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Arts & Culture

Asexuality Is Not Funny (Or Is It?)


On The Colin McEnroe Show we have a (possibly misguided) notion that we can find at least a little bit of humor in subjects that most public radio shows would treat with utter seriousness. Not everyone agrees, and a certain percent of my negative email is from people who cannot believe that we have injected levity into something deserving only sober contemplation. 

For our show on asexuality, we went the other way. We ditched our usual humorous Chion Wolf intro because the very notion of asexuality -- an identifiable sexual minority with little or no sexual desire -- is such an obvious punch line, as one of our guests said. Here's Woody Allen using it that way.

I was pretty sure I could write and that Chion could perform an intro that was playful without being disrespectful, but as I surveyed some of the press coverage that preceded ours -- especially an appearance by our guest David Jay on a sniggering episode of "The View" -- it just seemed to me that a topic like this one won't get off the ground and take flight if people start laughing at it. 

Why am I bothering to tell you this? I think it's because I'm really reluctant most of the time to part with humor as one of our tools. But you bring up asexuality, and people think you're joking. And we weren't. We were trying to get people to take something seriously when it seemed funny at first blush. However, we promise that very soon we will do a comic intro about something you don't think is funny.

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