In 2014, comedian Lianna Carrera wrote, “Comedy is the voice of an undercurrent asking us to do better.” This concept was never more tested than in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. People like George Carlin and Lewis Black, who I consider modern versions of Will Rogers, used humor, not to minimize the solemnity of a terrorist attack, but to point out simple truths or when some less than serious responses exceeded the limits of sanity. Take Black’s opening at his first concert post-9/11.
Everybody in this country, as soon as it happened, everyone, had that little moment…oh, that really f***s up my plans…Even the Christian said I won’t be able to read to the blind woman. F***!
People started calling me up. I had more calls about my stand-up comedy than I ever had in my whole life. USA Today called me. USA Today, who never ever…they didn’t call me up for a subscription. It’s like three days after September 11. I say, “What the f*** you talking to me for? How stupid are you? Talk to someone who f***ing knows sh**! What are you talking to a comic for?” “We’re interested in what comics are doing?” “Get an expert. Get more experts. Wait a week before talking to the ***holes!”
Well times have changed. NO, this is not about liberals being too politically correct to joke about a domestic terrorist sending explosives to his hero’s critics or another domestic terrorist who believes making American great again requires killing all the Jews. It is the sad fact we don’t need George Carlin or Lewis Black any more. My wife is always reminding me the funniest Tina Fey impersonations of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live did not come from the writers’ room but from Palin’s own mouth. But that was just an opening act for what was to come.
Yesterday was the latest example. In the immediate aftermath of the murder of 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Donald Trump said, “If there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him.” The only thing that surprised me was he did not propose a new branch of the military, a special unit dedicated to the protection of places where Jews assemble. Or maybe I misunderstood what he was proposing on June 18, 2018. These are his exact words with the sole exception of the addition of the words “Jews” and “Jewish.”
When it comes to defending American Jews, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in Jewish space. We must have American dominance in Jewish space. So important.
Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Jewish space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That’s a big statement.
We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Jewish Space Force — separate but equal. It is going to be something.
For what it’s worth.