Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

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Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby Funkyterrance on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:35 pm

Supposition: Past atrocities, after a certain period of time, can be made light of since they are no longer contextually significant in a firsthand way so no one should really be offended by jokes made about them.

Problem: If they were no longer contextually significant in a firsthand way, they wouldn't be funny since they would produce no noticeable reaction.


In order to be "funny", a joke about an atrocity has to be recognizable enough to arouse a reaction at all, hence not "moved on from". You don't hear very many jokes about the Siege of Carthage because there's generally no emotional response attached to it. This particular atrocity has been more or less "moved on" from and therefore no longer prime joke material.

Conclusion: If jokes are made about an atrocity, the context doesn't actually matter since the recognition of controversy(not being moved on from) must be assumed before said joke is told for there to be any hope of a comedic response to take place.

So lets just call a spade a spade and accept the fact that jokes about atrocities are in bad taste, regardless of the context. Let's realize that the act of making a joke about an atrocity is inherently accepting the subject as "not being moved on from" and accept the ramifications of this obvious fact.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby Funkyterrance on Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:07 pm

This also applies to jokes about other terrible acts, past or present.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby / on Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:37 pm

I generally agree to the point that one should try not to make any joke that will make the intended audience feel bad.
However, defining the subject as an "atrocity" seems too vague to be considered a rule, as ethics are completely varied.
"Weird Al" Yankovic and Paul McCartney are both vegetarians, but McCartney refused Weird A's request to make a parody song called "Chicken Pot Pie", because he found it to be inappropriate.
I doubt that Weird Al finds songs about food funny because he knows it invokes a controversial emotional response; nevertheless some vegetarians find the subject touchy.
So what rule of etiquette can we draw from this?
- Never make jokes about eating chickens, even though people like like Weird Al might enjoy hearing them.
- Never censor yourself, even though people like Paul McCartney may take offence.
- Become psychic so we know exactly how everyone will react to what we say.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby Funkyterrance on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:14 pm

/ wrote:- Never censor yourself, even though people like Paul McCartney may take offence.
- Become psychic so we know exactly how everyone will react to what we say.

But Wierd Al's song about chicken pot pie was most likely not humorous due to it's controversial nature but due to other aspects(most likely silliness). My point is that a joke that is humorous greatly due to the controversial nature of its subject is knowingly going to be offensive to some and will most certainly appeal to an insensitive(at the very least) audience as a whole. In essence, controversial jokes are fatally flawed in that they rely on their very perceived offensiveness for their "comedic effect". Basically, you can't tell one of these without being at least very slightly a malicious person or at least wanting to appeal to a malicious nature.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby oVo on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:38 am

Blue or off color jokes are still exactly that, only work in certain company and are not good for all occasions. Irony and truth about tragic situations can be hilarious material and still not be suitable for all audiences or age groups.

Ministers & clergy tend to know all the best Jesus jokes and it's not a problem, because they know God has a great sense of humor. Of course they still can't share them with just anybody, since the majority of their congregation hold them to a higher standard... with the exception being Catholics.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby koontz1973 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:36 am

oVo wrote:Blue or off color jokes are still exactly that, only work in certain company and are not good for all occasions.

Totally correct here. After reading another thread on the holocaust jokes, I had a quick look around and found some on the net. Had not had a good laugh like that in ages. But would I come on here and repeat them, NO, as that may be seen as offensive to some.


I will admit that I have a very off colour humour that most may find in bad taste but that is one of the reasons I only joke about when I am with people who I know who will not be offended.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby Dukasaur on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:39 am

Here's a joke I heard on Tuesday, which the Political Correctness Police would probably consider bad, because it plays off someone's handicap, but which I found absolutely hilarious.

Why is Stevie Wonder playing at the pre-Superbowl party?
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby koontz1973 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:46 am

Sorry Dukasaur, but that was out of mein kampfort zone.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby Funkyterrance on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:59 am

Dukasaur wrote:Here's a joke I heard on Tuesday, which the Political Correctness Police would probably consider bad, because it plays off someone's handicap, but which I found absolutely hilarious.

Why is Stevie Wonder playing at the pre-Superbowl party?
show

This is an interesting example. It's hard to say how a blind person might receive a joke like that but I think from a common standpoint the political incorrectness of the joke has little affect on the joke overall. In other words, the fact that it's not nice to laugh at a handicapped person is not really contributing to the joke itself whereas some jokes like this have a mocking tone either towards the group being used in the joke or those who could be offended by it. The former tends to be more innocent in nature while the latter tends to be more devilish and/or malicious.
I personally didn't find the joke all that funny, possibly due to the content but I can see it's workings, appreciate the different strings being pulled and understand that it's not designed to provoke a laugh of the mocking kind.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby KoolBak on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:18 am

Damn Funky-Tee....you are one objective, analytical mofo....perhaps on a higher moral ground than I as well :lol: I love bad lokes....just for the shock factor. Bet you don't like Andrew Dice Clay, or most stand up comics.......

I would never post one here or tell most to, say, my mother.....but with my buds whose mind sets I know, its fair game.....

Koontzy....maybe we should swap some :lol:

Funky-Tee....here's a question for ya....couple years ago, I whacked (cut..lol) off over an inch off 3 of my fingers on my right hand.....my friends (in RL and here) all immediately started making jokes about me being "short-handed" in the shop or asking if I need "a hand" with anything and other jabs of that sort....how would you analyze that? Inappropriate, insensitive? It was an EXTREMELY traumatic event, I must say, in case that helps you in your analysis ;o)
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby stahrgazer on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:25 am

Funkyterrance wrote:So lets just call a spade a spade and accept the fact that jokes about atrocities are in bad taste, regardless of the context. Let's realize that the act of making a joke about an atrocity is inherently accepting the subject as "not being moved on from" and accept the ramifications of this obvious fact.


Ever read any Heinlein? In "Stranger in a Strange Land," Mike the Martian did not understand humor. As part of trying to get Mike comfortable with his humanity and culture on this strange-to-him world (despite genetically he was human, he was born on Mars, raised by Martians, so was "Martian" in thinking) they took him to the zoo. There, he saw a big ape pummel a medium-sized ape who turned around and pummelled a smaller ape, and it made Mike laugh and he finally understood humor.

(Koolbak, this should answer your question to ft, as well.)

“I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting.”


Think about any joke, ANY joke, you've ever heard.. someone is ALWAYS "hurt" by it to some degree.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby Funkyterrance on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:04 pm

KoolBak wrote:Funky-Tee....here's a question for ya....couple years ago, I whacked (cut..lol) off over an inch off 3 of my fingers on my right hand.....my friends (in RL and here) all immediately started making jokes about me being "short-handed" in the shop or asking if I need "a hand" with anything and other jabs of that sort....how would you analyze that? Inappropriate, insensitive? It was an EXTREMELY traumatic event, I must say, in case that helps you in your analysis ;o)

It's true, I can be overly-analytical to a fault at times and I don't really mind admitting it. It the way I was made. :mrgreen:
As far as your accident, it really depends on how you were feeling when these jokes were made and is a good opportunity for us all to perhaps know how a blind person might react to the Stevie Wonder joke so do you mind sharing?
I have a feeling that your being a pretty secure person(I'm assuming from my impressions) let you at least briefly see the humor in the jokes, and perhaps the fact that your coworkers were maybe even trying to be therapeutic in their own tasteless way lol. It is interesting though because in this case I would definitely agree that making a joke about your injury would most likely knowingly cause pain at least to some degree but since the butt of the joke was you, an acquaintance with whom they I'm assuming at least get along with, and not just a random person from a specific group, it stands to reason that this pain is meant to encourage psychological healing. It's no like your crew just sits around telling amputee jokes all day right?
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby KoolBak on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:29 am

lol....right :D I found the bad jokes funny as hell...one of those groooaaaan moments; like - Dude...that was atrocious! Laughing my ass off at the same time....still a bitch; only use my pinky on my right hand to type, pick things up, etc.....but - coulda been worse....coulda lost my entire hand and or be dead ;o) :D
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Postby 2dimes on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:44 am

I was somewhere else on the Internet when it happened. When I dropped in on Koolbak's industrial empire he showed me his hand.

I was traumatized looking at it. I'm basically a random imaginary Internet acquaintance. I might have made an inappropriate joke, I can't remember because I was having sympathy pains in my hand. It's pretty nasty. Worst part of him telling the tale was, how he was alone with his little guy about the same age as mine at the time it happened.

In some ways it's good for the child to see his dad deal with something so terrible, so well. But it was touching at the same time.
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Re: Inseperable Traits of Jokes about Atrocities

Postby thegreekdog on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:46 am

stahrgazer wrote:Ever read any Heinlein? In "Stranger in a Strange Land," Mike the Martian did not understand humor. As part of trying to get Mike comfortable with his humanity and culture on this strange-to-him world (despite genetically he was human, he was born on Mars, raised by Martians, so was "Martian" in thinking) they took him to the zoo. There, he saw a big ape pummel a medium-sized ape who turned around and pummelled a smaller ape, and it made Mike laugh and he finally understood humor.


When I read that novel for the second time (a few months ago), I found that I did not agree with Mike's interpretation of humor. Simply put, my children laughed at stuff before the understood cruelty or depression. So it doesn't fly with me.
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