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Friday, May 04, 2007

The rules of humor?

A self-confessed middle-aged white guy looked back on the Don Imus affair and decided to write a primer on "How to be funny without being offensive." He also described the rules as "My Rules For Jokes Involving People Who Aren't Like Me."

Here's a sample:
One time a group of us actors was waiting for one of the African-American guys in the cast who was late, and one of the other black guys said, "He's on BMT -- Black Man Time." We all laughed, but if I had said it, then it's ignorant, not funny. It's OK to make fun of your own.

Remember -- there's a difference between racist jokes and jokes about race...What do you call a black guy being chased by a bunch of white guys with clubs? The PGA Tour...Any jokes about drunken Indians or cheap Jews or lazy Mexicans, any jokes where the point is to show a particular group in a bad light -- don't tell 'em. I've yet to hear one that was funny.

The fact is, white people still have the power in this country, and the price we pay for it is being made fun of. So when I hear people say, "Well, if such-and-such a joke/play/comment had been about Asians/women/Muslims instead of whites/Christians/rich people, there'd be outrage all around," I say, "That's right, and there should be." Sorry, fair or not, that's the way it is. A small price to pay for world domination, I think. (emphasis mine throughout)
I think a lot of folks would describe the last bit as "political correctness." Maybe it does seem unfair, but as he says, it's "a small price to pay for world domination."

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