Counterpunching up(discussion)

Go down

Counterpunching up(discussion)

Post by BasedBuzzed on Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:06 am

Progressives of Nerdlounge, a white cismale needs his feelings soothed!

This afternoon, I posted to FB, as is in the grand tradition of what I do, a made-up quote containing a pun: "I don't understand why we act as if Western and Arab world are equal, there is literally zero their culture has contributed to ours." Explanation:
Spoiler:
We nicked the numeral zero from them.
I regularly do this, and to me and what I imagine to be the average viewer, the quote marks are a clear indication that the viewer needs to imagine a character voice as well as search for a pun in there. Sadly, someone was miffed by this and opined that I should have telegraphed it more obviously, because she thought I was sharing an actual tidbit I overheard. In response, I posted an epic rant in which I called her oversensitive and accused her of wanting to gut comedy in order to protect her precious feelings apologized for offending her because intent is not magic and I should own the subconscious prejudices that informed the joke in the first place went back to the Suey Park #cancelcolbert thingie and the whole satire-needs-to-punch-up philosophy and thought it was an interesting venue for a discussion topic that could go further than simply linking Patton Oswalt and calling it a day.

Do you agree with this sentiment? Do you think this instance actually punches up? Does it matter if someone doesn't get the contextual cues if feelings are hurt? Do the labels of the person making the joke matter even if it fulfills the punch-up criterium? Can we come to a better answer than "it varies from instance to instance and one should be careful with sensitive subjects", an answer equivalent to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ? Will I actually take anything to heart if the answers veer in a direction I don't like instead of mumbling something about the Archipelago and variable in-group norms? Inquiring mindless want to know.

_________________
Pompeii, VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1904: "O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin."
avatar
BasedBuzzed

Posts : 811
Reputation : 267
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Counterpunching up(discussion)

Post by kath on Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:04 pm

I think then you can have a discussion about it. As far as I know, people who use that kind of humour are doing it to cause a reaction. You got a reaction, now you get to have the discussion around what the reaction was.

I do think that's a pretty subtle pun and in the frenzy of reading random facebook posts I don't think it's surprising / indicative of stupidity that they didn't read "literally" literally enough.

And, there could be people who read the obvious meaning of the pun, are bigoted, and were like "cool, basedbuzzed agrees with me!". Is not-actually but still-actually reinforcing their bigotry / misunderstanding of the history of cross-cultural exchange worth the lulz? Was it likely to be enlightening / affirming for people who did get it? That calculus is up to you.
avatar
kath

Posts : 352
Reputation : 159
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Counterpunching up(discussion)

Post by PintsizeBro on Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:57 pm

Related joke: there's an app now that tells you which of your friends are racist.

It's called Facebook.

I think the joke was funny, but not Facebook-appropriate. The lack of subtlety and context in that venue means the odds of someone who's scrolling through their posts actually getting the joke is pretty slim. I agree with kath that it's not surprising or indicative of stupidity that someone didn't read "literally" literally.

PintsizeBro

Posts : 307
Reputation : 233
Join date : 2015-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Counterpunching up(discussion)

Post by Enail on Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:18 pm

I think it's really just a case of lack of clarity. The joke itself doesn't strike me as punching down or saying anything troubling (and it did make me laugh), but I would be surprised if many people would recognize it as a joke without a lot of context or tone of voice/facial expression cues, or a Bad Pun Dog picture. The quotes didn't signify anything to me, and so many people use literally figuratively (or genuinely believe that level of hyperbole) that it didn't stand out at all.

Not only is the joke pretty deadpan, but it also assumes certain knowledge that I'm not sure everyone knows, and since it's similar to things many people would say straight-up not joking, it also assumes the reader is confident what your position on the broader issue is in order to recognize that it's a joke and not the kind of rah!rah!TheWest comment it's poking fun at.

And since you often like to skewer both sides of an issue, I think it's likely a lot of people on your FB feed are not clear enough on what your position is to automatically register that the straight interpretation is dissonant and look for the pun if it doesn't jump out at them. (and unless you only have a few close friends on it, some people reading may not know you at all, and it may blend in totally with other anti-Arab comments on their feed)

If you're going to make jokes on hot-button topics, I think you probably need to recognize that your style of humour can be a bit obscure, and be prepared to explain the joke. Otherwise it's kind of just poking at bears for fun and then being mad that they react.
avatar
Enail
Admin

Posts : 3743
Reputation : 1994
Join date : 2014-09-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Counterpunching up(discussion)

Post by Caffeinated on Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:28 pm

I agree with Kath, Pinsizebro, and Enail.

If I were scrolling through FB and saw your quote, unless you were one of about maybe up to a dozen people whose politics and grasp of history and grammar I know well enough to know the quote wasn't meant to be taken at face value, I would have taken it at face value.

Actually, on this forum, I often find your humorous statements obscure. Perhaps a Bad Pun Dog picture is something your FB feed really needs?
avatar
Caffeinated

Posts : 455
Reputation : 273
Join date : 2014-12-08

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Counterpunching up(discussion)

Post by BasedBuzzed on Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:13 am

Thanks for the feedback! No Advice Animals, ever, though. That said, save for the exception mentioned the usual crowd of feedreaders actually got it(all my puns are rendered in the "-" quote format), and the reactions beneath probably gave it enough framing for later readers(the person complaining was actually the first commenter). That said, you do have made me a tad more considerate of silent feedreaders, who might now be familiar with what I usually post.

_________________
Pompeii, VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1904: "O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin."
avatar
BasedBuzzed

Posts : 811
Reputation : 267
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Counterpunching up(discussion)

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum