(by Alissa Fleck)
The controversy over comedian Daniel Tosh’s recent comments toward an audience member at The Laugh Factory in L.A. got a lot of people’s blood boiling on both sides of the debate. Tosh responded to the woman, who called out “rape jokes are never funny” during a set comprised of rape jokes, by further pursuing the subject:
“Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now?” said Tosh.
Supporters came out on Tosh’s side, defending their freedom of speech, while arguments in protest also ran the gamut. It’s not that you can’t joke about horrible things, argued many, it’s that it’s completely unproductive to joke about horrible things in a tasteless, threatening way. I’m no comedian but I like to think I have a sense of humor, and I quickly whipped up a list of 12 alternately hilarious subjects. Sure, they’re not as provocative or loaded as rape, but I believe true creativity lies in rendering the subtle or everyday humorous, rather than perpetuating negative ideologies of the status quo for easy laughs.
1. People falling off treadmills
2. Sun face tattoos
3. The fact that someone has dedicated so much time to this toilet paper alternatives blog.
“IDK MY BFF JILL,” “It’s my money and I want it now,” “Geico’s ‘Tiny House,’” “no one pays me in gum”
5. Airline food (amIright?)
6. Garbage flying up and hitting people in the face
7. People spontaneously vomiting
8. Conspiracy theories (i.e. is Subway Jared an Atlantean Big Foot?)
12. The scene in The Fly where Jeff Goldblum comes out and his body parts are just all falling off (no? only me?)
Granted, while accumulating this list I struggled to look beyond internet fads/memes, which maybe means the bigger story is in the age of rampant virtual social networking, our society’s humor as a whole has drastically suffered. Or, rather than with the internet as a visual aid we’re becoming lazier jokers (everyone thinks they’re a comedian now), the internet is merely updating how we joke (faster, mass-produced, and less thought-out).
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