Laughter Is Remedy/Anodyne for the pain in society’s heart and soul
[So] watching CTV news the evening of Wednesday 16th, I was taken aback by a story about a white comedian, a man with a dreadlock hairstyle. His name is Zach Poitras.
According to Zach he was banned from participating in a comedy event because of his hairstyle.
My immediate thinking was, what! This is nonsense, ridiculous, can’t be serious…
Seems like the organizers of the (laugh) event deemed his “do” culturally inappropriate; more to the point, “cultural appropriation… and racist.”
In a Canadian Press story the “aspiring Montreal comedian” explained that he was banned from performing at two events because he is “a white man with dreadlocks…” and that he found it absurd that his dreadlocked hair led to him being “…labeled a racist…”
If he is one, then he’s got a problem. In its budding stage, his stand-up aspirations, sporting his dreads, Spiky modern, Cool spiky, High fade, Medium length, Medium Pompadour… low cut, high top, bald, crew cut, whatever the style, will be neutralized, especially if he’s not funny.
If blanking that comedian was intended to be some kind of anti-racism statement, then I think it missed by a long shot. A certain hairstyle has nothing to do with racism. [Actually, in some instances it does by affiliation, where members of certain Klans and ideologies sport unique cuts. We see them in venues where real racist disciples converge to show off and express their convictions and innermost feelings… especially since the arrival of that despicable political Klan leader down the way, whose charismatic affliction has emboldened and empowered those who had been in the darkness.
For the most part, sporting dreadlocks, is both a subtle and counter-statement to certain social realities… Hope Zach understands that as he continues to hone his nascent comedic skills.
Which is where [some] people sporting dreads come in.
Iconic Bob Marley’s thick, lively “do” was a liberation and fight-the-power statement. It was a tangible image [about demanding] social change, not the least of which was crushing, stomping on racism, among many other socially debilitating ills, especially racism.
To organizer(s) of that event that banished Zach Poitras, I don’t know who, never heard of him, but I’m assuming you understand that (the fight against that social cancer) racism is serious business, not media-seeking stunts that tarnish, demean, minimize, dismiss the serious business and legacy of people who have been historically, and committedly, ferreting out purveyors of that embedded, systematic, institutionalized practice. And it is a perennial struggle.
Now here’s some blatant “cultural appropriation” and “racism” last summer’s SLAV debacle, a prime example. With talk /arguments of “artistic license and whatnot by the producer and his hangers-on.
The historic argument of slavery and white people wanting to still benefit financially from the practice just never registered. Wherever and whenever there’s money to be made on the backs of certain people, certain other people do not care.
So, if some people
Don’t know his comedy, but I hope Poitras understands the serious issue of race and racism.
If his comedy is about bringing joy and laughter to audiences then he has nothing to worry about; he might have longevity in the business.
In this ‘fuddle duddled’ world of hyper politics and global madness (in its multiple forms), more laughter is a requisite. Hope that aspiring dreadlocked comedian understands his role in the sort of business he is stepping into.
After all, a comedian’s métier is to, as someone once said, “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
And whatever the hairstyle, dreadlock or whatever it may be, he has to bring something meaningful.
So go on Zack with your dreadlocks. If you’re good you will have staying power. And serious or funny, be sure to make the people laugh.
Oh, by the way, according to Wikipedia, the earliest depictions of dreadlocks date back over 2000 years. There’s nothing to indicate whether people sporting locks back then were shunned/came under the media lenses, microscopes back then.