “Drive American!” are just some of the insightful interruptions they provided throughout the night. You sure you want people like this moving here?

    • boatrocker

      “Moving here?”
      I think you mean already living here for generations and already moved here.

      This article really made me think about what it really means to love comedy and humor as well as being able to stick up for one’s personal beliefs. The funniest thing to me is constantly reading articles/comments/posts here and on the Internets in general about how offended people are, usually after being confronted with facts and such.

      Yea, it happens on both sides of the political spectrum-

      Vegetarians are offended when meat is in plain view, barefooters are offended for having to wear shoes in order to frequent a private business, alternative medicine types are offended when someone calls their practice bunkum.

      Conversely, others are offended when equal rights under the law is brought up, when their myopic hypocritical fair weather jesus-y values are held to the light for inspection and free market greed is described as unsustainable.

      Call me a jerk, but why should anyone care what someone else ‘feels’? Those are biochemical changes that occur in your brain.
      Yea, I know people hurt each others’ feelings all the time, but it seems as if how people ‘feeeeeeeeel’ is more important than what actually
      ‘is’ as in reality. Yes, I’m playing the Devil’s advocate, but I really doubt people cried a river for seeing a Greek drama back in the day or being forced to accept that Earth is not the center of the universe.

      Comedy (or so I thought), should be an escape from all that crap. That being said, if there really was a couple of folks who had a few too many and made a fool of themselves and were asked to leave. good grief, is that really the first time that has ever happened in a comedy club?

  5. MMH

    James, you are entirely correct. AVL is a victim of a long time abusive progressive agenda, still perpetuated by evil democrats!

    Kudos to Cecil Bothwell for having the guts to denounce and withdraw from the biggest enemy to our country, the anti American democrat party.

  6. Born and Raised Here

    Just can’t wait till you all decide to get the hell out of here and go pollute another town with your bs agendas. Then at least us locals/natives will be able to get to work on time!! Smiles

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