January 22, 2019


Ugly Truths and Misplaced Moralism: If people who go to comedy shows expect moralism instead of ugly truths, there's not much future in comedy for women. (Titus Techera, 1/22/19, Splice Today)

Iliza Schlesinger is a contender for today's most successful comedienne. She has a special on Netflix, Elder Millennial--she's had many before and will have more. Few women get a lot of attention in comedy and it's easy to see why she does, since she's pretty, starving herself to perfection and showing her rib cage to prove it, and also very funny. She's teaching young American women how to interact with men or at least their own insecurities.

Famous comediennes talk about the war of the sexes more than male counterparts. Iliza, though a feminist, offers all-American observations about the dating scene in glamour-cities like Los Angeles. Such cities don't help women marry--which is the purpose of her comedy. Instead, as she complains, cities prey on the unspoken desires of young women. Unfortunately, this leads her to an obvious paradox. Women put heroic effort into mating but they still mostly fail.

Iliza excels at mocking men as dumb and predatory. It's worth listening to her for the entertainment--and then again because behind the laughs there's a lot of sad stuff about what it's like to be a young woman, alone in a city, trying to get married and mostly failing. Iliza herself has succeeded, as she says, at 35. But if this were so many young women's experience of men that this comedy is popular--why would they even want to marry? Evolution is her answer. So it's easy to blame society, but nature is far worse. Unfortunately, Iliza, who calls make-up war paint, can only utter ugly truths that leave women unscathed. She grants women one moral flaw--insecurity--but she blames society for that, too.

Comedy's supposed to tell ugly truths--we're told comedians are transgressive, willing to say things most of us won't. Iliza proves equality with male comics in filthy language and pretends to reveal the dirty truth about women men idolize. Comediennes are forever proving equality in filth. But if the ugliest truth about women is they're systematically victims--there's no hope of happiness.

This burden of perfection means moments of insight are hidden in ideology.

Posted by at January 22, 2019 3:56 AM