Sunday, July 29, 2007

When Life Isn't Beautiful

I don't agree that anything and everything is fair ground for comedy.

The comment was made elsewhere, and it was there that I said my piece on that particular subject.

I came to the realisation, I need to address it on my own journal.. if I'm going to be a righteous twat, I need to bring it to my own playground.

Anything and everything isn't fair grounds for comedy, plain and simple statement belief, in my plain and simple thought.

You don't go after children, in any fashion. You don't bring up the Holocaust. You don't use genocide in any fashion as a basis for comedy. Certain events... leave them alone.. the sheer smack to the spirit is enough. You can discuss them, plays are done, and done well.. films. Comedy? I guess I can't find anything amusing in those subjects, nothing droll, nothing in the slightest to make me, well, even smile with a twinge of amusement.

Sure, I'll laugh like crazy with Mel Brooks and his poking a sharp stick in the face of Hitler. He's right, you have to laugh at the man, or he wins. Chris Rock did an entire riff on the two boys who shot up Columbine, where a boy I knew was shot. No one had touched the idea of Columbine.

Chris touched on the people. Not the event, the people who he said, "...were crazy. They weren't outcasts, they were crazy." It let us all start to accept what had happened.

The Holocaust was a word to me....and when I was young, I saw a woman in Denver, where I was living at the time, near Sloans Lake. It was there, on her wrist... just, there. Dark against her white skin. She reached for something, I looked.. and, my breath was taken away. Our eyes met, she smiled, soft.. small. My breath was taken away. I went home, didn't even put my groceries away, sitting on my sofa, crying. I never saw the event the same way again.

R questioned how people say it never happened.

"Well, then, where did my relatives go?"

I shook my head. I wonder that , too. How do you explain the disappearance of six million? And, how to you trivialise it by asking for limericks? When that happens, you open the door for it to happen again.

Oh, wait.. Darfur.

Molest a child? I'll have no problem laughing at what is done to you. I won't laugh if someone makes a joke over what you did. In fact, I'll more than likely use words to cut you up myself, if I can restrain myself from slapping you, or washing your mouth out with Lava.

You don't hurt children, in any way, shape or form.

And, you don't use any of those events as a basis for comedy.

Some things are held as sacred. Hiroshima. The Holocaust. Darfur, along with the other horrific acts being perpetrated as we speak in Africa. 9/11. Harming children.

No, I'm sorry....well, actually, I'm not sorry.

Not everything and anything is fair game.

When that happens, we've truly lost our souls.

And, in this righteous twat's mind, when that happens, we might as well eat, drink and fuck ourselves silly, the only important things in life... settling in for the big black thereafter.

I'm not ready for that. I still have hope we'll sort something out.

That, that small hope, that is what makes life beautiful.

12 comments:

Ha Ha Sound said...

You are extremely wrong. When you declare certain subjects as being off limits to humor and ridicule, it's the first step in stopping to question things. And when that happens, people stop thinking. And when that happens, a person is truly lost.

And seeing a woman with #s on her arm is nothing. Big deal. Your seeing it doesn't give you the right to cry. Her going through it does. I have an entire side of my family who doesn't exist any longer because of the Holocaust, and I still wouldn't declare it off limits to humor. Because that's what makes us human.

But call me a twat, I don't care. As long as you're able to use the Holocaust to make you feel better about something (not sure what, exactly), I guess that's what matters.

golfwidow said...

Scott Adams uses the "two of six" rule to determine what is or is not funny: If your work, your comment, your daily comic strip, your comedy routine, touches at least two of the following criteria, it's funny:

Bizarre
Clever
Cruel
Cute
Naughty
Identifiable-with

Anything that touches on cruel and clever only is, therefore, by definition, funny - but you're going to have to live with the fact that a whole lot of people aren't going to laugh at it, and they're going to wonder why, if you wanted a laugh, you didn't try a different combination, like maybe touching on the "identifiable-with" aspects as well.

Having your audience on your side is kind of part and parcel with humor. Depending, obviously, on what your ultimate goal is: making people laugh, or alienating them.

golfwidow said...

Yes, Ha Ha Whom I Don't Know, I realize that I am wrong and you are right. I can live with that.

Ha Ha Sound said...

It's really not a question of right and wrong, I suppose, GW. I resent being called names and judged by somebody who doesn't know me (indeed, I spoke to her once briefly for maybe an hour at a blogger happy hour and said hello and nothing more on one other occasion.

And who is the author of this post, a Christian woman from the middle of the country with no Jewish blood in her, to tell me how to react to the most monumental event in the modern history of my people?

When I was a boy, my barber had #s on his arm from a concentration camp. When I asked him about them, he winked and said, "That's the number of beautiful women I've met in my life."

One of my best friends, who is also Jewish and one of the smartest people I know, is now a Classics professor. His job takes him all over the world for digs and whatnot. He once said to me, "When I go to Germany, I drink their wonderful beer, hit on their beautiful blonde haired blue eyed woman, drive on their Autobahns and say to myself, 'Heil Hitler'.

And you know what? It's the perfect response in its Jewishness. It's morbid, humorous, full of life, ironic and recognizes the reality of the situation.

But Quin apparently knows better. Maybe when she's done instructing Jewish people on how they must feel about the Holocaust, she can start telling African-Americans how they have to feel about slavery.

Quin said...

um, hh, i have every right to say what i want in my playground. and, i said it after long and deep thought, and long and deep conversations with a number of friends who DID lose family in the camps.

for me, those numbers made an event happen. thank you for telling me i have no right to suddenly have something become real. perhaps you can stand outside the holocaust museum, and tell all of the people, faced with the shoes, a place where many break down, and tell them they are asses for their tears.

back on subject.

for me, certain things are not funny.

abuse of children? not funny.
death of children by starvation? not funny.
genocide? not funny.
making limericks using the holocaust? not funny.
slavery? not funny

i was very, very clear..

do i know better than you? no. but, are you right? who knows?

the man, yes, the event, no. you find what you can to get through.. trust me, i know that. i'll make jokes like mad about my upbringing.

you can't.

and there is the difference.

you.
weren't.
there.

if you were there, the way your barber was, he can say those things.

if some man came in and made that remark, would it have gone over as such a, no offense here, haha sound?

i don't think so.

that is the dividing line.

yes, you have to find a way to get through.

i am not jewish, and, i'm not christian.. and i'm not from the middle of the country, nor are my views, my views alone.

my post isn't only about that one particular event in history, either, is it?

everything and anything is not fair game.

this post isn't about you. it's about words said, that reflect attitudes i don't agree with. if it was about you, i'd have made a link.. i refuse to link to the online publication, because i think they are beyond wrong..

i'm sorry you felt it was.

Ha Ha Sound said...

You do have every right to say whatever you feel like. And to feel like whatever you feel like. I'm saying that you have no right to presume to say that my feelings, as a member of the group that experienced the Holocaust, to tell me that my reaction to it is wrong.

Do I think it's horrible? Yes. Do I think it's serious and sometimes (most of the times) requires a reaction of solemnity? Absolutely. But humor is as valid as anything else. And to tell me that's wrong is unforgivable.

And you did post "And, in this righteous twat's mind, when that happens, we might as well eat, drink and fuck ourselves silly, the only important things in life... settling in for the big black thereafter", which is pretty insulting.

So yeah, there's that. And I will not be back to check your response, so post whatever you want. It's your playground.

Quin said...

oh, and let it be noted, i didn't call you 'names', haha, or judge you.

i am commenting on what i find 'fair game' in what is humourous.

Harriet V said...

I agree -- some things are not funny. If a comedian goes there, I don't laugh; that's not because I have self-control, but because IT IS'NT FUNNY. Those amateur videos that draw on cruelty to children or animals are not funny. Hurting someone's feeling is not funny -- except sometimes. (It depends on the someone.) Mel Gibson and his family say the Jews weren't annihilated; they just moved to the Bronx. Did you meet any of my relatives there?

Quin said...

it's not about anyone, or any particular event.

you don't pick on those who can't defend themselves.

you can make fun of yourself, or choose to laugh at an event that occurred that you were part of.. you've suffered, you have that right.

no one else does.

to me, it's simple.

i'll say it one last time.

this was not personal. to think it was, well... think again.

no one occupies my thoughts enough to have me write a personal blog, and if i do, i name names.

scroll down and have a gander. you've got to make me laugh, make my heart soar or show me some fine sheets to get an entry.

cause now, now, i'm getting peeved.

Lucy said...

I think overall comedy is a craft. I, as a comedian, battle with controversial topics all the time. I think Ha Ha is right that nothing should be off-limits. But I think there has to be class, intelligence, etc. behind comedy. You could make racist stereotypical jokes, but pull it off so that it has meaning and resonates. Chris Rock was a master as this. Dave Chappelle kinda did all right, but not all of them hit where he wanted them to. I say, if you want to touch on a subject, that strikes a nerve, all the better. Just do it well! Otherwise, you're just a proving yourself to be a racist prick. But who I am to judge? We live in a society where we're allowed to be a bigot in this world. There shouldn't be laws against it--as much as that sucks.

Quin said...

i mention rock... he, well, rocks.

the people who cause these atrocities are fair game.

ridicule the event? the victims?

mmmm...not so much.

i am no more saying there should be censorship than i'm saying i'm a short blonde from the midwest.

oddly enough, i think what i said was clear. i did not discuss a person or one event.

it's not censorship, it's about...respect.

thanks for the comments, lucy.

ellagood said...

"Laughter is one of the very privleges of reason, being confined to the human species." - Thomas Carlyle

"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possiblities." - Jean Houston