Lately I've been hearing jokes form people that are kind of offensive and it's like they're completely oblivious to it. It's weird.
Ellen Degeneres made "jokes" on her show recently by attempting to read Chinese names she purposely mispronounced in English. The names were from fans of her show. Imagine your name being read aloud by someone you admire on national television... to make fun of your name.
My sister has also been making off-color jokes lately. She said she wanted to design a "cool" outfit that was a straight jacket butler's outfit. I said, "So you want to combine the notion of someone suffering from a mental disorder who wants to end their life and/or the lives of others and therefore has to be restrained AND someone in servitude or a role of catering to someone else's needs. That's not insensitive. It's like saying, "You're a slave to your disorder... But the outfit looks so Dark and Awesome!!!"
She said I was being too sensitive. Then she's been passing puns around with another guy she worked with and asked me to pick from a list of one's she found and liked to figure out which one to send him via email. Of the 22 jokes, I found 3 ok, 2 stupid, and the rest WRONG. Here are some of the most offensive:
1. I heard two peanuts walked into a park... one was a-salted!
-Given the climate of gang attacks and rapes happening not exactly a tasteful joke
2. The midget psychic escaped prison. He was a small medium at large.
-Clever wording, but VERY wrong on several levels
3. Three Cannibal jokes. Given that cannibalism is a crime that's becoming more frequent -STILL not a great idea to joke about it.
4. A couple jokes about disorders like amnesia, fainting, physical deformity, sign language...
5. A couple jokes making fun of criminal activity in general.
Am I crazy or is there an issue here? What's weird is someone made a joke the other day about suicide. My sister lost it and was deeply offended. When she handed me these puns like they were no big deal I said, "How can you defend these kinds of jokes when the joke about suicide someone made the other day hurt you?" She rolled her eyes at me and said that was a completely different situation. It's always different when you ignore the pain you are joking about. If it comes at someone's expense -it's offensive.
It's like all the Jeffrey Dahmer jokes there are around. I know 2 songs by women who mention them. "I'll eat your heart like Jeffrey Dahmer". when those crimes came out it wasn't a joke. Today it'd be like joking about cops beating and killing a black kid who's unarmed and has done nothing wrong. You're making light of something dark -and NOT in a good way.
I think -especially at this point in time -we should just be more Mindful of things being said and offenses being made. I know I could do with a little less sexist jokes about women. That'd be nice.