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TOO SOON!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    Today in the Mother Nature is Angry thread, TiBber Zyron posted:

    Indeed it is true. @RealGilbert posted about a dozen tsunami jokes today.

    Honestly, I'm not sure what Aflac was expecting. This is the same guy who, about a week after 9/11, made a joke at the Hugh Hefner roast that he could not get a direct flight to JFK because they all connected through the Empire State Building (and then recovered by telling an excellent version of The Aristocrats, which had Rob Schneider (literally) falling out of his chair).

    They say that humor = tragedy + distance. Alternatively, one of my favorite Mel Brooks lines: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when YOU walk into an open sewer and die."

    Now if I were an insensitive lout, I might project FAR into the future and say that someday, some of Gilbert's Tsunami jokes would be pretty funny. Not now, but someday. But clearly now it is TOO SOON. I certainly don't find the one about the school funny at all. I did not laugh at that.

    FOCUS: Is there such a thing as TOO SOON? Are there some subjects you just can't (or shouldn't) joke about? What's the statute of limitations on TOO SOON?
     
  2. Nettdata

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    Sure, there are a few things that should be off limits, and handled respectfully.

    For instance, if your best friend's mother just died, don't be making jokes about it. If you know someone who's little girl was kidnapped and raped, then don't be making light of that either.

    Any personal attack against someone who's suffered through some shit is pretty out of line, in my opinion, unless they're evil themselves.

    When it comes to generalities directed at a shitty situation like this, I say have at it. Humour is a defence mechanism, and if people can't see the comments that are made intended to be funny (regardless of whether they are or not) for that, then fuck them.

    This is a long-standing, ongoing debate over people that think everything should be taken so seriously, and don't get it when it's a joke. Sure, it might not be a good, or funny joke, but it was intended as such, so lighten the fuck up.

    Personally, I don't see the issue with what he did in this case. Sure, some of them were tasteless, but in the end, I'd rather him say that shit than the media spew the fear crap they have been for the last little while.
     
  3. Celos

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    For this joke there is:
     
  4. Frank

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    Seriously, Howard Stern has been through a lot lately, people should leave him alone.
     
  5. JoeCanada

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    I was just thinking about this today. When I went on cnn.com this morning I thought "wow, this sure is depressing." So, since I sometimes post funny/stupid things on facebook, I took a screen shot of the front page so I could "edit" it to make it more happy... Then I decided not to post it because I know a lot of conservative/old people who would probably get mad about it. I don't know. It's one of those things where it's ok until you cross the line, but "the line" is in a different place for everybody.

    Like Nettdata said, some things seem pretty clearly out of line (Why did the chicken cross the road? So he wouldn't get raped, like you did when you were a kid!), but there's a lot of grey area. With this earthquake/tsunami thing, yeah, it's a fucking tragedy, but that's all the more reason to try and laugh. Not at the victims, but after watching the videos of what's going on, your soul starts to hurt; laughing helps.

     

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  6. Crown Royal

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    People only get offended by jokes like the ones popping up on the net lately if it happens in their own backyard. I doubt any Americans on this site were cracking 9-11 jokes days after it happened because they "need to laugh", and that was a much lower death toll. They banned any music video that following year that so much as had an explosion in it (see: Disturbed, Powerman 5000 etc.) I didn't see anybody joke about it whatsoever for years following. I doubt the Japanese are doing the same with this current catastrophe.

    The line is without doubt different for everybody, and it's always fun and games until the bad stuff happens to you.
     
  7. McSmallstuff

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    I'm cool with pretty much any humor to cope with a major tragedy. This world is inhabited by shitty people who seem to take no greater delight in life to fuck up as much stuff as possible. Serial killers, terrorist, gangsters, war lords, and others of their ilk seem to want nothing more than to spill as much blood as they can before they shuffle off this mortal coil. Then to top it all off we live on a giant ball of lava, spinning in an even larger galaxy of stars, that is meandering through an infinity of space, that is all conspiring to do it's level best to not give a fuck about us. All of this adds up to an existance which can be pretty fucking miserable, fairly often. Laughing is how a lot of people cope. Lord knows it's the mechanism I have come up with. And often some of those jokes that seem tactless are a mixture of shock, and being overwhelmed by what was just witnessed. Between huricanes, war, tsunamis, terrorism, and every other fucked up thing that gets thrown at humanity on a daily basis I think Jimmy Buffet said it best; "If we weren't all crazy, we'd all go insane."

    When it comes to individual things, as JoeCanada said, there is a lot of grey area. My group of real life degenerates have almost no tact when it comes to busting eachothers balls. However if a friend is truly fucked up about something we give it time to heal. The unspoken rule seems to be, if "buddyX" starts making jokes about it, it's fair game. And of course there is the great level of comfort, and really honest comunication between my friends needed to make this work. I think there has to be true love between two people, or a group to even talk about the worst shit a person goes through, let alone make jokes about it.
     
  8. Nom Chompsky

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    Laughter is the natural human response to the absurd, whether good or bad; the same impulse that cracks you up over a cat playing a keyboard informs the same gallows humor that helps us get through tragedy. I full support humor as a defense mechanism, and realize that often the worse the situation, the greater the need.

    That's not what this was.

    As far as I can tell, Gilbert isn't Japanese. He didn't lose his home, or his family, or his job. He's not going to have to deal with years of expensive chemotherapy after getting radiation poisoning. So from where I'm sitting, he's a comedian that took an obvious opportunity to make a cheap, mocking joke at the expense of a tragedy that isn't even his. He's not coping via humor: he's exploiting.

    There's a big difference. I don't think any topic is off-limits for humor, and he should definitely be allowed to say what he wants, he just runs the risk of coming off as a smug, insensitive prick. And pissing off companies that don't want that in a spokesperson.

    "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke" is one of the most entitled phrases imaginable. I find people for whom it's a mantra generally fall into a certain sort of class of person. Take that for what you will.
     
  9. ghettoastronaut

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    And as far as I can tell, the people in the thick of the earthquake and its fallout probably don't give too much of a fuck what some duck-voiced comedian, let alone anyone else halfway across the world, thinks of their predicament, whether it's making a joke or crying. I've seen self-righteous outrage in response to various news stories that weren't seen as appropriate, like an explainer column discussing whether a tsunami wave could be surfed or not. Like I said, the people who are really affected have higher priorities than what you or I think, and being outraged at an internet news story doesn't indicate that you actually care or that you're more sensitive; it just means you feel the need to project the image of someone who is sensitive and caring.

    For that matter, didn't he actually just lose his job? I mean, only because of the joke. But still.
     
  10. lostalldoubt86

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    Gottfried is always making too-soon jokes. He made a 9-11 joke at the Hugh Hefner roast. Then he made jokes of Greg Geraldo about 3 hours after he died. So now there's this. Please don't mock me for remembering these incidents.
     
  11. Nom Chompsky

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    Don't get me wrong, I think getting outraged over what he said, or devoting news time to it, or clutching your pearls and gasping is kind of pointless. I just wanted to be super clear that this isn't him dealing with tragedy or coping with loss. It's taking a potshot at current events that don't actually affect him, and there's nothing particularly brave or sensitive about that.

    I still think it makes him an asshole, and I can totally see a company not wanting an asshole to represent them. It also strikes me as somewhat lazy comedy, but that's a different issue altogether.
     
  12. Nettdata

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    It's him doing what he does for a living, and that's trying to be a comedian who pushes the boundaries of good taste with his own kind of "shock and awe".

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    There's no doubt it's in bad taste, but as Nom says, why give a fuck?

    It's almost to the point that people are going out of their way to show how sympathetic they are by making comments about it.

    It's like Adam Carolla says about rescue dog owners being the first ones to mention how it's a rescue. Not like the dog gives a shit, but it sure seems to matter to the owner that everyone else knows it's a rescue.
     
  13. Nom Chompsky

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    I should also point out that Aflac doesn't really have the right to get on it's moral high duck. He's been the same comedian for years, and they knew what they were getting into. Fire him, demote him to frog, it's their image and they can do whatever they want with it, but pretending they had no idea this could happen is pretty stupid.

    I guess what I mean to say is:

    Gottfried's tsunami quacks go too far.

    Aflac ducks criticism by firing comedian.

    Japan's malheur spells end for Aflac's. #esotericjokes
     
  14. BL1Y

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    I'd have forgiven Gottfried if his jokes were funny. People grieve in different ways, so sometimes having someone lighten the mood helps.

    But, he just wasn't funny. That's grounds for firing a funny-man.
     
  15. Danger Boy

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    Am I the only one who thought this was gonna be a thread full of tsunami jokes, and when I found out otherwise I was a bit disappointed?
     
  16. BL1Y

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    I hope so.
     
  17. DrFrylock

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    It is acceptable in this thread to post examples of jokes that are clearly TOO SOON, so that others may learn about unacceptably tasteless humor. Also, any occurrence of the words TOO SOON following this post must be in all caps or else you will be banned.
     
  18. Ins

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    This is obviously a hard thing to define, how are some things alright to joke about while others aren't.

    For the following, I could never justify this to anyone if they argued that I shouldn't have laughed. Spoiler-ed for size and also for whoever thinks I'm a horrible person. To anyone who was in a situation like this I would never seriously mock it, I'm just trying to explain how a horrible joke someone made let me deal with something.
    There was a shooting at my school a few years ago, horribly fucked up situation. It was scary as shit, you have no idea what's going on or what to think. And once you do all you can.. what do you do next?

    Slowly as we made our way home, calling friends to see if they were OK, we piece together what was going on. Some nut had came into the school shooting. We end up taking a bus home, long wait, and meeting up with other friends. We talk and talk, we're all shocked. No one knows what to think, and we're sitting on a bus where there's nothing we can do but sit in silence. My minds frozen. I'm trying to process it, while all my body wants to do is run and do something but there's nothing I can do. All I can think is "How the fuck is someone capable of that? It just doesn't make sense to me."

    Later, it's a friend of a friends stop, as he's getting off he goes "Alright well.. see you guys later" and does that weird finger gun thing at us.
    http://deskofbrian.com/wp-content/uploads/finger-gun.jpg

    Now my heart's in my throat, and my stomach twists but I laugh in the "that's fucking horrible" way (and "who the fuck does that what a piece of shit, how is this possible, this can't be happening"). But I'm back to earth. I'm calmer, and my brain's able to start processing shit again. As horrible as that was, I needed that. It's hard to explain and I would never seriously mock the situation, it was horrible and people died. But part of me needed that to find some stable ground in myself. That jogged me out of being frozen.

    Was it in bad taste? Completely. Did I need that? Completely. Does that mean I didn't respect what happened? I hope not. Do I still laugh when I think of it? Yes, but it's in a way that some people don't understand. It's that cringe, the how the can you do that in a situation like this, that made me feel comfortable/sane. Sometimes I need cringe humor, and I think it's because it let's me know where I stand. I couldn't understand how to react until someone showed me that even though I felt scattered, I actually knew how to react.

    I needed that low blow to knock some sense into me when I couldn't do it. And even though I know it's so fucking horrible, that's what made me laugh. It's how it went beyond ridiculously horrible that got me.

    (I heard of another guy that day who was at a place where they were serving hotdogs/burgers and had cots for people who needed assistance in whatever way. The guy says to his friends "Free hotdogs? This is the best day ever!". Horrible. Ablsolutely horrible, but it somehow makes the situation a bit more bearable.)

    I'm hesitant to put this up so mods if this is just devoid of humor and rambling feel free to remove it.
     
  19. Bjornturoc

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    How relevant. I made made an apparent TOO SOON joke only hours ago. Verbatim, my status was;

    "With all these tsunamis and nuclear reactors blowing up in Japan, I can't help but wonder...are they gonna get Godzilla?"

    Apparently, this is out of line. People were generally agreeing I was a dick, and that I went too far. There's a lot of hypocrisy here, though. Half those people have made offensive racist remarks about any race group you can name. One of them even went so far as to make his status "Still bitter about Pearl Harbor" on December 7th. This guy is criticizing me for my insensitivity towards the Japanese. What the fuck. I come from an abnormally callus family. We party and act generally wild at wakes for family members, we make jokes about cancer (Mostly my deceased grandfather, or my currently afflicted father) and never hold anything personal, or consider things sacred. We don't joke about 9/11, mostly because my family is city cops, one who's birthday happens to be September 11th. Me and my brother actually talked about Gilbert Gottfried's 9/11 joke two days ago, and we both laughed while doing the 'YIKES!' face. Laughing is a coping mechanism for us. Even so, I don't have to cope with the Tsunami. I guess I don't know how to turn it off. If my brother died tomorrow, I might even tell a joke about how I was surprised he didn't die of AIDS after attending art school. Some people just know how miserable life is by seeing it through a news camera or an article in a paper. Those are the people, in my opinion, who complain. People who lose people know that being sad won't bring them back, but cracking a joke might lighten the mood up for the living.
     
  20. DrFrylock

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    The most offensive thing about that is how goddamn obvious you were. Seriously, a straight-up unadorned Godzilla reference? That's funny if it's the first post on the first thread on this, but this news is days old now. If you wanted to go for the Godzilla reference now, I would juxtapose sanctimoniousness with offensiveness real subtle-like to see who catches on:

    "Praying for the safety and well-being of all the Japanese people affected by the earthquake. #gojira"

    Or maybe go more oblique:

    "At airport; saw @MatthewBroderick JFK->LAX->NRT"
    "These two tiny azn chicks won't stop singing. wtf is a mosura? what's 'shut up' in chinese?"

    Or just all the way to super-obscure:

    "At the bakery; Japanese man next to me just ordered Danish #reptilicus"