I had a whole blog post written in my head about the Onion using the "c-word" during the Oscars, and how I wish there was something in our culture that could remain beyond reproach, beneath contempt, and above board... but then I realized something. As much as I think the tweet was the perfect encapsulation of my generation's post-everything sense of humor (and therefore perfect in its depravity), there are some things I don't get to have an opinion about.
I may have a perspective, but being who I am, a dude, a white dude, a white dude of privilege, the philosophy behind the Onion's tweet also inherently dictates that I have no business defending it. And thus.
Posted by Ian Williams at February 25, 2013 11:30 PM
I thought the tweet was perfectly executed irony. It was exactly the opposite of what everyone was thinking about that little girl. Also it used the word cunt, which I find funny. Thus, I found the tweet hilarious. But I like humor that goes over the edge. That's why I always cackle at your brother, who back in the day I dubbed One-Too-Far Sean.
Anyway, I can see how people might have found it offensive, but I didn't.
My own philosophy is that it's impossible for something to be offensive to me if it is justifiably funny. Of course funny is subjective, but in capable hands, offensive humor can reach levels of hilarity not possible for pedestrian amusement. This is a fine line to toe, however, and if the funny is not equal to the offensiveness, then you're left with something like *Truly Tasteless Jokes* or Andrew Dice Clay. What always amuses me is when "the offended" miss the whole focus of the joke. Like in this case: the point of the joke was not to make fun of a little girl, but to skewer the gushing entertainment media industry. Was the funny up to the offensiveness in this case? Probably not, which is perhaps one of the reasons for the apology. The best example of this for me is the film *Blazing Saddles*. I'm not sure which is sadder, racists who miss the joke entirely and giggle at the surface of the movie, or the PC offended who tutter about over the language and subject matter . . . and also miss the joke entirely.
It wasn't funny to me. It was truly offensive. And, coming on a night when the Academy Awards seemed devoted to saying that women are nothing more than breasts, vaginas and bodies, it just added to the load.
And, it comes on the heels of an extraordinary period of time in which our rights to those bodies are under daily attack as one state after another tells us than we have to have unnecessary vaginal ultrasounds or that our right to abortions are restricted. A time in which the Violence against Women" Act is not passed because it might include lesbians and illegal immigrants and, god knows. We don't want to keep those people from being beaten.
So, I find myself in the humorless community on this. I realize I risk looking "uncool" and too PC and part of the stereotypical feminist community that has no sense of fun. But, there I am.
On the other hand, it has caused my 16 year old son and I to have a great discussion on what is and isn't permissible in humor.
I also think that as a husband, and especially as a father of a daughter, not only do you have a right to an opinion, you almost have an obligation. Even if I might disagree with you opinions, I think you have to be part of the discussion.