Comment Of The Day: Poll-Fest: Is This Ethnic Humor Offensive?
On the bright side for them, is the most anyone has cared about “The Simpsons” since I had a flip-phone.
Charles, this is an accurate comment, however, it begs the question “How many individuals have to find something offensive before action is taken?” Case in point…if 99% of Native Americans find “The Washington Redskins” offensive, the owner of the team might want to take action. If, on the other hand, 4 people in an obscure and near-extinct nation in Arizona are offended, there is probably no real need to take action. Obviously, this is an over-simplification, but one that has, I think, some validity.
My dad grew up in a turn of the (last) century immigrant household and neighborhood where the jokes on their own culture were considered funnier than any others — largely as a result, they were un-offendable by all humor, though mostly only their own was considered funny, and the rest, insults included and barring physical attack, was taken with about 7,300 kgs of cast irony. I learned the definition of that word from asking my dad, who had graduated <summa cum laude from Columbia University why his terse rejection letter from their medical school admissions office [“Our Jewish quota is filled until 193-.”] always made him laugh. “After I became a star,” he said, referring to his field of medicine, “they wanted me to come and teach there.” “And you said ‘no,’ right?” “Of course not,” he said. “I wrote back and told them a fortune teller had told me not to cross any great body of water, or else!, so I couldn’t get to them on the other side of the Hudson. And you know what? Not one year later, one of the group that had asked for me came up to me at a conference in Chicago and reminded me that I could always ‘take the Tunnel’.” I heard more than one version of that story as I was growing up (this was my favorite), the only constant being a great sense of satisfaction. And I think the irony being that he had already attained honors in his field that outshone the achievements of the school that had rejected him (perhaps the class he might have been in) — things we didn’t hear about until after his death. But I never knew him to be
“offended” by that, however hurtful it must have been. And I know his ability to make close acquaintances, if not true friendships, with people who didn’t look or think or act like him, can be traced to his life experiences. I also can look objectively at my mom and feel sorry for her in her perpetually oversensitive offendable state.
First, the poll results!
Now here is Charles Green’s Comment of the Day on the post, Poll-Fest: Is This Ethnic Humor Offensive?