Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Your Sense Of Humor Probably Sucks

I know one joke. One. And it's a horrible, vomit-inducing joke that is only told when I'm four sheets into the wind and feeling gutsy. No, I won't write it here. Chances are good that if we've ever gotten obliterated together, you know the one. 

Stop blushing. 

Since my departure from Pinkbike last year over their lack of action on the inappropriate 'jokes' by a comtributing author of the site, I've been under fire for being 'unfunny' and unable to 'take a joke'. (Which is fine. A stand up comic I will never be.) 

However, my recent posts on Instagram about the size my own ass and my bawdy humor on Twitter have come under criticism from (some of the same) people who cannot seem to tell the difference between 'humor' and 'targeting' someone. 

Let me say this plainly for those with low reading comprehension: your jokes fucking suck. 

Why? Well, a 'joke' that objectifies, dehumanizes or puts a certain demographic into stereotypical, damaging light isn't a joke -- it's a bullying tactic. Just like me punching you in the face or blowing up your car isn't humorous, neither is perpetuating violence or inequality. 

Let me tell you what's funny: fart jokes. No, they really are. Even just farts are funny. Poop jokes are hilarious, too. Self-deprecating humor is always hilarious, too. Comedians use this one regularly... Just look at the great comics. Charlie Chaplin, Dave Chappelle, Ellen Degeneres, anyone. It's funny. Guess what else is? Animals being ridiculous is funny. Toddlers shouting profanity is funny. Insert more fart jokes here. Mocking the bullish ignorance of politicians is funny. Cartoons are funny. Irony is funny. Ignorance is funny. 

But the funny business is over when you begin mocking someone (who doesn't openly deserve contempt, such as the Oregon militia men who have taken over a nature preserve in the US to protest the government controlling their discounted use of the land that was wrenched from indigenous peoples about 150 years ago). 

Targeting women, ethnicities, handicaps, personal tragedy, etc just isn't funny -- as Ellen has said before, it's not a joke if only those exempt from it are laughing. But my hilarious and open contempt for the status quo is funny, as is my skewering of those responsible for the oppression or economic stagnancy of other demographics. 

You wanna talk humor? Check out Obama's SOTU speech last night. Watch Tommy Boy. But targeting an exercise post on my Instagram where I hashtag #bootyfordays in a sardonic commentary about the values espoused in our culture while you simultaneously treat the dismissal of an entire market segment as 'a joke' is just plain stupid. 

And guess what? If you can't crack a funny without humiliating or denigrating someone, you're not funny or clever. If the stories we tell create the narrative for our future, the jokes we find funny examine the darkest corners of our pain and expose them with blinding light. Openly mocking absurdity, too -- humor is how we deal with the worst parts of our psych. It's our coping mechanism. But if you're maligning entire races and genders because your fear of them and/or those of your own weakness, well then... You need a new joke book.