I'm at a loss (some musings regarding humor/free speech/offendedness)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by zegh8578, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Back in the 90s me and a Turk friend watched Eddie Murphy's "Delirious" over and over, and we laughed and laughed, and one of the jokes was about Mr. T being gay, and some bits about gay people being just the same as anybody else, except they'd suck more dicks than straight men, as well as some hyperbolic bits about being careful not to kiss them on the mouth, lest you get some "AIDS on your lip"

    We laughed at that, I was maybe 14 or 15, my Turk friend laughed too, and we understood that this was exaggerations and irony, that Eddie Murphy doesn't *really believe* AIDS just sits on someones lip, and gets transmitted like that, or that he *really* believes gay people suck dicks wherever a straight person would have a beer

    We understood that it was a bit deeper than that, that he was making fun of peoples unfounded panic regarding gays and AIDS, he was poking fun at peoples ignorance, and in his own little way, he was on the gay people's side: He was using irony - he was saying:
    Gay people are the same as us, except they suck dicks instead of drink beer = Gay people are the same as us, they even drink beer.
    Kiss one on the lip, and get AIDS = You actually *don't* catch anything by touching or kissing a gay person, they are not dangerous!

    Nonetheless, Eddie Murphy got in trouble for those jokes. He had to answer to offended gay people. Why!?
    He took their side in the matter, now he has to apologize to them!? WHY!?

    Simple: They didn't get the fucking joke. Irony went woosh over their heads.

    Years go by, and similar incidents keep happening, comedians keep attempting to resort to dark, crude irony in order to make points, and they keep being misinterpreted as being dead serious about what they're saying.

    One of the obvious points here is that a comedian *cannot* just say shit *outright*
    A comedian can't just open up a show and say "gay people are okay. did you know, that you can't get AIDS from touching them? They drink beer, but not all the time, but now and then."
    There's no humor in that.

    Jim Jeffries made a whole entire bit about JUST that, as a result from his Bill Cosby routine backlash, he had to *spell out* that he was *against rape*
    In that particular context, the act of spelling this out became so absurd in itself, it actually got a big jolly laugh. But how on earth does he get to the point, where he has to *explain* that he does NOT approve of rape!?
    This isn't just on the lefties (although my fellow lefties have had a long habit of being very sensitive to jokes that initially take their side in liberal matters: diversity, homosexuality, equality), I've seen far rights people disown Jim Jeffries after he apparently expressed several liberal views in his Comedy Central TV show.
    I ask myself, before disowning him - when did they ever own him? Was it the part where he classically, drunkedly muttered "women are the worst", or something, and all the alone-bros went "ARRIGHT! HE HATES WOMEN AS MUCH AS ME!" - no he doesn't. He has a wife - he has a mother, he never hated women: He used irony.

    In fact, most of these comedians, from Richard Pryor, to mundane ol Eddie Murphy, to Chris Rock, to Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Louis CK, Bill Burr, Ricky Gervais, Jim Jeffries, none of them have ever actually come out to say *anything* outright, never any kind of statement like "violence is bad" "I do not approve of rape" (except Jeffries, who had to) - nor have they expressed any kind of outright belonging to any overt political wing "I am socialist!" "I am right wing!", most of them have only tried to express a bit of common sense wrapped in (sometimes hyperbolic) irony, as in - say one thing in order to express a sentiment to the opposite.

    For MOST adult humans, this irony is easily detectable and appreciated.
    For a minority of adult humans, it goes woosh over their heads, and they go on loud, vocal, noticeable tirades for everyone to see and hear, and sometimes a comedian has to go as far as to outright explain their joke - or worse - apologize for it. Apologize to the ones they were supposedly trying to "back up" with their use of irony and dark humor.

    I guess before the time of internet it was a matter of just throwing it out there, and if people didn't get the humor, then they didn't get it, and they could move on. But with the internet outrage-culture, it's a lot more difficult.

    As a someone who believes in equality and diversity and freedom for people to be who they are without persecution, I am finding it increasingly worrysome to see spokespersons targeted for defending these exact values - just because they chose to use humor when doing it.

    I hate all of you
    Naw, Just Kidding, you guys, I was using irony!
    Double irony, I actually do hate you.

    Triple irony
    Quadruple

    Quintuple
     
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  2. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    This type of thing has been happening pre-internet era and on all sides of the political spectrum. Humans have a tendency to create these sacred topics that are in their minds, too important to ever be made light of. This is why you have people getting upset when anything related to being gay, sexual assault, or abortion is part of a joke. It doesn't even matter what side of the argument the comedian ultimately falls on to the offended parties. All they can see is that their precious idol of a cause has been slighted by some asshole who apparently thinks they can exploit a serious problem for some laughs. These are generally people with poor critical thinking skills who fail to recognize irony and have little imagination or sense of humor.
     
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  3. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Just the other day I tried to contribute to a discussion about humor and free speech, with my own little dead-pan joke - "You can't joke about Michael Jackson"
    I really thought it would be fairly obvious, especially considering the context. I even giggled to myself, so satisfied was I! Aaand I was wrong! Someone lectured me.
    To their credit, when I replied "I joked." they replied "I got offended", which did make me snicker.

    Not as redeeming is the quantity of similar incidents I see in these Twitter threads, where a lot of posters are obviously trying to sneak in some irony or tongue in cheek responses - that DO agree with the topic (albeit in their own way!), but come under instant fire by tons of supposedly like minded people, but with NO sense of irony...
     
  4. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    You also have to understand that intention can be wildly misinterpreted through technology. Over the phone, your audience is missing out on crucial information about body language. On something text based like Twitter or No Mutants Allowed? Forget it. You've got no tone, no timing, no inflection. Why do you think people often get into stupid arguments while texting?

    For instance, I could type something as simple as "your mom". Aside from context clues, you have absolutely no idea what the intention is behind that statement. I could be making a snarky comment to a long time friend, or answering a serious question to a respected coworker. The way it's taken relies solely on the literary skills of the reader, which is not always the sort of thing you can bank on.
     
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  5. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Yes yes, I'm aware, but I often opt to give people a benefit of doubt in cases of "possible irony"
    How is that saying, that in written form there's no distinction between irony and the genuinely outrageous, and it is beginning to wear on me that people tend to assume so quickly that what they're reading is genuinely outrageous *before* they wonder if it might in fact be irony

    hence the "outrage culture" :v

    Granted, there is a lot of stupid shit written, in all earnestness, in social media venues, people *are* often very outrageous... which also brings me at a loss... :v
     
  6. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    I feel that, since most of the communication nowadays is in written form (in fact, never before in history have we had *this* level on written communication), a good deal of, well, "humane" aspects are lost.
    For the most part, I think that I can understand irony very well when communicating face-to-face, and most people, even those who don't know me well can understand my snarky comments, sarcastic jokes etc. and have a pretty clear picture of me that is correct.

    When it comes to Internet or texting, yeah, fuck all that.
    I can't tell you how many times people got offended from my comments online. Or how many times I got offended when my long-distance ex-gf sent me some stupid shit she thought was funny but I interpreted seriously because your mood and feelings paint other people's words when they are based purely in text. And no, smileys and emojis don't help, despite popular opinion.
    This isn't limited to written communication either. Talking over a phone is also pretty shitty in that regard too. People's voices get distorted, you can't see their face and mimicry and results can be pretty bad. I guess video communication is the best alternative, but that too has its faults.


    What worries me is that, as tech progresses and we start losing personal contact more and more and resort to other means of communication, this will get only worse. It's ironical that Internet, the ultimate source of information and correspondence, has worsened almost every aspect of communication and exacerbated every previously existing problem.
    On a personal level, I am worried because as time progresses I have noticed that I too am sometimes prone to "outrage", despite me not being a person who gets outraged easily.
     
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  7. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    Mark my words. World War III is going to start because of a text-based misunderstanding.
     
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  8. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    And what a wonderfully destructive irony that will be.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  9. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    It's almost a better commentary than Fallout. Imagine a post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear holocaust with all kinds of horrifying shit going on and truthfully it was just caused by somebody's autocorrect.
     
  10. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
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  11. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    We almost set off nuclear war, 1995 incident :]

    When I was in the draft service, an officer there told us of a similar incident, during the cold war I think, I can't recall the exact details regarding geopolitics, but it had to do with Egypt, somehow, but at the border patrols they had been detecting a building background buzz of engines, untill a humming rumble. In the following morning they observed what he could only describe as an ocean of tanks. In his words they nearly shat themselves, and got on phones to check if there was anything that suggested we were about to get invaded. Soon after, probably the same day, the soviet armored armada pulled back, and everyone had a lot of cigarettes to cool their nerves
     
  12. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    As they say, reality is stranger than fiction. That nuclear launch code thing sounds like it's straight out of Dr. Strangelove.
     
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  13. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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  14. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    Ever since my cousin showed me this new college thing called Facebook, I was warning people that there is an inherent flaw with quantifying popularity.

    Look at my profile guys, I've received +157 on this website. I feel so fucking validated for cracking Todd Howard jokes all the time. :roll:

    (But really I do, keep the smiley faces coming, bitches.)
     
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  15. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    I've made Facebook 4 months ago. I had actual reasons for doing so considering my education.
    It has advantages, I must admit, but almost none of those have anything to do with friendly communication.
     
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  16. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    It's a psychologically addictive piece of software, not unlike a slot machine or a free to play app, which is touted by its creator as a revolutionary communication tool. We already have phones, emails, and video conferencing. Social media is not only unnecessary but detrimental to public health and societal stability.

    The most sickening part is that people like Zuckerberg are fully aware of the damage they are doing at this point, they're just too fucking deep in the hole to crawl back out. Mountains of cash flowing in from ad revenue certainly doesn't incentivize changing the strategy any time soon, either.

    And people thought the fucking tabacco companies were evil.
     
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  17. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    I quit smoking 2 years ago, and I quit FB shortly after. The sensations were remarkably similar. Ceasing the ritualistic check-up on FB made quite the impact, after having it so ingrained in my behavior.
    Still, when peering over someones shoulder when they're on their FB, I get a weird feeling seeing that red notifications thingy up in the top bar
     
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  18. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008


     
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  19. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Dark side in da houssah

    Nov 22, 2009
    Tobacco companies ARE evil. Ever met anyone who died of lung cancer due to smoking?

    But yea, the whole social media -thing is mostly BS. I hope Atomkilla or someone comes up with a better and nicer social media.
     
  20. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    They don't have to explain it.

    They choose to explain it.

    There are no legal penalties, there is no force involved, they choose to respond to criticism in whatever way they choose.

    Outrage is not censorship. When people respond to outrage, however they respond to it is their fault, not the fault of the critics they are responding to.

    This whole idea that the moment anyone takes offence or shows outrage is equivalent to "Censorship" is ridiculous.

    This crying "Censorship" any time someone recieves any backlash whatsoever will create a Cry Wolf affect, and I'm worried that actual censorship will go under the radar because of people misusing the word.