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“On a Saturday night this month in a cavernous theater in a casino, an Aziz Ansari I had never seen before strode onstage. Wearing a black leather jacket and skinny jeans, he looked the same, but the old swagger was diminished, replaced by a certain world-weary exasperation.
He began his set with a series of jokes poking fun at progressives who get furious online. He mocked the early summer uproar over cultural appropriation and a white girl from Utah who wore a cheongsam to prom, and sighed at those who criticized “The Simpsons” for the Indian character Apu. Later, he skewered competitive virtue-signaling, describing it as a game of “progressive Candy Crush.” The show’s major theme was contempt for “people trying to outwoke each other” online.
What went unsaid was that since the last time he toured new material, Ansari had become the high-profile subject of an internet furor himself. An anonymous woman had published a detailed article about a date with him and accused him of inappropriate behavior. (Ansari has said that their encounter was consensual.) The article drew viral outrage, an equally forceful backlash and much commentary about dating culture and the #MeToo movement.
Ansari, who will resume his tour of the United States and Canada in February, is now one of several male comics returning to the national stage after facing scrutiny for sexual conduct. T.J. Miller, who has been accused of sexual assault and denied the allegations, is performing around the country. And most famously, Louis C.K., who admitted to misconduct, has been working out new material primarily in short club sets locally, though he did an hour at a club in Long Island on Sunday, presumably laying the groundwork for a special.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"THE CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."
"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."
"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."
"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."
"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."
"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."
"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."
"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"
"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."
"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."
"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."
"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."