December 7, 2011

"Grammar Nazis" and Joking About Tough Subjects

IMPORTANT: I am terribly sorry if the video clip in the link is seen as offensive by any of my readers, but it is because the video has this potential that I have opted to provide the link rather than showing the actual video on my blog. If you're not comfortable with the content, please don't follow the link.

All that to say, I found this video to be a piece of comic genius. I promise that I am not trying to make light in any way, shape, or form of the travesties that occurred under Nazi rule, but I am rather poking fun at people like myself who sadly fall into the category of "Grammar Nazis." Of course, this particular breed of person could make up a whole post in and of itself . . . but that's for another time.

As I suggested in my post about mockumentaries, I am amazed by the ability of some filmmakers to make humorous and fantastical subject matter seem deathly serious. This short film certainly falls into that category.

Please follow the link to watch the full video on YouTube.

I guess in addition to just sharing with you a post that I found funny, I also want to hear your thoughts on using Nazis as the butt of a joke in this instance.

We all know that the Holocaust is one of the greatest abominations that has occurred in modern history. This being the case, what does joking in its general direction suggest about us?

I can think of two possible reacttions:

1) Joking about tragedies shows irreverence and disrespect. It demonstrates that we do not really care about what happened.
2) Joking about tragedies is a way of coping and illustrates that we have learned from our troubled pasts what not to do.

I am thinking of my close friends who have suffered through sexual abuse, debilitating eating disorders, or the death of a close family member. Some of these people are crushed by the painful memories that flippantly mentioning such issues is bound to stir up. Others are encouraged by being able to put on a brave face with friends at literally laugh at the struggles that they have overcome.

I had this conversation with a formerly bulimic friend just today. Her words were that even if you are hurt by the reminder, the important thing is to not take offense. Not everyone can be expected to know your specific hurts and to walk on eggshells around all of those sensitive topics. I thought this showed a great deal of maturity on her part :-)

But what about sensitive topics of which everyone is aware? The Holocaust is certainly an example. I also have a friend who is incredibly offended by the infamous "Bed Intruder Song," because it makes light of attempted rape. Attempted rape. Not even rape. Surely this, too, is a topic whose severity most if not all people readily understand.

What is a thoughtful, loving person with a sense of humor to do? Is this a matter of personal conviction? Or should everyone sacrificially give up joking about any controversial topics?

I must admit that I do not know :-/

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Thanks for your thoughts!