Last week, I caught Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix special.
I’ve always like Ansari. This special is far and away the best thing he’s done in his career.
Is it connected to his getting caught up in the #MeToo purges?
But far from groveling to “woke” culture, gives the PC horde the sort of response it’s been needing from more participants in pop culture – an astringent satirical enema:
Perhaps the most memorable routine, though, involves the famous Pizza Hut swastika story, where a restaurant was accused of making a pizza with the pepperoni arranged in the shape of a Nazi symbol — but some people saw it as just a regular pizza. Ansari asks the audience to clap if they thought it was a swastika, and then if they thought otherwise.
The story is made up. There never was a swastika pizza. But some audience members take sides and clap anyway. One even identifies the news source where he read about the incident. It’s a stunning illustration of how political polarization rots the brain, and it fits into a broader theme that we could do with less outrage and more honest discussion among people with differing opinions — a point Ansari makes more explicitly when discussing the uproar over a white teenager who wore a traditional Chinese dress to prom.
Refreshingly, Ansari avoids the incessant and usually unfunny Trump-bashing too many comedians rely on when short on better material. To the contrary, he points out how trivial modern America’s problems are relative to what previous generations dealt with. “Could you imagine if we had a draft with today’s people?”
It’s worth a watch.