The line between comedy and tragedy was put on full display on Facebook the past few weeks. Hurricanes. Mass Shootings. Comedians and internet trolls alike made tasteless jokes about tragic events. And while many can debate can they, the true question is should they?
The great argument of “free speech” and don’t “restrict art” may or may not apply. While I don’t have all the answers, I can say I did unfriend a comic I didn’t know for making jokes on Facebook about the Vegas shooting.
While his joke was corny, it was his attitude about how it was okay that bothered me.
I understand his “right.” I just don’t think it was right.
While “normal people” don’t make jokes about 60 people being brutally shot to death and 500 injured, comedians walk a different path. Their lives are drenched in mystique of tragedy and loneliness. While not all, many take that cross upon themselves to bear. So when these acts against humanity come, they don’t empathize the same way.
Art — whether it’s drawing, clothing, music, acting, or the spoken word — can tap you into emotions more deeply than ever. But those who create art can create a blurry line in their life.
Somewhere between writing the truth, finding the truth, and creating the truth, the artist can get lost in a labryth. Also, since so much of art is personal and vulnerable, the artist can forget that not everyone is as open to discussing or joking about their tragedy.
Richard Pryor did that better than anyone. Leaving nothing about his life off the table. Here’s a joke about him setting himself on fire after taking too many drugs.
Most people aren’t that comfortable with laughing at their own tragedy. But most people also aren’t comfortable telling jokes on stage either.
Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.