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Summary Of A Big Steaming Pile Of Me

Throughout this critical review paper of Richard Jeni’s performance “A Big Steaming Pile of Me” I will be discussing how the review can apply organizational behaviour concepts. In addition to this analysis I will discuss the audience and the use of individuals and groups and my attitudes and feelings about the performance. Audience When considering who is the audience for this performance I thought over and over on who was not personally offended. First I considered that males would not be offended, and then I recognized that it would have to be specific males, males who are Caucasian, cisgender and heterosexual.

Second, I realized that this audience had to be American, Christian and even their economic status and or weight could affect if they were part of the audience. The audience is recognized by his use of language when he uses examples he always says “he and him”. In addition to his use of language he complains in the performance about there being a Vagina Monologues but not a “Penis Monologues”, he also complains that Christians cannot practice their religion as much as people who wear turbans by saying that it is unacceptable to be nailed to a cross on an airplane.

These examples are a mechanism of stating that dominate and privileged individuals should be put first and that is why the audience is so exclusive. Individual People Richard Jeni chose to discuss only three individuals personally in his act Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart and Dr. Jack Kevorkian. These three individuals all are Americans. Furthermore Jeni perceives all of them as being white, although at one point Jeni mocks Michael Jackson as being half black and half white.

I believe Jeni has chosen these individuals to show who is wrong in popular culture and also who he thinks are perceived white and American failures. All of his other comments towards other people were groups of people not specific individuals and most of them were discussing different cultures and backgrounds other than Americans. Michael Jackson is a failure because he is not white but looks white due to his skin disease. Jeni dehumanizes Michael Jackson by referring to him as “that” and “it”. Martha Stewart is a failure because she was caught and ended up going to jail.

Jeni mocks how Martha Stewart would not be at all intimidating, possibly because she is a woman, by saying that she would attack someone with her “salad shooter” and knits the guard dog a sweater and booties. In the case of Dr. Kevorkian, Jeni says that it is not a good thing when you are known as a doctor who kills people. Nationalities, Cultures & Religions The use of different nationalities, cultures and religions in Richard Jeni’s performance derives from stereotypes and the perceptions in society.

Perception is identified as “the process of receiving information about and making sense of the world around us” (McShane 2015 p. 69) The perceptions of people from different places can be harmful because it results in people distinguishing people as identifying or behaving in a certain way that could be negative. Jeni called the French “frogs” which is a term I have heard since I was a small child, and he called them flakey like a croissant. In addition to these stereotypes, Jeni complains about receiving hatred from people who say the white people killed all the Indians.

Jeni constantly ignores his privileges for the sake of the performance. Women During the performance I kept thinking that although Richard Jeni was using material that was both racist and homophobia I was interested to see if he would include women in the list of individuals and groups he discussed. Apparently he was saving some of his best stereotypes for nearer to the end of the show. The content for this part of the performance was the one where I felt most people laughed. I found that interesting since women’s rights movements have been around for much longer than some other moments.

The act was mostly directed towards heterosexual relationships and the issues between men and women. Moreover, Jeni discusses strippers as if they are only females and suggests that women would be better to deal with if you could treat them like a stripper. Jeni devalues women and their emotions. He discusses a woman on their period as a person who cannot function properly becoming angry or upset. Homosexuals Throughout the performance there was a comment that was stated over and over about people verbally insulting Richard Jeni for what he says in his act. Jeni said that people would message him calling him a “punkfaggot”.

The term was not only offensive towards people who identify as gay but it was spoken in an accent insinuating that the term was something made up by Muslims, or at least what he assumed Muslim or Indian people would sound like. Furthermore, Jeni took to one of the biggest stereotypes of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusive community when he joked about a gay man coming out of the womb singing Broadway. Obesity in America Even though the topics of Richard Jeni’s performance are usually about people outside of America, Jeni takes a moment to recognize a real issue that is affecting Americans.

The performance steps away from the usual method of attacking people and brings up the concerns of an obesity epidemic. The content seems more relatable at this time to recognize that there are issues with American society. Attitudes & Feelings I have an idea of what privilege I have in the world and what is important to me. As a Caucasian person in Canada coming from a lower middle class family, I am extremely lucky because I have access to a better quality of life and a quantity of needs and wants that others have no chance of receiving.

The issues I faced with this performance by Richard Jeni were many. There were a few statements that I took from his performance that really struck me. Jeni discusses how there are different types of people when it comes to politics and correctness, for example far right-wing political people and far left-wing people. The example that struck me the most was “centrist”. A centrist from what I gathered from Jeni’s performance is someone who is half in and half out of being politically correct, empathetic and appropriate.

One of the organizational behaviour concepts, called social identity theory, explains that “people define themselves by the groups in which they belong or have an emotional attachment” (McShane 2015, p. 68). The groups in which I identify with are usually the ones that I will become more protective about. I identify with the LGBT community. If someone was to speak about transgender people in a negative way I would be more likely to say something because I have that connection with the community.

Although I can recognize privilege, Jeni’s example of feeding a starving child for nine dollars a week shows that I can be ignorant towards the needs of others. I would like to say that I am supportive and empathetic, and I am, but I am also a hypocrite. I know there were parts of the comedian’s act where I laughed even though I should not have. Some examples of the times that I laughed in the class were when Jeni stated how America markets cigarettes, how the United States is a used car salesperson with a flamethrower and that twenty million illegal aliens can’t be wrong coming to the United States.

Once I revisited what I had laughed at in the class I considered that fact that each of these statements is quite sad. The statement of cigarettes “pay seven dollars a day for thirty years and we’ll help kill yourself”. I recently had an aunt pass away from lung cancer and after I laughed while watching the performance I immediately felt disappointed in myself. I had a similar feeling when I laughed about illegal aliens in the United States. These people have left their homes for a better life in North American and I felt that in that moment I was ignorant to their struggles.

It should be recognized that while I did laugh, I want to think that it was because of how real these statements are as well, in a way they are considerably sad, not humorous. Additionally, I know from participating in other comedians shows that I will participate in a concept known as groupthink; groupthink is define as “the tendency of highly cohesive groups to value consensus at the price of decision quality” (McShane 2015 p. 232). The problem with groupthink is that if there is a large group of people that are laughing, I find I will laugh because they are even if I don’t agree with the performer’s statement.

Even though I have made a conscious decision to be part of the group and participate, it can affect my self-concept because I identify as someone who is accepting and informed in diversity. Conclusion Finally, I would like to conclude that Richard Jeni used individual people and groups in his performance in ways that supported known stereotypes, as well as general perceptions of others outside American culture. When he discusses America it is about the three individuals who are failures to pop culture and to America and societal issues that are relatable to the audience.

As the performance continued the audience became smaller and smaller to not be part of any of the above mentioned groups. The audience was smaller because the only people who were left on it were not personally mentioned during the act. By contributing organizational behaviour concepts we are able to recognize the diversity of the people that Jeni discusses and the use of each group or individual to portray well known stereotypes. Jeni shows us that stereotyping can be negative and our perceptions of people can affect how we communicate and work with people who are different from us.

I have had the opportunity to become more critical of whom I may be offending with the stereotypes and perceptions that I have developed. I have been conditioned as a child to recognize that people are different and while Jeni states what he believes about each group or individual I am able to distinguish difference and recognize that diversity can be positive. In working with a diverse group of people I become aware of my use of language and learn from others about their backgrounds.

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