Nathan Macintosh

Album 'To The Point' out now everywhere! 8 Tracks. 21 minutes. Debuted #1 on Canadian iTunes and #12 on American iTunes!

Website for comedian Nathan Macintosh! Seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Conan on TBS and Just For Laughs!

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Filtering by Category: "Boston Marathon"

Waiting a day.

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."
Jokes 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.

I'm 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."

If you 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.
"Wow, 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!"
Again, 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.

These 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?"
"Who's 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 pen?"
These jokes are never written with the intent to help people, they are written to raise your own profile. 

People 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?"
Simply 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 Boston?
"Hey, you hear about the marathon explosions?"
"...Are we allowed to be talking?"
No. People talk about what happens where they live unless where they live is in a small town where nothing happens. Then they talk about everything.
"Hey, Tom. You hear about what's going on in India?"
"Of 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."
Also, 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."

Personally, 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?

twitter @nathanmacintosh