Humor. There seems to be so much these days that we aren't allowed to laugh about. Someone somewhere might be offended. Unfortunately, the very things people find offensive are only offensive if you don't let them be laughed at.
I know the most awful jokes. Pick a race and I probably know a joke about it. Religion? Gender? Hair color? Nationality? Socio-economic status? I've heard them all and laughed at most of them. (Some are real stinkers.) And you know what's funny? I could tell them because I never believed any of them were true.
My father told me a lot of them. He never believed they were true either, but he could tell a joke so well you'd be wheezing trying to breathe while you laughed. (Until you'd heard him tell it a score of times because while you'd heard it, every other person he encountered hadn't. I still can't tell his stuttering bible-salesman joke without cringing a little.)
I know bawdy jokes and naughty jokes and ones that would turn your ears red. Ones no woman ought to tell - except no one told me I shouldn't tell them. Because they're just jokes. Words strung together to make a funny story. They aren't true and rarely have any basis in reality.
Three-legged dog walks into a bar and says "I'm lookin' for the man who shot my paw." Which is one of the cleanest jokes I know, but probably offended someone somewhere.
Some of the most horribly wrong things are things we need to laugh at because they ARE horribly wrong. I think when the world stops laughing... When mankind starts looking at these things as offensive, that's when the jokes begin to gain credence. And that's the least laughable thing of all.
Oh, and if you're wondering what brought any of this to mind. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and I totally forgot until 2/3rds through the month. Now, if that isn't funny, I don't know what is. Except it's not allowed to be funny.
Except from where I sit, it's totally cracking me up. And these days, if you can't laugh at the absurd juxtaposition of forgetting a month devoted to something that inherently makes you forget things, then perhaps there really isn't anything worth laughing at anymore.
(This is the part where I should put a disclaimer letting everyone know that I can make jokes like that because I am a brain injury survivor. But putting in a disclaimer against offending someone and making explanations for why I can make that joke, but no one else can, sort of underscores the point, don't it?)
Jokes that ridicule certain traits, like being blonde, overweight, skinny, old or pink or green etc, can be funny and are generally accepted by all, especially by those who are blonde or old etc. It's the cruel, nasty & horrible ones are NOT jokes. They are just cruelty trying to hide behind humour. They're hurtful and while some people laugh most people cringe. I don't mind being laughed at as I'm old, short & fat but I hate cruelty disguised as humour. The guys at my work (there are only 2 women) sometimes crack jokes that are offensive, racist and sometimes downright sick. Those are the kind I really don't like. At the end of the day, laughter is supposed to make us feel better, not send us crying into a dark hole.ReplyDelete
Oh, & I didn't know there was such a thing as Brain Injury Awareness month but what a excellent idea. There is still a stigma attached to people who act differently even if its because of brain injuries. Awareness is always a good thing. Thank goodness you survived yours.ReplyDelete
This puts me in mind of a certain word. There is a group of people who throw that word around like it's confetti, but jumpin' Jehoshaphat, should someone out of that group even breathe the word they are the worst kind of racist. For the record, it's not a word I'm particularly comfortable with saying but... Then there's the brouhaha over the sports team name "Redskins." I'm a member of two Indian tribes and I'm married to a man who is a member of a third tribe. I have no problem with this term.ReplyDelete
I'm really tired of the PC police. A local reporter used the term "The jig is up." A woman contacted him and was all bent out of shape because, according to her, this is a racist phrase having to do with the lynching of people of color. Uhm...according my dictionary, the etymology of the phrase goes back to the 1700s and means what most of us always thought--that the game is over, you've been caught out. But there is another group who is totally insistent about the racial connotations. According to some, this is a Southern thing. Really? I've spent my whole life in the South. The first day of my sophomore year of high school, there was a cross burning on the front lawn because my class had the gall to elect a black student as our class president. I never once heard the word "jig" used in reference to a person's ethnicity. Anyway...climbing down off the soap box.
Oh, and yeah, PETA is probably all pissed off about that dog joke. Just sayin'...