But why is it—and this only seems to apply to comedy—that some people so deeply resent those that can write jokes, can invent new perceptions of the world that actually make people laugh? Resent them so much that they have to denigrate the entire profession, just so they can feel better about themselves? Do they really think they’re less of a person if they can’t make up a joke, or be funny in the moment? Why is it so crucial to them? Is it because all of us, at some point of darkness or confusion or existential despair, were amazed at how absurd a thing as a simple joke suddenly lit the way, or warmed the cold, or made the sheer, horrific insanity that sometimes comes with being alive suddenly, completely, miraculously manageable?
Those people—the public and, sadly, a lot of journalists—those people were my target, in all of my seemingly “unmeasured responses” to thievery. Because I can’t stop joke thieves. They’re always going to be there.
But what I can hopefully stop—or, at least, change for the better—is the public (and media’s) response to joke thieves, by hammering away at this same, exhausting refrain every time I see some thumb-sucking “think piece” by a writer who should fucking know better, cyber-quacking away about “cover songs” and “vaudeville” and a million other euphemisms and deflections away from the simple fact that an uncreative person took a creative person’s work, signed their name to it, and passed it off as their own for their personal glorification, monetary benefit and career advancement. There’s no wiggle room there. Even the thieves know that, better than the dullards who are rationalizing and defending them.
—Comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, educating the media on why he’ll never be sympathetic to joke-thieves. The other two parts on heckling and the ongoing discussion about rape jokes are worth reading as well.