A humorous moral(e)

“All jokes are grievances” claimed the media guru Marshall McLuhan… or, if I dare improve on the Master’s kernel of wisdom, “Good jokes are grievances.”

 

A sobering thought to begin a post on humour… but to prove my point that ROTFL kind-of-jokes are really thinly-veiled gripes against perceived wrongs, I did a quick Google search and came up with a handful of “best” gags, jests and jokes as voted by master comedians. To persuade you (and ruin your fun) I labelled them carefully according to the stereotype/prejudice that they imply:

“Happy White People’s Independence Day. The slaves weren’t free, but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.” — Chris Rock on July 4, US Independence Day

Racism

“When a woman doesn’t wanna get married, she’s a weirdo. When a man doesn’t wanna get married, he’s George Clooney.” — Sarah Silverman

Sexism

… And another one… (I am a feminist after all)

“I was watching ‘Annie Hall’ on TV, and my girlfriend came home and started complaining about her office drama. She asked me, ‘Are you tuning me out for ‘Annie Hall?’ I said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. Was your story nominated for seven Academy Awards?’ ” — Sam Morril

“Funny how if I have breakfast in bed I’m ‘romantic,’ but if I also have lunch and dinner in there, I’m ‘suffering from crippling depression.’ ” — Matt Donaher

Mental health stigma

“I don’t think old people are any more racist than the rest of us. I just think they think they’re still whispering.” — Josh Gondelman

Ageism

And last but not least…

“Working in politics for 10 years has taught me one thing: Together, we can do amazing things. But we won’t.” — Jeff Maurer

I’m sure you can all figure that one out!

 

So the moral of the story?

Next time you hear a joke, think before you ROTFL.

For maybe—just maybe—the joke’s spirit might be more “unsettling” than humouring.

 

And next time you crack a joke, use your words wisely:

For humour/satire/cynicism can unveil injustice… or disseminate it.

 

And lest you’re really mad at me for seriously ruining your day…

Really… no one ever warned you that moralists (and Catholics!!!) have no sense of humour??

 

Just kidding! 😉

Nadia Delicata received her theological formation at the Toronto School of Theology, an ecumenical consortium affiliated with the University of Toronto. Her research has deepened progressively on the question of human flourishing: first, on how the desire for flourishing is a natural law grounded in our being created in the image of God, through the dissertation, “A Christology for Christians in the World: The Challenge of Inter-Religious Dialogue as Ethical Praxis”; later, a study of the holistic vision of Christian moral and spiritual formation in the early church, titled, “Scriptural Exegesis in Early Christian Formation: Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John as a Case Study”; and most recently through her doctoral work, “On Becoming a Christian: Towards a Renewal of Contemporary Christian Formation.” Through two Research Fellowships at the University of Toronto, she has explored two pertinent themes on the role of the Christian life in the global village: a hermeneutics of digital culture through the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, and the role of religion in the public sphere through the Centre for the Study of Religion. Through the years, Nadia has presented several papers at conferences and public lectures, in particular on her primary research interest, the challenges to a Christian moral and spiritual formation in the digital age.

One thought on “A humorous moral(e)

  • Reply Ros 19th June 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Depends.. I find wit, that is at times also called intelligent humour.. harmlessly pulling another’s leg within the framework of respecting others’ backgrounds and feelings.. is good for the soul and well-being, and stress-relieving. There is a saying that laughter is the best medicine, and many times this proves to be true. A good laugh without hurting anyone IS possible. Otherwise without a pinch of respect and care, true it can be grievous..

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