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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kruss View Post
    I can see your point; I guess my bottom line is that if a "joke" really hurts someone, it's not funny.
    I have written about this before in other contexts so I've thought about it a lot ... I think that humor is tricky. I do think it's okay to offend with humor. However, in the case of humor that hurts, I do think that, if people are hurt, they can say "hey, that's not funny." But the people being hurt are the ones who get to say if something is funny or not. Other people don't get to decide that for them just like other people don't get to say "lighten up, it's just a joke." So in this case, it really is Jews and Holocaust victims of which I am neither. If they say it's not funny, then that's that. At the same time, if they say "lighten up, it's just a joke" and it seems like a lot of them have, then that's that too.

    In the same vein, given that Joan is Jewish, this is why I get to say that she gets to tell such a joke. (Note: I didn't say it was funny. In fact, I freely admit it: I didn't get her joke.) But if tons of Holocaust victims were to protest her joke and say it wasn't funny, then I think that trumps her being Jewish. Because she's not a Holocaust victim and they are. I haven't heard of them doing that though.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  2. #82
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    I really know how tricky it is.

    I worked at the Holocaust Museum in DC, as I've posted before. Before the opening, there was some discussion (there was ALWAYS discussion...the place was a cross between a university, the federal government and a Jewish organization!) about whether the cafe would be kosher, dairy, regular....

    One night after working too late before the opening a bunch of us came up with the right menu. It was horrible. The one I remember was Anne-Frankfurter-on-a-bun.

    So there you go, black humor that kept us sane after years of working with this topic. I guess if I didn't think Joan Rivers wasn't a classless comic long past her sell-by date, I would have been more amused by her comment.

    But I have to say after all these years, when I drive by in the spring and still see long lines outside, I'm touched by how many people want to learn about the Holocaust. The people who have said to me, I'm sorry, I just can't visit that place -- them I understand. I think if I were not brought up in the midst of it, as it were, I would never have gone near the whole subject.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

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    As I said, I am not Jewish, and therefore cannot react as a survivor/child/grandchild. I cannot react as someone who is Jewish. However, I am human and can react to the concept of what was done. I have been to Auschwitz. I have walked through the gates, knowing I could leave. I have been in the gas chamber, the crematorium. I've seen the shooting wall where the non-Jewish Polish political prisoners were shot. I have been in the former barracks and seen the rooms full of clothing, hair, eyeglasses, prosthetic devices. I have seen the photos and records of Mengele's experiments. The records with names of the incoming prisoners. Having been there, it is very hard for me to find humor in a joke about the victims. I do not believe that makes me insensitive to understanding the horror. I believe it means that I know how very real it is. It is a horror and pain that will never end. I can understand the need for the victims to have used humor to survive. But, that time has passed. There should be a reverence for those who perished. We certainly would not make jokes about those who died on 9/11. Why is it alright to make Holocaust jokes?

  4. #84
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    I'm prepared to believe that humor was used by the targets of the Nazis but I've also read a lot of Holocaust literature written by survivors. It's the terror and confusion and pain that comes across. How their descendants can joke about it escapes me.
    3539 and counting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    As I said, I am not Jewish, and therefore cannot react as a survivor/child/grandchild. I cannot react as someone who is Jewish. However, I am human and can react to the concept of what was done. I have been to Auschwitz. I have walked through the gates, knowing I could leave. I have been in the gas chamber, the crematorium. I've seen the shooting wall where the non-Jewish Polish political prisoners were shot. I have been in the former barracks and seen the rooms full of clothing, hair, eyeglasses, prosthetic devices. I have seen the photos and records of Mengele's experiments. The records with names of the incoming prisoners. Having been there, it is very hard for me to find humor in a joke about the victims. I do not believe that makes me insensitive to understanding the horror. I believe it means that I know how very real it is. It is a horror and pain that will never end. I can understand the need for the victims to have used humor to survive. But, that time has passed. There should be a reverence for those who perished. We certainly would not make jokes about those who died on 9/11. Why is it alright to make Holocaust jokes?
    This. I've mentioned this before, but my father's father's side of the family is Jewish, and my grandfather did serve in WWII, so my father is a scholar of WWII for both those reasons. I can remember watching part of War and Remembrance with him one time, the scene where Aaron Jastrow is talking about the whys of Jewish suffering. Dad has read the books (WAR and Winds of War) and has watched both mini-series on DVD, which he owns, countless times, yet I STILL saw him going for the tissues as we were watching that scene. And then when you watch the death camp scenes with the knowledge that most of the extras were actual survivors, filming those scenes where it all took place...

    IMO, it's just not something to be joked about, in any sense.
    Last edited by Karina1974; 03-05-2013 at 04:16 PM.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    We certainly would not make jokes about those who died on 9/11.
    Why not? I bet some of the survivors make jokes all the time. Gallows humor helps people cope. Just because it's not something you would do doesn't mean no one does or should do it.
    Last edited by MacMadame; 03-05-2013 at 09:31 PM.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    We certainly would not make jokes about those who died on 9/11. Why is it alright to make Holocaust jokes?
    I think a person that had actually survived being at ground zero can make a joke about 9-11 and justify that he has a right to do it. It has not happened yet but would not surprise me if we hear a 9-11 joke in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Why not? I bet some of the survivors make jokes all the time. Gallows humor helps people cope. Just people it's not something you would do doesn't mean no one does or should do it.
    Making a joke about it on the national level has not happened. I'm sure people make tactless jokes among themselves all the time but doing it for millions to hear is another matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    I think a person that had actually survived being at ground zero can make a joke about 9-11 and justify that he has a right to do it.
    I've never understood the idea that some people have the "right" to make jokes because they are one of the people that survived something or belong to a particular group. What if the other 9/11 survivors, their families and those who did what they could to help that day don't find it funny? What if it's hurtful to them, reopening wounds and impeding their healing process, or belittling what they went through, and in some cases, may still be going through?

    As for racist jokes made by people of that race (or ethnic group, or religion etc), again others may not share their humour, and not appreciate that stereotypes or prejudices they've fought hard to overcome are being given a platform and trivialized.

    Plus, I think to say that some people can do this and some people can't do that just further divides us as a people. There are many reasons to celebrate our differences, but I don't think this is one of them.

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    I agree but we do not love in an idealistic world. At least in the U. S., it is not ok for a straight person to use the F word, but some gays will use that among themselves. A white person better not use the N word out loud, but some blacks will refer to another black person as that, etc.

  11. #91
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    9/11 Jokes

    FYI...more than one of these made me say, "Ohmigod!!!"
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    D@MN you, Peter.

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    I agree but we do not love in an idealistic world. At least in the U. S., it is not ok for a straight person to use the F word, but some gays will use that among themselves. A white person better not use the N word out loud, but some blacks will refer to another black person as that, etc.
    And I wish they would not do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    D@MN you, Peter.
    So you're Ms. Sensitive now? (P.S. I will try to refrain from using mind control in the future to make you open up and then read over random links...)
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    There should be a reverence for those who perished. We certainly would not make jokes about those who died on 9/11. Why is it alright to make Holocaust jokes?
    actually joan was the first mainstream comedian to publicly make a 911 joke iirc, she's got all the bases covered
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  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I've never understood the idea that some people have the "right" to make jokes because they are one of the people that survived something or belong to a particular group. What if the other 9/11 survivors, their families and those who did what they could to help that day don't find it funny? What if it's hurtful to them, reopening wounds and impeding their healing process, or belittling what they went through, and in some cases, may still be going through?
    I think this is a case where the majority rules... If the majority find it acceptable, then the more is that it's acceptable to that group as a group.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    I think this is a case where the majority rules... If the majority find it acceptable, then the more is that it's acceptable to that group as a group.
    But, we can't poll people before inappropriate jokes and remarks are made. And we really only hear from a few vocal people, after they are made. So, how do we determine if it is acceptable, by the majority, within a group? I believe that if you even suspect that what you are about to say will really hurt someone, don't say it. And that doesn't stem from "political correctness", it stems from being taught as a child, that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything.

  18. #98
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    Well I'm not a famous comedian who makes a living telling jokes so the rules are different for me anyway. I know what is and is not acceptable within my group. And, if I tell a joke, and it gets a bad reaction, I can just say "sorry" and either not tell it again or not tell it around that person (if I have reason to think that person doesn't speak for many or is overly sensitive). And that's the end of it. No articles and editorials and threads on FB and message boards. So it's a completely different situation.

    But professional comedians have a wider audience. Are they suppose to never tell a joke that might hurt anyone's feelings? I mean some people out there are *awfully* sensitive. And others seem to be just looking for something to be offended by.

    Plus what if you tell a joke that makes a skinhead look bad and skinheads everywhere say "my feelings were hurt?" I bet the comedian would probably say "GOOD!"

    Or what if you hate the group that a comedian belongs to so you complain about every joke they tell? Should they just shut up and go away because someone is offended that they even exist?

    I think at some point, a comedian is an artist and art sometimes offends. They have to accept that and they have to make a judgement of what *they* consider acceptable and not acceptable. Then we can make a judgment too about their work... is it funny? is it hurtful? dit it cross some sort of line? And they can change their work based on our judgment or they can tell us to go take a flying leap.

    BUT I just don't think the "never offend anyone" or "never hurt anyone's feelings" standard is remotely reasonable for a professional comedian and I'm not going to hold any of them to it.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Are they suppose to never tell a joke that might hurt anyone's feelings?
    Won't anybody think of poor Mrs. Youngman?!?!?!??!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    I think at some point, a comedian is an artist and art sometimes offends. They have to accept that and they have to make a judgement of what *they* consider acceptable and not acceptable. Then we can make a judgment too about their work... is it funny? is it hurtful? dit it cross some sort of line? And they can change their work based on our judgment or they can tell us to go take a flying leap.
    Agree with this. This is why I can't imagine why any comedian would want to do the Oscars. It's one thing when you have a tv show or movie or stand up routine, and the audience are people who tuned in or bought tickets because they like your humour. But the Oscars is a no-win situation, because the audience is so much broader, tuning in not only for the "show" but because they are movie or fashion or celebrity fans.

    And there's a new challenge for comedians and other artists, and that's of course the internet. In the old days, Joan might say something offensive to some, but it wouldn't go much further than a show review in a newspaper. Now, everything flies around the world in hours, often without any context, and as with just about anything, opinions will range from love it to hate it to everything in between. And even more than that, there are a million platforms to voice those opinions for all the world to hear.

    Yep, putting yourself out there as an artist requires a lot of bravery, and a thick skin I think.

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