Pornography is the unacknowledged subtext of Todd Phillips’ film Joker, which is a mash up of two films by Martin Scorcese, Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. The scene of revolutionary violence which brings Joker to a close is a remake of Times Square during the era of Taxi Driver, which is to say, the 1970s, in which all of the cinema marquees advertise pornographic films. Director Todd Phillips’ recycling of Scorces’s material in Joker, however, makes the nihilism of Taxi Driver look benign by comparison. Similarly, The King of Comedy, which Roger Ebert described as “one of the most arid, painful, wounded movies I’ve ever seen,”https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-king-of-comedy-1983 comes across as warm and light-hearted compare to Philips’ appropriation of Scorcese’s material.
When Hegel insisted that “the owl of Minerva always flies at twilight,” he indicated that cultures produce philosophy only in the terminal stages of decline. What is true of philosophy is a fortiori true of stand-up comedy, which became conscious of itself when Martin Scorcese directed The King of Comedy, which premiered in January of 1983. Robert De Niro got the idea for The King of Comedy by hanging out at open mike night at Catch a Falling Star, the comedy venue opened by Budd Friedman, the man David Brenner referred to as “Shylock,” because “He never stopped being a bastard.”Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 89 Catch a Falling Star promoted the new, nihilistic comedy which turned life into a joke. Catch a Falling Star in 1979, according to Bill Maher, who wrote a roman a clef about his days there:
was not the Village Gate in 1963; in the audience there were no poetic types hoping to be challenged by Lenny Bruce. It had a lot of tourists and bachelor parties from Brooklyn and New Jersey hoping to hear dick jokes. The more the non-cognoscenti took over the club scene, the more the comedians tailored their acts along crowd pleasing lines to survive. And the more the comedians did that, the more the people in berets stayed away.Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 104
Needless to say, it didn’t take a genius to tell dick jokes to the bridge and tunnel crowd. In fact, the main joke at Catch a Falling Star was “how bad the jokes were,”Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 114 something De Niro eventually worked into the script of The King of Comedy. Tonight show host Johnny Carson had become the broker for comedic talent, or the lack thereof, and because of that fact he became the model for Jerry in The King of Comedy. Stars appeared overnight like mushrooms after the rain. Freddie Prinze became famous at the age of 19 after his Tonight Show debut in 1973.Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 144
By the time The King of Comedy made it onto the screen, it seemed that everyone was famous, but that no one had talent. The best example of this phenomenon was Andy Kaufmann, who was performing in New York when Robert de Niro was frequenting comedy clubs and could have been one of the models for Arthur Fleck, because “when no one laughed at his jokes, Andy started blubbering about how badly he needed the work, then suddenly pulled out a gun to shoot himself.”Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 171 In Joker, Arthur shot the host, played by Robert de Niro, but in real life, the host grabbed the gun and, after the show returned from a commercial break, continued with the interview. Kaufmann could also have been the source for the refrigerator scene in Joker because “one time he had a refrigerator delivered onstage; when audience members came up to open the door, Kaufman was inside balancing a checkbook.”Zoglin, p. 176.
The King of Comedy premiered in 1983 at the height of the national comedy glut which followed the New York comedy strike of 1979, but the idea for it began in the early ‘70s, when a writer for Newsweek by the name of Paul D. Zimmerman became fascinated by Johnny Carson’s ability to confer instant stardom on anyone who could tell a joke, no matter how badly, and how one man became obsessed with cashing in on the fame Carson conferred so effortlessly.http://mentalfloss.com/article/599688/the-king-of-c...e-fact Zimmerman worked initially with Milos Forman, who had developed similar material when he directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. When Forman dropped out of the project, Zimmerman was able to attract the interest of Robert de Niro, who then persuaded his friend Martin Scorcese to direct it in spite of his initial reluctance based on “the deliberately cringe-worthy material in the script,” which Scorcese found “unpleasant even from behind the camera.”http://mentalfloss.com/article/599688/the-king-of-c...e-fact Scorcese’s attitude didn’t improve as the project developed. The material was “so unpleasant and disturbing” that Scorcese had to struggle through the filming. He found the film so unsettling once it was completed that he avoided seeing in the theater after its release. The fact that the film earned only early a little more that $2.5 million by the end of its box office run only confirmed Scorcese’s negative opinion of the film.
Ebert went on to say that The King of Comedy lacked all of the “big city life” and “violence and sexuality” which Scorcese put on the screen in movies like Taxi Driver and Mean Streets. Ebert described The King of Comedy as an exercise in “cinema interruptus,” in which the director “doesn’t direct a single scene for a payoff.” The cringe worthy characters spend their time in front of the camera “waiting for the other person to stop talking so they can start.” No on listens to anyone else, “and everybody’s so emotionally isolated in this movie that they don’t even seem able to guess what they’re missing. . . . The whole movie is about the inability of the characters to get any kind of a positive response to their bids for recognition.”https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-king-of-comedy-1983
That was then. Now, as some indication of the moral and cultural decline I just mentioned, reviewers are claiming that Todd Phillips’ appropriation of Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy material makes Scorcese look warm and “empathetic” by comparison:
Whereas Scorsese always reveals himself to be an empathetic filmmaker first and foremost, Phillips has shown in his first foray into dark, character-centric storytelling that his disposition as a filmmaker is much more cynical and cold than the famous Italian-American screen giant. By presenting us with a narrative bereft of comedy, without a clear voice of reason, in a world that is as un-ironic as it is disturbing, Joker functions as a Scorsese movie devoid of Scorsese’s most important quality: humanity.https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a293886...isons/
Even after he abandoned the Catholic faith, Scorcese never stopped celebrating the values he abandoned. This made him incapable of directing horror movies, a fact he made clear in a conversation with the Jewish Canadian horror-meister David Cronenberg, because, unlike Cronenberg, Scorcese never lost his sense of moral causality. Scorcese, according to Cronenberg, was an ex-Catholic who “does deal with good and evil in very proto-Catholic terms, and I’m sure that what he meant was that when he saw my films.” Scorcese, on the other hand, told Cronenberg that he didn’t understand his own films. Scorcese, according to Cronenberg, “saw the struggle” between good and evil “being played out. I don’t see it quite that way because I really don’t see the lines drawn in those terms.” Scorcese spends his time rebelling against a moral order he cannot ignore. Cronenberg, on the other hand, does horror because he has lost his grasp on moral causality. “I have difficulty thinking in terms of good and evil,” Cronenberg continued, “I’m sure if I had been raised a Catholic I would have no trouble because those issues are raised at a very early age.”E. Michael Jones, Monsters from the Id, p. 275.
Joker’s Jewish director Todd Phillips has a similar problem when it comes to Scorcese’s material, something that the reviewers found puzzling. Writing for Esquire, Dom Nero found that Phillips drained all of the characters Phillips had appropriated from “the already thoroughly upsetting world of Taxi Driver” of their humanity. As a result, “all the shooting, stabbing, killing, carnage, crying, and laughing presented without morals in Phillips’s film,” deprives the viewer of any sense of redemption he might have derived from a Scorcese film and leaves him feeling that “all the references in Phillips’s film don’t feel like they’re homages–they feel like blasphemy.”https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a293886...isons/
Those who grew up in the nihilistic world of Taxi Driver and Mean Streets found themselves incapable of comprehending the immensity of its depravity because they lacked any cultural referents outside of the world it portrayed. As a result, what might be termed a generation gap emerged in the reviews of Joker, with the younger generation applauding what the older generation deplored.
The prize for the most tone deaf review goes to Black Zoomer Lawrence Ware, who explained in a review which appeared in The New York Times, that Joker, which is a movie about the quintessential white loser, “is essentially a depiction of what happens when White Supremacy is left unchecked.”https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/09/movies/joker-movi...y.html If there is one thing Arthur Fleck doesn’t have, it is white privilege. Philips had a very specific audience in mind: white incels (involuntary celibates) in their twenties or thirties who live with their mothers. In fact, the point of Phillips’ remake of Scorcese’s material is to appeal to and simultaneously ridicule the very audience of white losers which Lawrence Ware demonizes as bearers of white privilege.
Phillips accomplishes this by introducing the only element which diverges from his otherwise slavish replication of Scorcese’s material, namely, the Jewish Revolutionary Spirit. Rupert Pupkin, the loser who is the main character in The King of Comedy succeeds when he becomes a successful stand-up comic after serving time in prison for kidnapping his idol Jerry Langford. On the other hand, Arthur Fleck, the “hero” of Joker, succeeds by becoming a revolutionary after following a trajectory of random acts of violence. The message which The King of Comedy conveyed to loser Boomers in 1983 was kidnap Johnny Carson and you will become famous. The message which Joker conveyed to the looser Zoomers who live in their mothers’ basements is clear: if you want to be a success, go out and kill someone, and some Jewish director will valorize your nihilism as revolutionary behavior.
Owen Benjamin arrived in Hobart Indiana on October 4, one day after the premier of Joker. There was, as William Blake might have said a “fearful symmetry” linking those two events. The name of the link was stand-up comedy. The differences between Owen Benjamin’s routine and Joker were as striking as the similarities. Joker attempted to drive the Zoomers into the abyss of revolutionary violence. Owen Benjamin attempted to pull them back to the real world of Logos, a world in which order prevailed over the chaos that had ruled the lives of those in attendance. I spoke with many of these people, many of whom were wearing “Logos rising” T-shirts, before and after his show.
Aside from student loan debt, the main problem facing incels is pornography. Zoomer incels are young men in their twenties. As such, the main challenge they face is finding a mate and starting a family. The main roadblock that the culture has created to inhibit a successful transition from being single to being married is pornography, which leads naturally to the state of isolation that the oligarchs see as the ideal form of control. Joker adverts to the Zoomer pornography problem in an oblique way by giving fleeting glances of the porn in the notebook he shows to his social worker. By dealing with the porn issue in the subliminal way that film does so well, Phillips gets the Zoomers on his side without allowing them to address the problem.
In this he differs from Owen Benjamin, who addresses the porn issue directly in his stand-up routine. When his viewers tell him that the world is coming to an end, he asks them if they are watching pornography, and they invariably admit that they are. Pornography, in other words, is one of the chief engines driving this generation into a sense of despair, and despair is one of the chief engines driving them to violence.
Athena is the exception to the rule only because she is a woman. Sexualized as a child when she inadvertently stumbled across pornography, she entered a life of sexual addiction at puberty which was completely compatible with the ideology of feminism which she learned from being in school. Feminism pushed her in the direction of engineering, which she pursued at MIT. During her first year there, she met an older student who explained to her that the only world view compatible with science was atheism, and so in addition to sleeping with her mentor she checked her religious beliefs at the door and stopped believing in God. She eventually married her mentor, but the relationship was so lifeless and cold that it eventually led to divorce. Divorce led to malaise in general and a feeling of disgust at science divorced from any rational or metaphysical foundation led her to give up engineering and move to California, where she made a living by growing marijuana. Eventually, she stumbled onto Owen Benjamin’s YouTube videos, which led her to read my book Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control, which led her to drive from Washington, DC to Hobart to attend his concert.
Owen Benjamin was born in 1980 to two professors at Oswego State University in New York State one year after the great comedy strike of 1979 put an end to the era of revolutionary comedy which began with the career of Lenny Bruce at some point in the 1950s.
By the time Benjamin arrived on scene in 2008 when he landed a supporting role in The House Bunny, comedy had gone from a sacred cause to a big business on its way to becoming a racket. The New York comedy strike of 1979 paved the way for the boom of the 1980s by shutting down comedy in New York and spreading it across the rest of the country, where there were now over 300 comedy clubs nationwide hosting over 1,500 full-time comedians. During the 1980s:
The New York clubs that started it all went national: the Improv had as many as sixteen outposts around the country at one time; Catch a Rising Star had nine. New chains spread, with names like Zanies, Giggles, the Punch Line, and Funnybones. Chinese restaurants and bowling alleys began booking stand-up comedians. Discos stopped the music and turned on the punch lines. Jay Leno, king of the road, told of working places like the Rodeo Lounge in Atlanta, where he performed inside a cage of chicken wire as drunk patrons threw beer bottles at him, and another gig in the middle of a Canadian lake, where the audience had to be rowed out in a skiff four at a time. Towns as small as Ozark, Alabama, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, had their own comedy clubs. Big cities had enough of them to foster their own local stand-up communities, traditions, and stars. Atlanta’s roster of clubs expanded to six during the peak years of the ’80s. The Boston-Cambridge area boasted ten, four of them within 150 yards of each other on “Comedy Row” along Warrenton Street.Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 205.
In the 21-year period which stretched from 1995 to 2016, a period which was one of the low points in the recent history of comedy, comedy was responsible for the highest box office revenue of all film genres in North America, bringing in $41.49 billion in revenue.Jennalee Donia, Taking Comedy Seriously: Stand-up Dissident Potential in Mass Culture (New York: Lexington Books, 2019), p. ix. In an article which recently appeared in Vulture, Jesse David Fox claimed that “There has never been a better time to be a comedian.”Donian, Taking Comedy Seriously, p. 17. After 2009, “the year many readily associate with the beginning of stand-up’s revival, comedians could repeatedly do stand-up comedy at sold-out venues like Madison Square Garden, whereas before that time large venues were rare. Beyond that:
the live comedy industry generates $300 million annually, more comedians than ever are playing the 1000-plus seat theaters, and Matt Beringer―a talent buyer for the Pabst theater group―argues that booking comedy talent has become more sustainable than other live entertainment markets, such as music. Undeniably, we are living in a golden age of comedy.Donian, Taking Comedy Seriously, p. 17.
Owen Benjamin arrived on the scene at the beginning of the “second comedy boom.” Given Benjamin’s ability to tell a joke combined with his talent at playing the piano and writing satirical songs, success seemed inevitable. And for a while, he was successful on the industry’s terms. In 2009, he landed the leading role in the romantic comedy All’s Faire in Love with Christina Ricci as his co-star. In 2010, he landed a spot on Comedy Central Presents. For three seasons, from 2012 to 2014, Benjamin portrayed Owen Walsh on the TBS original comedy Sullivan and Son.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Benjamin As some indication of the role that he was to play in the comedy world of the 21st century, Benjamin played the health inspector who measured the urine level in the swimming pool in the 2015 sex farce Staten Island Summer.https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3137764/fullcredits
At this point, Benjamin stepped out of character and began to use stand-up comedy as a vehicle for criticizing the absurdities of gender ideology, claiming that the transgender rights movement was part of a eugenics program funded by Bill Gates. In October 2017, Benjamin’s stand-up act got cancelled at the University of Connecticut after he criticized NPR host Jesse Thorn of child abuse for “supporting a 3 yr old child in diapers choosing gender which will lead to hormone blockers.”https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9907 Benjamin was also accused of using “many anti-LGBT slurs” in his comedy routine.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Benjamin
In an official statement, UConn said that Benjamin’s comedy show was canceled because his comments were “increasingly negative in sentiment.” The university went on to say that it “respects Mr. Benjamin’s free speech rights along with our student group’s right to determine who it wishes to host on campus,” and in an attempt to head off legal action it announced that the “contract’s cancellation clause is being honored and he will receive his appearance fee.”https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9907 Benjamin responded by saying that the student group had exercised its free speech rights when it contacted him because they liked his comedy, implying that they backed down under pressure and were “also pissed [that] this happened.” He concluded by ascribing the cancellation to “the PC political environment that makes these people silent.”https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9907
After losing his agents and being barred from Hollywood projects, Benjamin restarted his career on the Internet, quickly garnering over 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. That venue came to an end as part of the censorship campaign which the ADL conducted over the summer of 2019. Unlike the University of Connecticut which paid his fee after cancelling his performance, YouTube pocketed over $50,000 from his escrow account after canceling his Superchat.
At this point, Owen Benjamin and the comics of his generation were in a bind. In order to be funny, they had to have the freedom to ridicule sacred cows, but over the course of three generations the nature of those sacred cows had changed from the middle-class mores of the 1950s which Jews like Lenny Bruce loved to ridicule to the politically correct beliefs of the 21st century which the ruthless Jewish commissars at organizations like the ADL imposed on everyone else as part of their campaign against “hate speech,” which was another word for speech Jews did not like. The obvious had become too big to ignore: political correctness had killed comedy. Even a nebbish like Jerry Seinfeld was complaining that it was impossible to do comedy on college campuses.
There is a certain amount of irony here that needs to be explored. The same group of people which applauded Lenny Bruce as a courageous revolutionary was now in the business of punishing anyone who deviated from the most fundamentalist interpretation of the Talmud of political correctness. How was this possible? The downturn in Owen Benjamin’s career is only understandable in light of the forces which Lenny Bruce’s revolution unleashed.
 Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 89
 Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 104
 Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 114
 Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 144
 Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 171
 Zoglin, p. 176.
 E. Michael Jones, Monsters from the Id, p. 275.
 Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, p. 205.
 Jennalee Donia, Taking Comedy Seriously: Stand-up Dissident Potential in Mass Culture (New York: Lexington Books, 2019), p. ix.
 Donian, Taking Comedy Seriously, p. 17.
 Donian, Taking Comedy Seriously, p. 17.