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I Have Found the Worst Indiegogo

Comedians Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager have launched an Indiegogo to fund their “No Safe Spaces” tour, which is just as tone-deaf and unnecessary as its name would suggest. The two want to go on a cross-country tour of America to mock the “hysteria and lunacy” on college campuses, and reveal why “social justice warriors” have made universities “the most dangerous place in America for ideas.”

In the above video, they promote their comedy tour and accompanying film with a mock-ad for Utopia University, their parody of a liberal-hell college campus. The punch lines here include a dean making space for students to “discover their true gender [and] sexuality” and a student saying, “You can pee next to me.” Because overcoming internalized homophobia as you grow up and just letting trans people live are…ridiculous, mockable behaviors?

Carolla then cuts in. “I don’t know why we focus on skin color, gender, sexual proclivity…What’s that have to do with anything? It should just be all ideas.” Woof. This is the sort of gaslighting talk that sounds rational on the surface, but is really intended to silence the legitimate concerns of women and minorities. It implies that discrimination is a lie, and we therefore don’t need to discuss it. If your field has almost no women or minorities in it, it’s just because their “ideas” weren’t good enough. White men dominate so many profitable industries because of their “ideas”!

It also not-so-subtly suggests that the complex scholarships of race, gender, colonialism, and sexuality are not based on ideas. It undercuts the academic and philosophical rigor of these scholars, implying that women and minorities are not calling out toxic behaviors because they have an intellectual framework to understand the wider effects of those behaviors. They’re only talking about their silly feelings. (Feelings are, of course, a solid basis for calling people out, too. But I still think this criticism is rooted in a weird undercutting of scholars who don’t prioritize the studying of white men, and it’s gross. People had to fight for years to get these subjects recognized by the academy.)

Carolla then criticizes student protests against certain speakers as an assault on “free speech,” as if he doesn’t realize that protests are in themselves a form of free speech. (It’s almost like he’s ill-informed!) “The very same space that advocated, fought – and a couple of people actually died at Kent State – for free speech now are shutting down everybody who disagrees with them,” he says. “We have a group of insanely miserable people who are just hammers looking for a nail.”

The summary of the film on the Indiegogo is just the final straw. “Come along on a road trip that will include trigger warnings, real social justice warriors, and maybe even some tailgating,” it reads. “Adam and Dennis will show you how so many terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ideas have ruined college for young people and now threaten to ruin the country by creating a nation of precious snowflakes who are scared of their own shadows.”

Yes, you read that right. Trigger warnings, social justice warriors, and “snowflakes” all in one paragraph. Ugh.

Lastly, the perks for backers include a transphobic coloring book, because why stop at making your crowdfunded comedy tour dumb and unnecessary when you could also make it vicious?

Honestly, I debated giving this thing publicity. I know they’d love to see this written up on a feminist site with some “SJW” anger. But then I had to go and read the Indiegogo page, and if I have to know that this exists in the world, so do all of you. Misery loves company.

(Via The A.V. Club and The Hollywood Reporter; image via screengrab)

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