Sunday, 12 February 2012

When the Joke Isn't Funny

So, normally I try and add a little humour to my blog but this morning I've got my serious face on so bear with me. I heard the news last night that Whitney Houston had passed away at the age of 48. My first thought was how sad it was that such a beautiful talented woman had gone way before her time. I was about to log in to facebook and then I stopped myself because what I really did not want to see was a bunch of people taking a persons death and using it to make tasteless jokes. It happened with Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse and maybe I'm being over sensitive but I just didn't find it funny. I've lost people I cared about and if someone had walked up to me at their funerals and made crude jokes about the bad choices they'd made in their lives, I'm pretty sure I'd punch them in the face, and I'm equally sure that most people would think my actions were justified.

How did we, as a society, get so cynical and insensitive, that we think this behaviour is ok? I certainly agree that we need humour in the world but for me these kind of jokes can go and sit in the corner with racist jokes because if the only thing that makes you laugh is other peoples misery, tragedy and persecution then maybe it's time to take a look at yourself. I did. Because yes, I had stood and politely smiled while people spouted racism thinly veiled behind a "joke". I didn't guffaw and reply to text jokes I received or "lol" underneath facebook comments but I didn't say anything either and every time it happened I felt a little bit guilty for doing nothing. Recently, however, I've tried to be a little more pro active in my distaste for this behaviour. I've removed those people from my facebook friends and politely but firmly replied to texts of this nature to say that I don't find them funny and I don't want to receive them. It's a baby step I know. Kind of lame when I read it back. It isn't going to make any big changes but maybe it might make one person think and at least I feel like less of a fraud. Plus, I did a blog.

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