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Sarah Silverman's answer to this question about 'political correctness' was totally unexpected.

A textbook once listed her as the definition of the word 'offensive.'

Sarah Silverman's answer to this question about 'political correctness' was totally unexpected.

Free speech is under attack! Or at least that's what some comedians would have us believe.

It seems like every few weeks, a new comic pops up to go all "kids these days" and decry what they call a culture of political correctness. Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Patton Oswalt are all outspoken critics of this culture, especially when it comes to a comic's haven: the college campus.

That's why when I heard that comedian Sarah Silverman, who has never shied away from being politically incorrect herself, had weighed in on the debate over whether or not political correctness was destroying comedy, I figured it was more of the same.


I was dead wrong.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Silverman tackled the question with amazing nuance.

She began by stating a simple truth: You can't please everyone.

Comedy, like any sort of creative media, is a subjective field. It's inevitable that you'll encounter some people who find your work offensive in ways.

All GIFs from Vanity Fair.

This is a point often raised by comedians who push back against being politically correct. Which is why I was so surprised, and delighted, by where she took the answer next.

Silverman is calling on comedians to "change with the times, to change with new information."

Whaaaaat? She's siding with Team Be A Good Human? Yes! Join us, Sarah! We have cookies!

Silverman touched on one of her own comedy crutches and the evolution that led her away from it: her habit of calling things "gay."

Clinging to that single word to describe something she found boring, annoying, exhausting, or otherwise not her cup of tea is ridiculous, to say the least.

Why was she clinging to that word so tightly, she wondered. And how would it sound years from now?

So she scrubbed that use of "gay" from her vocabulary, and it turns out it wasn't really all that inconvenient.

If calling things "gay" was hurtful to people, why do it? As a comedian, isn't her job to bring joy to others? She knew for sure it wasn't her job to reinforce negative stereotypes about the existence of an entire group of people.

And she decided to make sure her comedy reflected that.

And as for that P.C. college crowd so many comedians seem to fear?

She made a great point there, too:

She's right. Comedians can yell at kids to get off their metaphorical lawns or they can try to understand why the kids are there in the first place. And it's a lesson for all of us: As we grow older, it's important we continue to become aware of the world around us and change with it accordingly.

A static life isn't really much of a life at all.

So what makes this all so surprising coming from Silverman?

Well...

Silverman's career has consisted of riding (and frequently overstepping) the line between edgy and offensive.

She's managed to upset just about every minority and oppressed group to walk the earth. Perhaps her most infamous joke involved the time she did blackface on her Comedy Central show, which was probably (definitely!) ill advised.

I mean, a textbook once listed her as the actual definition of "offensive" (seriously).


Does this mean the world will see a less edgy, gentler Sarah Silverman?

Believe it or not, I kind of hope not, and hear me out.

There are ways to be funny and edgy without being hurtful. I trust Silverman can find that balance if she wants to. One of the things I've always appreciated about her work is her fearlessness. When the risks she takes pay off, they pay off big. Now that she's giving more thought to the effect her words can make (both good and bad), I'm excited to see her prove that you can be an edgy, funny, and yes, politically correct all at once.

Check out her interview with Vanity Fair below:

via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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Public Domain

A very simple thing happened earlier this week. Dr. Seuss Enterprises—the company that runs the Dr. Seuss estate and holds the legal rights to his works—announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss children's books because they contain depictions of people that are "hurtful and wrong" (their words). The titles that will no longer be published are And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

This simple action prompted a great deal of debate, along with a great deal of disinformation, as people reacted to the story. (Or in many cases, just the headline. It's a thing.)

My article about the announcement (which contains examples of the problematic content that prompted the announcement) led to nearly 3,000 comments on Upworthy's Facebook page. Since many similar comments were made repeatedly, I wanted to address the most common sentiments and questions:

How do we learn from history if we keep erasing it?

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