Sometimes a joke is just a joke

Graphic by Serena Truong
Graphic by Serena Truong

When I was growing up, I was the class clown.

I would do and say funny things for a laugh. Even to this day, when I go to work at the Wilmot Recreation Complex in Baden, I waltz in with a comedic smile and banter to make our shifts go by more smoothly.

But in recent years, especially at university, I’ve noticed that when I make a joke, people look at me the wrong way for using a certain word.

Political correctness has turned from a good idea, when you are not mean to those who can’t defend themselves, to a point where no one wants to offend anyone anymore.

This has effectively made our generation a bunch of super-sensitive, ignorant dolts that do not know how to take a joke.

How did university turn into a time when you could explore and learn about yourself, to a time when pampered, spoiled, entitled brats get mad because of a joke?

It’s as if those kinds of people have something shoved where the sun doesn’t shine.

It’s time for a reality check: everyone gets made fun of for something and it is never 100 per cent fair.

I should know: I was bullied from elementary school to high school by morons using the same jokes and kicked me when I was down, figuratively and physically speaking.

That’s not to say that jokes aimed at hurting people are okay — racist, homophobic and misogynistic jokes, as well as jokes that marginalize certain groups, shouldn’t be the norm.

But getting offended by every joke is a waste of energy for everyone involved.

The point of comedy and humour isn’t, as the PC police will tell you, to be cruel or nasty.

The whole point of comedy is that it is critical and it over-exaggerates.

All jokes, in some fashion or other, are going to be critical.

It points out the humanity in ourselves and helps in getting over tragedy. When you take away the ability to be critical and unwillingness to offend anyone, humor is gone.

To comedian John Cleese, if that is the case, we might as well be living in 1984, George Orwell’s totalitarian nightmare.

The whole notion of being politically correct is that it is trying to protect everyone from anything uncomfortable. Robin Skynner, a psychiatrist from London, once said, “If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior.”

Once you start to control people’s behaviour, language, or opinion just because you don’t like it or find it uncomfortable, then you have started a dictatorship. If all of society is like that, it will become the totalitarian nightmare like in 1984 and being pampered and spoiled started it all.

Now I would be a hypocrite to say that I was not pampered and spoiled. I had my parents pay for my schooling. The difference was, I was raised to live life and not to worry about little micro-aggressions like “being offended”.

We have two choices: either get the politically correct stick out of our rear ends, or continue to live in a world where if speech isn’t sanitized or censored, you get in trouble.

To again quote my favourite comedian George Carlin: “Political Correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.”

So, if you like telling people to control what they say, cannot take a joke and are a fan of fascism or dictatorship, then go move to United States. I believe they just elected a guy who kept a copy of Hitler’s speeches at his bedside.

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