Sarah Silverman: comic genius or Ann Coulter clone?

In the spirit of full disclosure:
I love Sarah
Silverman
.

She’s hot, she’s brilliant
and she makes me laugh — even when I feel a tinge of guilt about it.

Take this season’s first
episode of The
Sarah Silverman Program
.
In the first few minutes, she meets
two women she mistakes for “angry lesbians.” When the women explain
they have husbands, Sarah responds, “Oh. Were you styled by angry
lesbians?”

That was my first of many
giggles during the show.

But not everyone appreciates
scenes like this one near the end of the episode, in which Sarah wistfully
recalls her three abortions.


Is Silverman saying that
abortion is funny, or is she making fun of women who have abortions? Of course
not. As a recent article in The Nation points out, “she’s making fun of the ridiculous image Operation Rescue has of the prochoice movement.” Via the
absurd reminiscence of a woman who loves abortion, the scene brilliantly cuts through the rhetoric of anti-abortion
groups who insist on focusing on abortion instead of choice. Satire, people.

What happens if you just
don’t get it? Like this post from Snarkmarket, you end up comparing
Silverman to Ann
Coulter
. Seriously.

“Sarah Silverman and Ann
Coulter share an obvious similarity: they each make a rather nice living
saying things that would be unspeakable if they were not attractive
Caucasian women, veiling their statements beneath a gossamer cloak of
irony. I’m kind of tying my brain in knots trying to figure out whether
they don’t actually share the exact same appeal for our culture.”

Huh? Satire and bigotry are
the same? The internets are nothing if not educational. (And, as fellow
blogger Jamie Lynn noted, Silverman will be glad to learn she’s an
“attractive Caucasian woman.”)

But even some Silverman fans
think she’s gone too far recently. The aformentioned Nation piece goes on to say that the abortion scene is “so flip … it actually feels dangerous, not provocative.” Many commenters say that with the abortion episode, as well as her jokes about Paris Hilton and Britney
Spears
, Silverman has crossed the line.

I’ve already revealed my
bias. And in last week’s interview with Terry
Gross
on NPR’s Fresh Air, Silverman won my heart forever.
Gross — a huge fan — asked her about having the word “vagina”
in every episode. Silverman replied, “It’s like the mouse in Goodnight Moon — it’s on every page.” Goodnight,
vagina.

Does Sarah Silverman have
your heart? Or has she crossed the line from ironic to just plain mean?

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