Friday, 15 April 2011

Funny, how?

Comedy is a tricky business. As the career of Jim Davidson has effectively proved, there's no rhyme or reason to the things that some people will find amusing.

Even so, Evan Emory must be kicking himself for trying to share his own unique take on musical comedy with the world. He's now facing 60 days in jail and 200 hours of community service, plus fines and court costs. Originally charged with manufacturing child pornography, Emory ended up pleading guilty to the lesser charge of “unlawful posting of an Internet message with aggravating circumstances.”

His crime, if you can call it that, was to create a video of himself performing a sexually explicit song to a classroom full of elementary school kids. In fact, the video was carefully spliced together from two separate performances, so the children never actually heard him singing "C’mon, girl…See how long it takes to make your panties mine…I’ll add some foreplay in just to make it fun. I want to stick my index finger in your anus.” If the kids want to listen to that kind of filth, they'll just have to tune into one of the many music video channels.

The video has been taken down, with the judge presiding over the case labeling it 'contraband', so it's hard to judge exactly what Emory's intentions were. Though it's not too hard to imagine that he was poking a satirical finger at the sexual content of modern music and the fact that children have unlimited access to it. It's just a shame that the lawmakers didn't see the funny side. I guess, if you have to explain a joke, it wasn't that great to begin with.

It's also a joke that Friends tried years ago, back when the writers were still getting plenty of mileage out of Phoebe's endearingly awful coffee shop singing. Hoping to score a date with handsome classroom entertainer Chris Isaak, Phoebe brought her idiosyncratic song-writing to a group of kindergarteners. The kids seemed to enjoy the chirpy tunes about dying grandparents and sexual bargaining, but the grown-ups were less than impressed.

And that's exactly what played out with Evan, as the parents of the students at Beechnau Elementary claimed “An innocence was taken, something we as parents try very hard to keep, something we hold sacred and dear was taken from the kids.” But was it really? The entire project was predicated on the seamless merging of two unconnected events, thereby ensuring that the children were never exposed to any unsuitable content. 

Chalk this one up as another victimless crime. In which case, the sentencing seems unnecessarily harsh. With 60 days in the slammer ahead of him, Evan may find himself on the receiving end of more than just an index finger.

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