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Saturday, May 3, 2014

DISABILITIES and HUMOR


DISABILITIES and HUMOR

A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following is the opinion of cranky old man who is apparently void of all empathy.  Opposing opinions are welcome.  They will be ignored, but they are welcome, and please, no name calling.  That means you, you big stupid head!

One of my favorite bloggers, Melynda at “Life Happens,” recently posted on having a disability and dealing with politically correctness @ http://pmmkpl.blogspot.com/2014/04/political-correctness.html.

Melynda is legally blind from I believe diabetes.  She had quit posting a while ago, but apparently a medical procedure has allowed her to post again…Yay!

Anyway, her post has made me think; when is it ok to make a joke about a disability?  Some people choose to have a sense of humor over their disability and others choose to be victims.  I can understand either reaction, and I do not judge, but I have to say those who choose to have a sense of humor are more fun than the victims.

Some jokes or comments are clearly meant to mock and be mean, while some are intended to defuse the elephant in the room.   How do you always know the intent?  My guess is that those with a disability just know.

Disabilities are not funny. 

Speech issues are not funny.  Still, I laugh at Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety Bird and Elmer Fudd.  Is that wrong?

Being blind is clearly (can I say clearly) not funny, but I laugh at Mr. McGoo.  W.C. Fields once did a short about a deaf blind man in a general store, Mr. Muckle.  It is so funny I about wet my pants watching.  Is that wrong?


It is no laughing matter being addicted to drugs or alcohol, but they sure make for some funny jokes or comedy skits.  Being stupid isn’t funny, should we outlaw jokes about Blondes?

If we take offense in making fun of disabilities or differences in cultures then we must eliminate the following subjects:

Polish jokes, Jewish jokes, Italian jokes, jokes about Black people, WASPS, Arabs, Asians, the Irish…wait, for some reason the Irish are always fair game…any disability, ignorance, old people, bald people, fat people, thin people, smart people, children, any profession, gay people, angry people, politicians, bankers and lawyers. Oh yeah and red necks.

Did you hear the one about the average man with an average complexion who had an average job?  He went to work, and returned to his average home and his average wife who had two average children and asked, “How was your day?” and the wife responded, “It was about average.”

Get it?  Average!  Funny huh?

Maybe not.

 

Try it with the wife having a lisp. 

“I geth it wath about the thame ath uthual.”

I’ll bet Melynda thinks it’s funny.





The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.
 

11 comments:

  1. Humor is such a double edged sword. I think comics are among the bravest people in the world. I think it works when comedians, or people in general, make fun of their own disabilities, such as those who make fun of their own weight, but it isn't okay when others do it.

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  2. I make fun of just about everything. I also think being politically correct is impossible. You can try and try, but I just don't think it will ever happen unless we quit talking altogether. There's a difference between being cruel and being funny. You're right about those that can laugh at themselves and those that are always the victim.

    Have a fabulous weekend. :)

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  3. I think maybe the Irish are fair game because it's the Irish themselves who tell the best Irish jokes.
    Heck, the Irish are pretty good story tellers all the way around.
    I'm fairly certain that it's okay to laugh about situations involving disabilities as long as we don't laugh at the disability and we don't laugh too loud.

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  4. Having been fat all my life I knew I had a choice to make - either lose the weight (which hasn't happened) or learn to ignore the ones who were deliberately mean and laugh with those who were actually funny. I enjoy laughing so much more. I personally think we have carried PC to such an extreme it's become ridiculous.

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  5. it's a hard thing to know what/when humor is appropriate.

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  6. Oh thank you my friend! I had a good giggle reading this. I get more offended when peopke dance around it than speak up. Its lije someone farting in a room and everyone acting like it didnt happen. Only children speak up.

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  7. Oh, get over yourselves already. Every day I hear from some form of media how we country people are unwashed rednecks who "love" their sisters and have buck teeth and use meth and have an IQ slightly above that of a turnip. And they're not joking. Words can't hurt you unless you let them.

    If you don't like the jokes, don't laugh. It's not a personal vendetta against an individual.

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  8. There is a fine line between being funny and being mean/hurtful. So I think the best joke tellers only make fun of a disability if they know the people that are present will take it as a joke. Knowing your audience makes all the difference.

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  9. There's humor, then there's verbal attacks. Most of what they call comedy today is the latter and a lot of it is targeted attacks of one form or another.

    Humor, on the other hand, is a great way to manage our quirks and differences and need not cross the line to abusive.

    Years ago Queenie lost an eye in a nasty car accident and wears a prosthetic. We call it Eye-rene. or Eyeris. Cause we're funny like that.

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  10. Standards change and there are things I thought were funny ten years ago that I cringe at today. Some "wrong" jokes are still funny but that the fact that something is funny in itself doesn't make it ok.
    Making jokes about disability or less privileged groups is very difficult - only the best comedians, or insiders, can pull it off. To get away with it the jokes have to be empathetic too, not just mean.

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  11. Like the answer from the wife with a lisp.

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