Despite providing far more benefits to society than detriments, Comedy And Humour (CAH)
does have one major shortcoming: there is no way for
something to be objectively funny, and not everyone is in on the joke. Is it actually possible to make a joke that does not offend any one
the 7b+ people on this planet? Actually, no it's not possible. EVERY single time a joke is made, somebody or something is being made fun of. Whether
you joke about the weather or you joke about the Holocaust, at least one entity is made to either feel offended or ridiculed. Yes, even
self-deprecating humour where the person lowers their own self-worth to humour others involves self-harmful behaviour.
So if at least one subject is guaranteed
to be negatively impacted by the use of humour, does this mean we should outlaw jokes/humour
altogether? Absolutely not! That would be like saying at least one person dies from a car-accident-related injury every day, therefore we should ban
driving. Why is this a stupid suggestion? Because the number of benefits that are provided by allowing people to drive far outweigh the number of
negative impacts. Just as CAH has been proven to reduce stress, solve conflicts, create jobs, provide entertainment and help evolve language and
communication. We must therefore decide that either CAH is permitted without restriction
or CAH is fully restricted
. There is no grey
So what are some of the most taboo topics when it comes to CAH? Racism, religious intolerance, slurs on sexual orientation, making fun of past
suffering, rape, paedophilia, incest etc. would probably be high up on most people's list of what they consider to be "don't go there" material. While
I assure you that every
one of those topics HAS had at least a handful of the 7b+ people on this planet laugh at the subject matter, I will
pick one to illustrate the point I am about to make.
Let us examine the topic of rape jokes. The major argument against making rape jokes is this: "rape is always wrong, no matter the context, no matter
how little or much the victim suffered as a result, no matter what actions the victim did before it happened, no matter any other circumstances or
variables. Therefore, it is not funny: JUST DON'T JOKE ABOUT IT!" Ok, but there are some significant problems with this line of reasoning. Firstly,
not everybody has been affected by rape. In fact, the vast majority of human beings have not
been affected by rape. How then, can you determine
that rape is inherently offensive to everyone? It's not possible. Rape is offensive to those that have been affected (directly or indirectly) by rape.
The same way as joking about committing grievous physical harm upon somebody is not inherently offensive, but only offensive to those that have been
affected (directly or indirectly) by being the victim or knowing the victim of grievous physical harm.
The second key argument against making rape jokes is this: "what if somebody joked about rape involving your
sister, mother, cousin, aunt,
grandmother or significant other? Imagine it was somebody YOU love included in the joke! It wouldn't be so funny then, would it? Well, that is reason
not to joke about it because it's always somebody's sister, mother or cousin etc.!" The trouble with this argument is that it is purely an appeal to
emotion. (sarc) And we all know that when discussing a topic rationally and reasonably, relying on our emotions always helps us discover truth!
(/sarc). What I am essentially saying is this: joking about rape does not mean you condone, support, apologise for, excuse or trivialise rape. That is
fact. The same way as joking about any form of violence or illegal activity does not mean you condone, support, apologise for, excuse or trivialise
that behaviour or activity. It simply means you are either trying to actively reduce the stress level of other people, or you are trying to expose a
deeper truth that becomes aparent upon reflection of the joke.
By this stage, I'm sure some people will misconstrue this thread as an attempt by a wannabe comic to be free to tell jokes about taboo topics such as
rape without repercussions. No. Just. Stop. I am not doing that. I am not a comedian nor do I want to be one. I don't even want the freedom to cause
offence to anybody I wish without fear of consequences. What I do want to do is demonstrate that for us to reap the many benefits afforded to us by
CAH, we cannot suppress topics on the basis that they are inherently offensive, because offence IS subjective! Either we are allowed to joke about
everybody and everything, or we are not allowed to joke at all. There is no middle ground or grey area. It does not exist. It is either constructive
or destructive for society to permit CAH.
In conclusion, I say this: CAH are not
meant to be taken literally or seriously. If you are hurt or offended by CAH it does not mean everybody
else is. If you do support CAH then you must permit even topics you find personally offensive. If you can dish it out but cannot take it back, then
you are an unreasonable hypocrite. If you are against CAH and believe it should be outlawed completely, either campaign for this to happen or simply
avoid CAH as best you can. But ultimately, stress is the single largest killer and cause of misery. Therefore, I strongly suggest reducing stress
levels by embracing CAH!
edit on 18/3/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)