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#1
I was going to go to bed over an hour ago but I'm going nowhere soon. I thought it'd be nice to get some discussion going. I really wouldn't mind exploring this issue more.

I've always been a fan of jokes in 'poor taste' ever since I was about 14. It was brilliant because we were able to exploit issues which we knew were bad but make them funny anyway. The laughs which were brought forward were ones of uneasiness and 'oh no he didn't'. Me and my friends used to always break barriers until it got a little boring. But we got pretty ridiculous.

It also died down after one of our friends got in trouble for it but that's a completely different story. Oh to be a rebellious school kid. But I digress. We always justified to ourselves because we understood the issue so it wasn't with bad intent. If someone told us a racist joke or a sexist joke and meant it, we'd call them out on it. I'm also always suspicious of people who, because they can't be racist or whatever in public, they do it through humour. We consider their jokes immoral because there's a genuinely bad intent there, whilst with us it was almost like Oscar Wilde's 'art for arts sake'. We understood it, didn't mean it, and it was funny.

However, I've been questioning this recently because of things which are more personal.

Hypothetically you're in a group of four people and one of them has been 'raped/molested/domestically abused/physically or psychologically abused as a child' or whatever, take your pic. Things which can be particularly triggering. You might be able to make a joke on any of these topics and laugh. However, the fourth person isn't laughing. You don't know it, but she's a victim of whatever the joke was about.

I used to do this unfortunately. Our Philosophy class was extremely bad for bad taste jokes. I, alongside a few people, made poor tastes jokes. I used to take part in discussions during a class on Virtue Ethics, deciding whether or not rape was courageous. We did this without knowing that there was at least one rape victim in the class. She would later tell me about it, and I would later find out how she hated it all the time. It was bad enough to have an event several years ago which ended in sexist discrimination and malpractice by police still be in her mind, but to have people joke about it lightly in front of her wasn't pleasant.

Yet they can't speak up and say 'that offends me'. I remember counter-protesting against one of her protests in class once and how she didn't reply. It's not the best of memories in retrospect.

And yet this is someone who used poor taste humour herself.

So, to get to the crux of it, how can we justify jokes in bad taste?
#5
I won't lie. They can be amusing in the right situation. I think the only time it is 'safe' to use them is when you are with a group of good friends. You all know it is a joke and won't take it seriously. Jokes like that should never be made around people you don't know, or don't know well.
#7
Quote by JacobTheMe
Just tell them. If its funny, its funny.

How can you tell someone who has suffered from something awful which they are constantly reminded of on an almost daily basis which completely changed who they were forever, that in fact, it's actually funny and worth laughing at?
#8
Quote by daytripper75
I won't lie. They can be amusing in the right situation. I think the only time it is 'safe' to use them is when you are with a group of good friends. You all know it is a joke and won't take it seriously. Jokes like that should never be made around people you don't know, or don't know well.

Thing is, I've had four friends who have admitted to me that they have been raped and I'm amazed that I've even had people admit it to me. It's not something you can lightly tell others. You can't tell who what someone else has been through, even when they're fantastically close friends. If four of them have told me this, there's going to be a load more who haven't.

By the why guys, I'm using this thread to collect my thoughts together on this issue. Treat my posts as food for thought.
#9
Quote by Craigo
How can you tell someone who has suffered from something awful which they are constantly reminded of on an almost daily basis which completely changed who they were forever, that in fact, it's actually funny and worth laughing at?
It only ceases to become funny to those who tell the joke and are amused by it when they know it is offending someone/affecting someone negatively.

In other words, I don't think you can.



stratkat
#10
Quote by EuBoat
It only ceases to become funny to those who tell the joke and are amused by it when they know it is offending someone/affecting someone negatively.

It's fine to make humour which knowingly insults others. I've definitely said some bad things about the Christian God which is bound to offend Christians. I know that. I just didn't intend to offend them.
#11
Quote by Craigo
How can you tell someone who has suffered from something awful which they are constantly reminded of on an almost daily basis which completely changed who they were forever, that in fact, it's actually funny and worth laughing at?


Because they can shut themselves inside a little politically correct box and cry about their problems or they can just laugh with it.
#13
When such jokes are made about me I usually just laugh them off because I realise they can be funny

I haven't suffered anything like rape or other abuse though, so I can't speak for those who have.



stratkat
#14
Quote by JacobTheMe
Because they can shut themselves inside a little politically correct box and cry about their problems or they can just laugh with it.

So, for example, rape victims who don't find rape jokes funny 'shut themselves inside a little politically correct box and cry about their problems'? C'mon, you bloody know that isn't true.
#15
Here's an idea. Turn off the political correctness.

If it's a funny joke, it's funny.
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#16
Its funny?...
Hell, honestly, if we're making jokes in bad taste, within a certain group of people we all KNOW dont have any underlying issues, or past traumatic events, we go to town.
However, like everything, theres a time and a place for that kinda stuff....

Its just stupid to go shooting your mouth off in public about anything offensive.
Say that crap where you know it wont hurt anyone, or offend anyone.
Its that simple...
And, I'm pretty sure someones going to say "oh, well you shouldent say that anywhere"...
Well why the hell not? If you know its not going to offend anyone, and you dont really mean it, then whats wrong with it? Its like beating off, you wouldent whip it out in front of a crowd of people in the mall, just like you wouldent (or shouldent) go yelling racial slurs in the mall.

My 2 cents...
I AGREE
#18
Quote by Craigo
Yet they can't speak up and say 'that offends me'. I remember counter-protesting against one of her protests in class once and how she didn't reply. It's not the best of memories in retrospect.

So, to get to the crux of it, how can we justify jokes in bad taste?

Pushing the envelope is a part of humour, excitement, and interest. I do agree in the idea that it isn't with ill intent, and even if it is said with a bit of agression, or potentially offensive, but that's the way things are. That's the way people are. I personally choose not to repeat potentially offensive jokes because of the risk of causing discomfort to others (and my style of humour... but I digress).

When you've been through something difficult, and it becomes a point of ridicule, it hurts - of course. But in itself, going through it hurts. The world will not change for one person's needs, the person needs to adapt. I've been on that girl's side of the joke, but feeling that strengthens you. The whole process does.

I don't think it needs justification. To me, that's the way things are.
#19
The only way to completely avoid offending people with jokes like this is to not make them. Different people will have different 'interpretations' of what is offensive to them and to others, which complilates the issue a fair bit.

EDIT: I pretty much agree with what Le_bunny said above.



stratkat
Last edited by EuBoat at Dec 19, 2009,
#20
Quote by Le_Bunny
Pushing the envelope is a part of humour, excitement, and interest. I do agree in the idea that it isn't with ill intent, and even if it is said with a bit of agression, or potentially offensive, but that's the way things are. That's the way people are. I personally choose not to repeat potentially offensive jokes because of the risk of causing discomfort to others (and my style of humour... but I digress).

When you've been through something difficult, and it becomes a point of ridicule, it hurts - of course. But in itself, going through it hurts. The world will not change for one person's needs, the person needs to adapt. I've been on that girl's side of the joke, but feeling that strengthens you. The whole process does.

I don't think it needs justification. To me, that's the way things are.

Some people never adapt.
#21
Quote by Craigo
So, for example, rape victims who don't find rape jokes funny 'shut themselves inside a little politically correct box and cry about their problems'? C'mon, you bloody know that isn't true.


Of course situations change the humor. I was assuming that you meant sexism jokes. I apologize, if I came across the wrong way because of it.

I understand it if people whom have personally experienced the aim of the joke are offended. Obviously there is a time and place for everything. It bothers me however when people that have no experience of the matter take offense.

For example...
Me: Whats the difference between a black man and a pizza?
White girl: I don't know.
Me: A black man can't feed a family of four!
White girl: Your ****ed up!
#22
Quote by EuBoat
The only way to completely avoid offending people with jokes like this is to not make them. Different people will have different 'interpretations' of what is offensive to them and to others, which complilates the issue a fair bit.

I'm not actually afraid of offending people with my jokes, I've already said that in this thread.
#23
Quote by JacobTheMe
Of course situations change the humor. I was assuming that you meant sexism jokes. I apologize, if I came across the wrong way because of it.

I understand it if people whom have personally experienced the aim of the joke are offended. Obviously there is a time and place for everything. It bothers me however when people that have no experience of the matter take offense.

For example...
Me: Whats the difference between a black man and a pizza?
White girl: I don't know.
Me: A black man can't feed a family of four!
White girl: Your ****ed up!

That's the crucial element though. We sometimes can't tell if it's the time and the place.
#24
I've only laughed at racist jokes that are mild, some are just sick and wrong. (I'm leaving out examples, as not to offend anyone) Also pretty much every racist joke I have heard someone around me say is based off of a stereotype. Unfortunately some stereotypes are true, (again, leaving out examples) Maybe some people justify it by thinking that its true so its ok to joke about it.
#25
Quote by Craigo
Some people never adapt.

That's true, so what option do they have but to cop it sweet and be miserable, if they can't grow with experience? There will always be something there to offend you, whether or not someone says a potentially offensive joke.
#26
Quote by Le_Bunny
That's true, so what option do they have but to cop it sweet and be miserable, if they can't grow with experience? There will always be something there to offend you, whether or not someone says a potentially offensive joke.

I'm absolutely fine with offending people with jokes, but not certain people with jokes. I don't wish to say 'just get on with it' to people who really shouldn't have to hear those words.
#28
Quote by Craigo
I'm not actually afraid of offending people with my jokes, I've already said that in this thread.
What sort of jokes would you not make? Where do you draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable?

Quote by Craigo
I'm absolutely fine with offending people with jokes, but not certain people with jokes. I don't wish to say 'just get on with it' to people who really shouldn't have to hear those words.
Then don't make jokes that can offend those people



stratkat
Last edited by EuBoat at Dec 19, 2009,
#29
Quote by Kurt-Corgan
The world isn't going to change for those people. Jokes are just jokes, others shouldn't be taking it into further context or taking it as an insult because they're just meant to be silly or stupid.

I used the word 'trigger' for a reason. I know I've said rape jokes in front of a victim without knowing it. I can't speak from experiences, but from blogs I read and stuff apparently even simple misuses of the word can stir up violent emotions. Rape victims do not deserve to be called 'silly' or 'stupid' if they don't like a rape joke.
#30
Quote by EuBoat
Then don't make jokes that can offend those people

I feel like I'm repeating myself. Like I said, you can't know when you're offending someone. I've known people who I thought would always be okay with rape jokes but then found out they were actually rape victims. This is a problem.

EDIT:

What sort of jokes would you not make? Where do you draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable?

Until recent questioning, there was no line.
#31
Sorry, when I said 'they're' I meant the jokes were to be stupid and silly. There are going to be incidents where you're going to offend someone with a joke, but how many comedians are making a living off of offensive jokes? I'm just saying don't stop yourself from doing what is enjoyable, if someone is hurt that is unfortunate but that can virtually happen with anything, not just with offensive jokes. You say there are triggers, maybe one of these triggers can just be a street name, or the number of the day it happened, who knows. Hopefully the people who have sufferec these violent acts have found help but it's not up to you to save them really.
#32
I am always doing it in satire. My jokes generally make fun of people who think that way. I show this by changing my voice to sound southern or change my voice somehow.
Due what you want as long as you vote Due!
#33
In my opinion, that's part of the adaptation process, in most cases. Stereotypes should not even be of concern, as everyone should know they're empty generalizations. I haven't been through any of the most brutal of traumas (rape etc), but I do know coming to terms with deep-seated things (overcoming phobias or accepting someone you've hated for decades) is extremely beneficial and can even save lives. I talked my friend out of suicide. I all this because these jokes are considered lulz by oblivious people who will tell them regardless. I would like to think this confrontation would help people accept whatever happened and possibly move on for the better. Maybe I'm just trying to make a turd smell nice here, but as I said, the jokes will be told anyway.
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#34
Quote by Craigo
I was going to go to bed over an hour ago but I'm going nowhere soon. I thought it'd be nice to get some discussion going. I really wouldn't mind exploring this issue more.

I've always been a fan of jokes in 'poor taste' ever since I was about 14. It was brilliant because we were able to exploit issues which we knew were bad but make them funny anyway. The laughs which were brought forward were ones of uneasiness and 'oh no he didn't'. Me and my friends used to always break barriers until it got a little boring. But we got pretty ridiculous.

It also died down after one of our friends got in trouble for it but that's a completely different story. Oh to be a rebellious school kid. But I digress. We always justified to ourselves because we understood the issue so it wasn't with bad intent. If someone told us a racist joke or a sexist joke and meant it, we'd call them out on it. I'm also always suspicious of people who, because they can't be racist or whatever in public, they do it through humour. We consider their jokes immoral because there's a genuinely bad intent there, whilst with us it was almost like Oscar Wilde's 'art for arts sake'. We understood it, didn't mean it, and it was funny.

However, I've been questioning this recently because of things which are more personal.

Hypothetically you're in a group of four people and one of them has been 'raped/molested/domestically abused/physically or psychologically abused as a child' or whatever, take your pic. Things which can be particularly triggering. You might be able to make a joke on any of these topics and laugh. However, the fourth person isn't laughing. You don't know it, but she's a victim of whatever the joke was about.

I used to do this unfortunately. Our Philosophy class was extremely bad for bad taste jokes. I, alongside a few people, made poor tastes jokes. I used to take part in discussions during a class on Virtue Ethics, deciding whether or not rape was courageous. We did this without knowing that there was at least one rape victim in the class. She would later tell me about it, and I would later find out how she hated it all the time. It was bad enough to have an event several years ago which ended in sexist discrimination and malpractice by police still be in her mind, but to have people joke about it lightly in front of her wasn't pleasant.

Yet they can't speak up and say 'that offends me'. I remember counter-protesting against one of her protests in class once and how she didn't reply. It's not the best of memories in retrospect.

And yet this is someone who used poor taste humour herself.

So, to get to the crux of it, how can we justify jokes in bad taste?

i dont justify it i just do it for the lulz
#35
I apologise if I'm saying the same thing repeatedly - it is a bit late.

Quote by Craigo
I feel like I'm repeating myself. Like I said, you can't know when you're offending someone. I've known people who I thought would always be okay with rape jokes but then found out they were actually rape victims. This is a problem.
And how can you avoid that problem? I think the only way to avoid it is to avoid making those types of jokes altogether (although that is difficult in itself). As you have said,

Quote by Craigo
I don't wish to say 'just get on with it' to people who really shouldn't have to hear those words.
justification isn't easy.



stratkat
#36
Quote by Kurt-Corgan
Sorry, when I said 'they're' I meant the jokes were to be stupid and silly. There are going to be incidents where you're going to offend someone with a joke, but how many comedians are making a living off of offensive jokes? I'm just saying don't stop yourself from doing what is enjoyable, if someone is hurt that is unfortunate but that can virtually happen with anything, not just with offensive jokes. You say there are triggers, maybe one of these triggers can just be a street name, or the number of the day it happened, who knows. Hopefully the people who have sufferec these violent acts have found help but it's not up to you to save them really.

I'm not trying to be a 'good guy'. Trying to see where I can justify bad taste in order to act appropriately.

Same goes to you BeerBlood. You're not actually approaching the problem I'm raising.
#38
I think the only reasonable justification is ignorance, but that won't always apply. I don't think you can justify offending/hurting someone when you know that was a possible outcome, even if it wasn't your intention.

EDIT: Unless they are of the type that accepts such jokes light-heartedly.



stratkat
Last edited by EuBoat at Dec 19, 2009,
#39
joke- a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter

'nuff said
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#40
Quote by JacobTheMe
Because they can shut themselves inside a little politically correct box and cry about their problems or they can just laugh with it.

There's a big problem with that, though. Rape is extremely traumatic, and it's not something you can just "get over."
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