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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: The limit of humor

  1.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #1
    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar



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    The limit of humor

    This sort of came up in the IRC earlier and it's a topic I find really interesting so I wanted to see what you guys felt about it.

    In terms of humor and what a person can or can't make jokes about do you think there is a limit? Do you believe certain things are off limits for jokes?

    Some believe a certain time has to pass from a tragedy (ala "too soon"), some believe that certain topics are outright off limits for jokes ("you can't joke about rape"). How do you guys feel?

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    Personally I am of the opinion that there's no such thing as an off limits joke. Either everything is free game or nothing is, and no one gets special treatment. I find dark humor to be one of the few helpful ways of coping with things, it makes tragedies much easier to bare.

    That being said it doesn't mean telling terrible jokes means you get a free pass. One example is Daniel Tosh got into a debacle over making rape jokes. It's perfectly acceptable to not like Tosh's comedy and find that situation to be bad, but I'd say it's not the content of the joke itself that was the issue, it wasn't the subject it was how the joke was told. There's other comedians that have done rape jokes and they use the subject well.

    In the same vein if one wants to make a joke about something dark, it needs to be a good joke, and that doesn't mean people aren't entitled to be offended, to stop talking to that person entirely, or whatever else.
    Joke subjects shouldn't censored, but that doesn't mean it won't offend some people and it doesn't mean you wont see consequences of your actions.

  2. #2
    People who don't think rape jokes can be funny haven't enjoyed the mastery that is Mr. Plinkett.

    Thing is there are different levels of humor, so some people are more inclined to one sort than another. A person who sincerely laughs at guys getting hit in the crotch is probably not going to like watching Q.I. and someone who enjoys George Carlin will probably not get much out of watching a guy with a mullet hitting watermelons with a sledgehammer. I'm not saying people who like that kinda stuff are stupid or anything, but I am.

    And of course quality matters. If you can't tell the joke right it doesn't matter what it's about.
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    Junior TheCaley's Avatar
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    For me, I do consider a limit: that's if it hits too close to home. Especially if it's told with less comedic tone and more "watch me be a jerk" tone. The key is when someone is showing signals that the jokes are no longer funny. I'm not one who likes to make a jerk out of myself for one laugh.
    Of course, everyone's tastes are different and some will have explicitly off limit topics and I do my best to respect that.
    "Sometimes the monster isn't who we think it is."


  4.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #4
    Crabby Admin Term's Avatar

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    There's something to be said about people just being tone deaf to what other people have or are currently going through when they attempt to make jokes. Others tend to do so out of spite of other people.

    It's a tough situation because I know people want to make light of a situation, either to help themselves cope with something, general ignorance of the circumstances surrounding it, or in an attempt to offer some form of levity to others. Some simply do so to look "cool" amongst their peers. And yes, while I don't believe people genuinely think so little of other people that they genuinely believe most of the content of their jokes, ie joking about how stupid people are to live in an area that's prone to natural disasters or how a woman may have "asked for it", it's tough to gauge if someone honestly has some malicious agenda against another person when they say those kinds of things.

    It's very much in the same fashion of how sarcasm is tough to read on some people, especially on the internet. Sometimes it's honestly difficult to tell if someone isn't being completely serious when they suggest something in such a deadpan fashion so as to give the appearance of being genuine. In this case, sarcasm as a tool for humor in the wake of a natural disaster/rape/murder/suicide etc. can often come off as more than just a joke. What's fascinating is the response typically from the "joker" is one of shock that someone, possibly someone they don't personally know, could take their sarcastic comment as their genuine opinion and react off of that. Employing that tactic on a emotionally distraught person is never effective comedy, nor honestly in good taste.

    And unfortunately that's what humor comes down to, taste. Some people may be more open to bringing comedy to anything and everything. Shows like Tosh.O, South Park, Family Guy, etc are unafraid to dip into the well of political incorrectness, sometimes for just the sake of doing so, others to make a genuine point about our culture and society. Other shows like Chappelle's Show and The Boondocks often employ humor as a means of pointing out the absurdity of today's society, in the case of these two shows, race relations in America. Probably one of the best episodes of any show I've seen is still the Martin Luther King, Jr. episode of the Boondocks where the simple premise of "what if MLK woke up and saw what it means to be black in America today" goes to certain extremes that while funny also causes you to think a little. Same goes for the R. Kelly trial episode.

    As for what I personally think is off-limits, as a believer in a person's right to expression, marketplace of ideas, and so forth I don't have an issue in principle to everything being fair game. However, there's certainly something to be said about tact, knowing your audience, and just plain old having the social skills to understand when someone is truly suffering that probably levity isn't what they need, but comfort.

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    Senior Butterflygoddess's Avatar
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    Frankly, I don't think we should make fun of Fay's mom. She's been so nice to her and raised her right.

    And god help you if you poke fun at Term's mom's tits. She can't help how god made her.


    None of that you shameful furries.

  6. #6
    The #1 rule of comedy is "never punch down" so that means something like 90% of furries are off limits to traditional forms of comedy. Thankfully the internet chock full of people who can't be bothered to discriminate between "proper" targets, thus humor here is more or less like playing EVE Online; "it's all about the tears".
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    Senior Tiido's Avatar
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    No limits for me, and I don't make jokes around people who I don't know. There will be possible upsetness if I do lol.

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    Retired Staff piņardilla's Avatar

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    Jokes about terrible things rely on an understanding between the joke-teller and the audience that everyone involved is in agreement that the thing is actually terrible.

    Nothing kills a racial joke faster than it being told by an actual racist, for instance.
         
       
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    That's me! Hewge's Avatar

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    The trick to a decent and potentially offensive joke is to include yourself in it!

    Laugh at yourself, as well as with others, yo.

 

 

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