Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It Starts With A Butterfly Joke

Just the other day my friend and I were talking about comedy and comedians getting into trouble for saying things that were considered offensive. We talked about not being as offended by things as adults as we were when we were younger as well as the intent of jokes.

I woke up to a series of over 50 tweets from comedian Patton Oswalt that starts with an old joke and ends in a great way. If you have the time, check it out. I have condensed it into an easier way to read it because fuck reading, right? No one has time for that shit! Just reading what you just did has already caused you to lose precious time that could have been spent on making yourself a better person. You can scroll away. Its fine. I understand. No, there are no more pictures to look at in this post. That is the only one. The rest are just words. Lots of wordy words. 

Q: Why did the man* throw* butter* out of the window*? A: He wanted to see* butter fly*! "Man" in my previous Tweet should not be construed as privileged, misogynist or anti-trans. Nor should there be ANY assumption of said man's race or religion. It could be an African American man, Asian, or any one of the vast multi-cultural mosaic which make up the world we live in today. "Man" was simply an archaic placeholder for the "subject" of the joke, and thus should not denote privilege nor exclude any sexuality, religion, nationality or offend any feelings the joke listener may or may not have or have ever experienced in the past.

Furthermore, the action of "throwing" is NOT meant in any way to imply an exclusion of the differently abled, or even someone who may have ever felt excluded from or knows someone who was thus excluded. And the choice of "butter" as the object being thrown was in NO WAY an insult to those with a strict lacto-vegan diet or ANYONE who may be lactose intolerant, might KNOW someone who is lactose-intolerant (or knows someone who is ka to-vegan) or may meet someone of those two persuasions anytime in the future.

Also, "butter" does not mean the joke-teller is unaware of or insensitive to the abuses in our current factory-farming dairy industry, including neglect of animals or additions of hormones, pesticides or other contaminants. Also, PLEASE accept this pre-emptive apology if the word "butter" was a trigger for any time in the past the joke recipient may have been called a "butter face" or knows someone who was insulted in such a fashion. Aesthetic shaming is real and bullying hurts us all. Also, again, privilege.

What else?

Oh yes... "Out the window" was NOT meant as any sort of insult to the homeless population, in that the phrase "out the window" could EASILY be construed as placing the butter-thrower in a house which the butter thrower owns. The triggering potential for "out the window" is not to be underestimated. Nor should the act of THROWING AWAY food, which can be read as a violent, corporate-centric status maneuver. Privilege. Privilege. Privilege? PRIVILEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'nnn.

The pronoun "he" in the 2nd part of the joke should, again, NOT be taken as a patriarchal assumption. Parts 28 through 36 will simply be the word "problematic" for your use in any other interpretation of the pronoun "he" problematic. (repeated 8 times) "See" is, we all know, VERY POTENTIALLY TRIGGERING to any seeing impaired or blind people hearing the joke. And, again, a pre-emotive apology is meekly offered. And the fact that Twitter does NOT offer a Braille version of its website is part of a larger problem which the joke was IN ABSOLUTELY NO WAY making light of. Finally, the fact the man wanted to see butter "fly" implies a flippant attitude towards mental illness or the subjects lack of abstract or symbolic/empathetic thought which was NOT the aim of the joke or the joke teller.

But context, as we know, does not matter. Only individual words and feelings do, so as always, and from now on, no matter what the intent, aim, or satirical content the deepest apology is offered to ANYONE ANYWHERE for ANY REASON WHATSOEVER who found any offense in the previous joke. Jokes should always entertain. EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO HEARS THEM. A simple series of clarifying post-joke Tweets like the ones I just sent out will insure EVERYONE a gentle, comforting chuckle.

Welcome to comedy in 2015, Trevor Noah! Also, the "come" part of "welcome" shouldn't be construed in a "faggy" way. 

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