I want to talk about offending people. About the invisible line between making a joke and hurting someone’s feelings. In my opinion, a joke is only funny if you’re not the only one who thinks it is. If it’s meant to make people laugh, and not to upset them.
Recently I’ve heard some ‘jokes’ that truly disgusted me, from people I thought would know better. Some aimed at my mental health and my appearance (I’m aware I have a big nose, get over it, I have), some aimed at my family (people who know me know that I’m fiercely protective), others aimed at people I’ve never met. I’ve had people take what I told them in confidence and make them into a ‘joke’ for their own amusement, to get a reaction, no matter how much it hurts me. People I trusted, and who I thought were my friend. If I don’t joke about a personal issue, what makes someone think they have the right to joke about it themselves? What gives someone the right to make me into a joke? And are their lives really that unfulfilled that they have to get their kicks by kicking other people? (Metaphorically, obviously).
It’s made me question the world we live in, and the people I choose to associate myself with. How can someone so easily make a joke out of someone else’s misfortune? It’s a complete mystery to me. It’s 2016, and the world is screwed up enough. You would think people would look out for each other and not bring them down. It’s time we stop bringing other people down and start bringing them up.
The majority of the time you have no idea who a ‘joke’ is going to affect, who is going to find it upsetting and who is going to really take it personally. Unless you do know, which makes it even worse.
Now I have a fair bit of training in comedy, so I feel like I can gauge what people are going to laugh at, and what they’re going to cringe uncomfortably at. There’s a difference between being a ‘controversial comedian’ and being cruel. There’s a difference between ‘dark humour’ and being an asshole.
Don’t be that guy.
Don’t be an asshole.