Jokes. People tell them all the time. When someone falls on his or
her face, when a friend does something stupid. When your girlfriend gets
a parking ticket.
"Wow, you parked there without looking at the signs? Should have gotten two tickets."
ease tension, calm situations and make things generally okay. These are
usually done with people you know, though, about situations that are
not life changing. When tragedies hit, people involved in them would not
be making jokes. Not to friends, not to other people involved. But
people online? Seems to be the first move.
not saying that I don't think jokes should not be written about
tragedies. I think they should. I don't see it as a bad thing, but –
could we wait a day? Okay, with technology the way it is, a day is
probably too long. An hour? Could we at least wait an hour? I saw a lot
of the jokes, and I thought some were funny, but again, the first
thought has to be how can I make this funny? That first hour, let's
chill. Just write them down and pound them all out sixty minutes from
the time of the event.
"Cool, an hour has gone by. I've
written three pages of jokes. Twitter's gonna hate me for this, but here
we go, seventy-eight tweets in a row."
were there and you had seen the explosion, people thrown around, would
your first thought be, "Man, what is hilarious about this?" No, because
if you were in the situation, you would care. When it's on a screen? We
don't view it as anything. Can't we have some empathy for people? Why
write jokes as people are still lying on the ground? While people are
still bleeding. While people are still running around freaking out.
that looks like a pretty insane situation... wait, was that guy who
blew up wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt? Whoa, ho ho! Joke time!"
I think jokes are great. I think there can be jokes made about any and
every situation. But right away? First thing? This is just my opinion,
but I think things should be sat on for a minute.
jokes are never for the victims either. They're not written to help
them. If jokes were what they needed right away, then the EMTs
rushing onto the scene with bandages and painkillers, would also be holding a bag of one-liners.
"Breathe, breathe! You've just
been in an accident. I'm going to elevate your legs and while I'm doing
that, peruse through this bag of jokes about what has just happened to
you written by 'rationalminded' on Twitter."
"...What? Why would I do that?"
the EMT here, sir? Now this is going to sound weird, but the only way
to fix that broken arm is to use it to write limericks. Do you have a
These jokes are never written with the intent to help
people, they are written to raise your own profile.
who write jokes about these things immediately, usually use the argument when people start to care about a tragedy that other tragedies
are going on in the world that you are not talking about.
"There is stuff happening all over the world. Why care about this? What's the big deal with this one?"
that it's close to home. Sounds terrible, but that's how it is. Do you
think people in North Korea were discussing what was happening in
"Hey, you hear about the marathon explosions?"
"...Are we allowed to be talking?"
People talk about what happens where they live unless where they live
is in a small town where nothing happens. Then they talk about
"Hey, Tom. You hear about what's going on in India?"
course I have, Ted. It's either read about that or stare out my window
at some trees. That reminds me, did I tell you that there is a new
squirrel living in my backyard?"
"A new squirrel? You don't say."
the people who come at the argument with an aggressive 'Well, things
happen all over the world, you care about it happening here but not on
the other side of the earth?' NEVER care about any of it. They think
you're dumb for caring or asking about a specific tragedy when the world
is full of them, but they are never people who volunteer, donate money,
help charities. Nothing. Just try to tell you how dumb you are for
caring about anything.
People say that you
should be able to deal with tragedy any way you want. Sure. Fair enough.
But if you're writing jokes about a tragedy, you are probably not
affected by said tragedy. I'm sure that people who were there, or had
family there, were not sitting at their computers trying to come up with
a hilarious quip in under 140 characters.
"Oh, man, my
brother was in that race! Let's see. 'My brother always wanted to have
an explosive running career. He got it!' There we go. Now, I'll go see
if he's okay."
The people who are writing jokes probably don't
have any ties to the event. It's the rest of us. Who have nothing to do
with it, who write jokes about such things. And I get it. It's gonna
happen. If it were the other way around, people would be writing jokes
about the tragedy you're involved in. To say that jokes about tragedies
during them helps, who does it help? Does it help the other people
writing jokes? Does it help the victims?
"Hey, looks like you lost a hand, but look at this tweet from a guy who has no attachment to this at all..."
"Oww.... oh, man. That is pretty funny. Oww."
when there is a big tragedy, some sort of act of terror, I think that
we should have a technology snow day. Just take a day, get off of the
internet and spend time with the world. Because nobody who was running
in the Boston Marathon would have EVER thought something insane like
that was going to happen. All that shows is that anything can happen.
You have no idea if you'll be involved in something like that. So a
tragedy like that should remind people to hang out and appreciate what's
going on in your life.
Not that it matters, but when
something tragic happens, I get off of Twitter completely. Jokes seem
weird, saying anything not related to the tragedy seems weird, and also,
it could have been us. Why not take a minute to enjoy life?