However... there is a core element in the comedic world that I have been aware of for quite some time. Not sure why it's taken me so long to write about it... or it's taken me so long to do so because I have been a part of it. Regardless, it's become the easiest of targets. It's always been an easy target. If this were a Chris Rock bit, it would be an example of punching down.
Can we just please... STOP making fun of those who work in retail, custodial or service industry jobs? Because the people who make fun of it may have advanced to higher profile jobs, but they are leaving behind a huge populace who rely on this vocation to feed their families. This is the only thing they have to support themselves and we see fit to demean them while maintaining the position of that we are "only joking."
And it isn't as if only people in power do this. Literally everyone does this. Even people who have these jobs do it. Everyone is in on the joke. When it comes to jobs that require no higher education, or even a GED, we all consider such positions to be a joke. They are made to wear costumes or adhere to a particular dress codes. They say the same things over and over again: "How can I help you?" "Do you have a loyalty card with us?" "If you like this, then you may also like this." 'Would you like fries with that?"
See? I can't even write these things down without feeling as if I am making a joke. I am part of the problem. I am part of the problem because I also think that these jobs are soul-sucking but can't stop myself from commenting. The absurdity of life only goes so far before you bump into people's reality. And maybe, knowing all this, these vocations which most of the population will get to experience, wouldn't be as soul-sucking if...
1. Hey big business... maybe stop requiring your people to wear specific clothes that make them look like happy and clownish Hitler Youths.
2. Hey big business... maybe dress codes are unnecessary because your worker bees will come to their own conclusions about what is appropriate to work in. And that, in and of itself, is worthy of its own rant.
3. Hey people... stop fucking with how people make a living, especially when some people can't find work.
4. Hey yawl... not everyone has your means to advance. And you should acknowledge that, more and more, a college degree means nothing in this job market and advanced degrees can only get you so far. As the middle class that found its footing in the 1950's comes to an end, think about what what happens next. Next is you being really good at YouTube or Instagram. Pray that you are pretty enough to gain subscribers lest ye don that Walmart vest.
Just made another joke about a job that people have. Did you catch it? I did. That's what I mean. It's almost automatic. I am still part of the problem.
It's almost instinctual. We need to make fun of something lesser. We can't help ourselves. It's why America once hated its Natives. And Italians. And the Irish. And Catholics. And Jews. And Africans. And Mexicans. It's as if we can't consider ourselves funny unless there is a clear target either above or below a particular status. Shouting toward the top relieves the anxiety of not living up to potential. Shouting at the bottom makes us feel as if life is good the way it is.
Whoever wrote "There for the grace of God go I" was a dick.
It's racism without race. It is benign but palpable. It makes people who have these jobs believe that there is no worth in what they do, even if what they do supplies their family with the ability to continue on. Some companies even supply them with medical insurance. Or, more importantly, a sense of worth.
And the rest of us make fun of anyone who works at Starbucks simply because we don't.
This isn't me turning on Trevor Noah. He just got me thinking at 6:53. My sin is no worse than his. Can we even call it a sin? If everyone does something at the same time is it a sin? Or is it just us? Us and how we do.