What if I laugh when I shouldn't?

I've been thinking a bit about things that I will laugh at, then think about, and think that I shouldn't actually think it's funny.

Here's an example:

See, on the one hand, I actually laughed at this ("What the hell's a bedazzler?"). On the other hand, I'm fully aware that it plays on a shit-load of gay stereotypes.

To their credit (or not -- I'm just not sure about this one), they didn't use a kid who was, to my mind, absolutely 100% verifiably a FOF (part of my new candy line: "FOFs and DOTs" -- Fags of the Future and Dykes of Tomorrow).

My gut sense is that this is supposed to be a joke about cultural attitudes, rather than gays themselves, but I found myself hesitating when thinking about posting a link to some of my straight friends. I would assume that they would follow my lead in terms of thinking it was funny if I said something like: "Watch this! Funny!" -- but that seems unfair to me somehow.

I received a link to that video from a dyke friend. She thought it was funny, and told me so when she forwarded the link. I laughed, too.

But now, I'm wondering if I was laughing in connection with my friend (whose sense of humor I completely enjoy), or because the video was actually funny.

This plays out in terms of what I call my "wit-demons" -- sometimes I'll post a comment just to "be funny".

I like funny.

I think humor can be an incredible tool for changing consciousness.

I notice though, these subtle halts when I'm about to email a certain link . . . . tiny little "uh-ohs" that tell me that I should probably look again.

A friend once told me that he thought that Joni's lyric "laughing and crying, it's all the same release" was literally true, and that most humor was centered around some kind of painful truth -- that something literally could not be funny unless it held that seed of truth -- and that what determined our response to the painful truth of the "joke" was whether we are connecting to that truth (which results in crying -- "Yes, that's true -- and that's me! Ouch!") -- or are disconnecting from that truth (laughing "Yes, that's true -- and thank god I'm not like that! Ha Ha!")

I do not, by any means, have this figured out. I just noticed it, and wanted to post today, so this is what I'm posting today.

What makes you laugh? Do you know why it makes you laugh?

Posted byPortlyDyke at 9:22 PM  


Phydeaux Speaks said... June 17, 2007 at 1:31 PM  

That "commercial" made me laugh, because, while it did espouse gay stereotypes, it turned the straight responses to those stereotypes on their heads. Especially the white trash family - complete with Rebel flag curtains! - not being concerned with Son's sexual preference, but rather the money involved in supporting him.

On the other hand, I can also see why many people might think that it is not only not funny, but also offensive. But, you know, stereotypes are like cliches - they are because they exist, ya know?

Moira said... June 18, 2007 at 9:21 AM  

Because of course there's only one "gay," and that's male, femme, and flaming. There aren't butch gay men, and homosexual women don't exist at all except for like two syllables. No, not funny.

Petulant said... June 19, 2007 at 4:49 PM  

I found it funny, but not LOL, more like a slight guffaw and amusement. Humor takes many forms that others find offensive. When a friend's three year old little girl told me she wanted to pluck out my eyes and put black lipstick on me, I laughed my ass off. Her mother did not,especially when I started making jokes about a savings account for her therapy bills.

I do not see the harm in laughing at stereotypes- as physeaux (heehee) mentioned they do exist. The gay people who filmed the video wanted to have fun with the sometimes traumatic event of coming out and they succeeded.

Everything cannot be serious all the time and as you mentioned humor helps us. I also believe that everyone is deserving of mockery because we are all IMBECILES in the scheme of things.

TheCunningRunt said... June 23, 2007 at 9:44 PM  

At the risk of sounding like a goddam Ditto-Head... ditto!

I see this sort of humor as being to homosexuality as Sasha Baron Cohen's humor is to being Jewish - it's a critique of the bigotry of society rather than the state of being gay.

Of course, I find almost EVERYTHING funny, maybe 'cause I'm fairly secure in my understanding of What I Believe. Does that make sense?

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