What is humor???

December 3, 2012 1:07pm
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So I guess you could say that I got a little riled up last night by this post, though afterwards I was later tipped off that it was actually intended to be a joke.

The thing is, I’m still not laughing, and the more I thought about it, it got me wondering … is a joke still a joke if you don’t find it funny?

I didn’t intend to make it a philosophical discussion or anything, but humor is definitely a subjective matter and there are certainly types of humor that I don’t personally find funny, but still would qualify them as humor in general. Case in point is pretty much every Tyler Perry movie ever made – I don’t think that kind of humor is funny, but clearly a lot of people do and the man has been very successful with his career, so I have no problem qualifying that as comical even though it doesn’t make me personally laugh.

I guess the issue I take with this and some other political humor that I’ve seen recently is … not only is it just blatantly not true, but it’s an exaggeration of something that’s blatantly not true.

Just looking at the first “reason” on the list – “I voted Democratic because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I now may marry my Labrador.” Gay marriage has never been about this, even though the folks against it love to paint their slippery slope which results in people being able to marry furniture and farm animals and imaginary friends as a consequence of also allowing men to marry other men and women to marry other women.

Is the reason why I don’t find that funny because it feels like a poke in the face of a serious civil rights issue that seems ridiculous that we even have to fight over it in the first place?

On one hand, I’ve never been one to think that there are really any topics that are truly “off limits” for a good-natured ribbing, but maybe it’s just that it only applies with the right kind of joke. I think that makes sense – I don’t care if you make fun of rape if you make the right kind of joke, but make the wrong one and you end up looking like an asshole.

Then again, I’m sure that there are plenty of rape victims who would strongly argue that no rape joke is an acceptable rape joke … again, it’s very subjective to the individual hearing the joke.

That’s tough for a guy like me who’s supposed to run a humor site that appeals to many different senses of humor because though I’d run a promo for a new Tyler Perry movie or possibly even this hypothetical rape joke, I don’t think I could ever bring myself to share something like Twelve Reasons Why I Voted Democratic as a legitimate humor offering because I guess I can’t help but think that anyone who thinks that is actually funny is an idiot.

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