Penn Jillette, writing about his then-recently deceased friend Bob Saget:
I want to teach my children what was beautiful about Bob Saget, but I also want to learn from them. Maybe trust and kindness are getting a little too scarce. We might need more unnuanced, unartistic, simple respect. I’m happy my children care so much about how we treat one another.
But I hope their generation, which is pushing to have speech be more careful, can understand that artists like Bob were never trading in hate. He loved the world, and I loved him.
I find myself continually challenged by Penn’s writing, usually in a positive way. I may sometimes disagree with his conclusions, but his reasoning is clearly well considered and articulated poignantly.
I remember watching Bob Saget’s scene in The Aristocrats back in college and not really getting why he was able to be so vulgar.
As I’ve gotten older, the points Penn makes in this short but touching eulogy resonate with me.
I’m a bit older than Penn’s kids, but I feel like subsequent generations are finding a way to appreciate the difference between hate speech and nuanced, subversive political discourse.