Sunday, June 27, 2010

Because I Enjoy Arguing

In response to my last post, Capri said:

"Actually getting rid of all that vulgarity would make more room for real original content as well. It didn't make sense in the joke that the woman would object to words that weren't vulgar, but the point of it was she was the cause of the 2-hour delay, and while the joke made me laugh just this once, it sure wouldn't if I saw it again in a chain letter. And if I got a chain letter full of f-bombs besides, that would seriously annoy me. So I basically agree with what you're saying, but don't agree with you wanting a keep-out policy for those who want the content without the obscene crap it originally came with. Us non-obscene people have a right to appreciate content too, whatever it is.., and without the vulgar junk. But yes, chain letters should die. Every one of them."

Ok, first I'd like to point out that 'getting rid of vulgarity' wouldn't 'make room' for anything. The internet is an almost infinite canvas, and what the real problem is, vulgarity or no, is that the majority of the internet is made up of content taken from other sites. My objection was that, as well as the internet being only about 10% original content, a large portion of that content has had all the humor wrung out of it by people trying to make 'offensive humor' family friendly.

What you're doing here is applying your own morals to a situation that doesn't call for them. You've taken my post and twisted its meaning in order to talk about your dislike of 'vulgar humor' and chain letters. My post was about cut and paste content sanitized to the point where it doesn't even make sense any more.

In fact, it appears you didn't even get the joke. The mother causing a two hour delay is not the punch. Humor is based on forcing the audience to make an incorrect assumption, which is revealed in a humorous way, along with a building of tension that's released at the end.

The joke was about swearing. It's about a kid who gets caught swearing, we're made to assume he's learned his lesson, and the twist is that he obviously hasn't learned his lesson when he calls his mother 'the bitch in the kitchen'. However, in the sanitized version, he doesn't swear, gets punished for no reason and then just folds his punishment into his role-playing a train announcer. It takes a funny joke and turns it into a boring story about an oversensitive parent.

I'm not saying that humor has to be 'vulgar' in order to be funny. All I'm saying is when the whole joke is based around vulgarity, trying to make it clean and PC just destroys all the humor and makes an existing problem worse. Not only is the same content being copied over and over, it's been made less and less funny the longer it hangs around.

So, on the one hand, I'll completely agree with you and say I never intended a 'keep-out' policy for people who don't appreciate 'offensive' humor…in fact it appears you've twisted the whole meaning of my post in order to express your own views on vulgarity.

However, there is one point that I will argue with you to the death about, and that's when you said "Us non-obscene people have a right to appreciate content too, whatever it is."

Sorry, but no…No you don't.

You have the right to appreciate content that appeals to you. There is nothing anywhere that says you have a right to have everything 'cleaned up' to where you can appreciate it. You've taken my original point which was a commentary on the quality of internet content and turned it into a question of morality and values.

I was arguing that a 'dirty joke' that's been cleaned to the point where it makes no sense is a bad thing. The important part being 'to where it makes no sense." You're arguing that 'vulgar humor' is itself a bad thing…and that you have a 'right' to a cleaned up version.

My point is that I seriously doubt that Richard Pryor or George Carlin wrote their work with a family audience in mind. Taking their jokes and trying to make them 'safe' takes all the humor away from them. You have the right to not listen to or read that material…you don't have the right to demand its exclusion from the internet because it offends you.

To put it another way, you demanding that all 'vulgar' humor should be cleaned up or removed is like me demanding that all family humor should be 'dirtied up' or removed.


Evan 08 said...

I'd like to take a different spin on Capri's comment...

...Us non-obscene people have a right to appreciate content too, whatever it is.., and without the vulgar junk...

Yes Capri, you absolutely DO have the right to "appreciate content, whatever it is." What you do NOT have the right to do is "remove the vulgar junk."

You see, once you remove the vulgar junk, the content ceases to be what it was, and becomes your interpretation. There is a time and place for every word in language, including words that you don't like.

Your desire to experience life free from obscenities does not supersede my desire to spew forth profanity. You may voice your displeasure at my linguistic choices, but you may not censor me.

Saffy said...

Yep, i'm with paul and Evan on this. Whilst I may feel that vulgarity is sometimes inappropriate, it's not my place to demand it cease to exist. Amongst adults, vulgarity and obscene humor has it's place, and those who don't like it can just choose to ignore it.

Let me put it another way - I have a serious dislike for people spewing religious dogma at me, or telling me unless I go to church i'll go to hell. BUT, I can't make it go away. Freedom of speech anyone?