BBC Interviews TRIGGERnometry – Karen Dunbar

A special episode in which Konstantin and Francis are interviewed by Scottish comedian, actress and writer Karen Dunbar for the BBC.

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About TRIGGERnometry:

Stand-up comedians Konstantin Kisin (@konstantinkisin) and Francis Foster (@francisjfoster) make sense of politics, economics, free speech, AI, drug policy and WW3 with the help of presidential advisors, renowned economists, award-winning journalists, controversial writers, leading scientists and notorious comedians.

Written by Triggernometry


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  1. There is nothing that Karen Dunbar said that either was offensive, or was intended to be offensive. And yet she is – quite reasonably – fearful of experiencing hatred from representatives of an ideology that absurdly claims it is purging hatred.

  2. The moment you agree that there exists any class of persons who by their very nature are exempt from comedy or criticism, the the moment you crsfeany power structure that is able to forbid the right to free speech, the moment you decide personal feelings of offense or harm are a sufficient reason for institutionally administered suppression or punishment, you're on the wrong side of things. There are some basic human freedoms you just don't mess with, and freedom of expression is the biggest. There are also some powers and tools that just don't use because they're too dangerous, not only to those who migg be abused by them, but to those who use them. Controlling speech is controlling throught, and that is the greatest, most absolute power, and absolute power is fundamentally corrupting. Only God or the individual in thiet own lives can be trusted with that kind of power. In part because we just don't know who is right and who is wrong, forever. We don't know when we are actually being an idiot or a tyrant or a fool or a child, not unless so knee is able to talk about it. And we desperately need to kniw, far more than we need to avoid hearing things we don't like. When did we become such fragile and unstable cowards, that we're so full of fear over hearing something negative about ourselves, as if we were so soft and impressionable that our whole being and life is determined by our ability to only hear things that affirm us and maintaining the delusion that everyone likes us and approves of us? That's performative fragility. It's not wisdom, it's not good sense, it's not morality, and it's not psychological health. And success in life does not come from and has never come from maintaining the illusions of comfort, fragility, and security from criticism. There is no coherent psychological or sociological theory of health and development behind the censorious woke fragility narrative. No race, faction, gender, or creed of people have ever been raised to strength by the means that they suggest. And their fear of negative experiences is almost pathological, and makes most of human history and experience incoherent. We need negative experiences more than we need positive ones, as our neurological proclivity for them attests. Because it's a whole lot easier to go wrong and mess up than it is to go right. And it's far better to take it on the chin in words than it is to realize it in our life experience. That's why freedom of expression is such an essential right, and why there are no justifications for placing fences around any major group of people or ideas. Because anyone and anything can and will go wrong. And there are also good things to be recognized even in the people and ideas you dislike most. And the only way to be truly safe is to keep the channels open and allow humans to talk, and therefore think.

  3. Not sure I agree with Francis about Bernard Manning. Regardless of the gags, which yes wouldn't be acceptable these days on popular tv or in polite society today, there is no doubt he was a great comedy technician, hence his success. It's also 40+ years ago. It's a facile point really using him as an example as it's judging the past by todays standards, which we criticise others for doing around history revisionisms. Love thy Neighbour TV series was incredibly and unbelievably popular in the 1970's but would be unacceptable today. This is how we've moved on. It's not about cancel culture or stymying free speech the world has changed.

  4. Hey Karen, I've never seen your act before, but after witnessing your bravery in this discussion, you can bet your behind that I will watch your act on Youtube and make an effort to support your comedy whenever you come to Yorkshire. Stay strong, don't fear the mob. More people are behind you than against you. X

  5. sorry you forgot to address the sky rocketing rates of autism in society. the woke left are also full of very traumatised people who were shutdown, unable to speak 'their' truth all their life, so now that they are vocal, they want to pull society down to a more comfortable level.

  6. Her fear about being cancelled is really chilling !! I cannot imagine what it must be like to walk on "egg-shells" their whole life. I am so glad I grew up where people were more mature and realised that all people have opinions – many of which others will NOT agree with but we did NOT GO ROUND "KILLING" people (in effect!).

  7. I LOVE a good Polish joke, in fact these are some of my favourite jokes. My friends and I used to exchange links to videos making fun of Polish immigrants, back in the day when Poles were a hot topic in the UK. Having said that, yes, every now and then there's a joke that's offensive, or in a bad taste, or simply not that funny. But let's not cancel culture because of that 🥴

  8. A very good way of making sure you aren't targeted by the BBC is to put out the interview on your channel forcing the BBC to be honest with regards to you both. Good forethought there and definitely necessary given track records. Also good to get your take on it all

  9. briliant interview. I think you should do this more often: invite somebody to interview YOU on whatever they want. I love your show and the discussions you have with all these different people, but I love this format a lot too where I get to hear YOUR opinions in more detail, as this is the one part that usually (and obviously) falls a little short when you're interviewing somebody else.

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