This I Believe

Christopher - Littleton, Colorado
Entered on May 7, 2007

From Comic to Caustic

Have you ever found yourself poking fun at the different antics of a teacher or even made a joke about some stupid comment that another kid made earlier on in that day? Well I have. As a matter of fact, most people make fun of each other all the time, even if they are not aware of it. People will try numerous times throughout the day just to try and squeeze a laugh out of someone. However, the brand of comedy used for the most part isn¹t the nicest. It’s true that there are always some meaningless jokes like “That’s what she said” and ” Yo momma’s so fat”, but these really don’t have an impact on the person that is targeted or on anyone at all. However, because of this raging desire for laughter, people can sometimes take things too far.

Jokes are taken too far when someone specifically picks out someone’s flaws and makes fun of them. This happens when a person feels the need to distinguish and disassociate him or herself from a certain type or group of people. So in order to do this, they might come up with a nickname or do something else that insults another person’s most obvious flaws. For example, if someone is overweight, then they might be referred to as “Porky” or “Fatty”. If that person is particularly skinny, then someone might jokingly call him anorexic. I actually remember a specific example about this.

A little while ago I was eating my lunch in the noise filled- air of the crowded dining hall when suddenly the student sitting next to me broke the silence. The student asked the person across from him, with the knowledge that the latter was quite skinny and had little on his plate,” How come you aren¹t eating all that much today? Is there something you want to tell me?” Everyone at the table burst into laughter, but the targeted kid just shook his head and let out a few forced laughs. I could tell that he just wanted to clock the other kid in the face underneath it all. Here, the person clearly just wanted to attack the other’s physical characteristics. It really wasn’t funny because the “comic” had bad intentions with his material.

If I were given the time, I would be able to think of plenty other of scenarios just like this one. These sort of scenarios are examples of when jokes cross the line from just being funny to being harmful. Peoples’ insecurities are the very cause of these malicious jokes that I hear in my daily life at school. Even though these sort of jokes are not considered to be appropriate, people still say them time after time in exchange for the laughter.