There’s nothing funny about race, sex, religion, handicaps, or ANYTHING, EVER.

There’s nothing funny about race, sex, religion, handicaps, or ANYTHING, EVER. February 10, 2014

The other day, I got taken to task for giggling a bit over this story: a transgendered woman is running against an openly gay man for public office in Maryland.  My comment was, “Boy, it gets harder and harder to stand out.”  This was, according to my critic, an unacceptably unchristian way of mocking a human person who struggles with a heavy cross.

And I thought I was just having a larf.  The funny thing is, even the people involved thought it was kind of funny, too:

“It’s strange and comical at the same time that I happen to be living in a district with a gay senator,” Beyer said. “The fact that both of us are LBGT probably neutralizes the issue completely. I think it says a lot about how far America has come.”

Well, we can debate that. But I see no reason that, in order to be Christians, we have to take a cheese grater to our sense of humor — just shear it right off until we’re smooth and harmless.  Can we treat people like they’re subhuman, just because they’re different?  Heck no.  But funny stuff is funny stuff.  People are funny, life is weird, and when we’re not free to notice that and have a laugh, it’s harder to find a reason to live.

So, that was last week. What’s the latest from the world of exquisitely sensitive metajournalists?  Stop laughing at Sochi!  Just stop it, you insensitive meanies!

#SochiProblems Is More of An Embarrassment For America Than It Is For Russia

Taking pictures of horrifying, orange drinking water in a country that is trying to pass itself off as civilized?  And giggling over lousy accommodations in hotels that are only halfway built?  Oh, the humanity!  It would be so much more humane, in some way which I will figure out later, if people pretended there is nothing bizarre about stumbling across this lugubrious grove of undistributed coat racks.  

According to hey are supposed to avert their eyes and think about suffering . . . always, always think about suffering.

Under pressure to quickly build a glorious Olympic village from a patch of mud, Russian corporations ended up denying their 70,000 workers wages, sanitary accommodations and, in many cases, basic human rights. As Ukrainian worker Maxim told Human Rights Watch about his experience in construction for the Olympics: “People work, they don’t get paid, and leave. Then a bus comes and unloads a fresh group of workers to repeat the cycle.”

If you worked under such conditions, would you take the time to distribute the coat racks?

She goes on to explain that other funny stuff is also not funny, because something something shame on you.

Note to recent journalism graduate:  this stuff is funny.  It’s okay to laugh at funny stuff. Nobody is making the case that Russians are subhuman, or that they deserve to live in such a backassward country, one that is willing shell out billions on ritzy, pretentious Potempkin hotels, but is so mired in corruption, it can’t supply clean water or basic utilities.  Nobody is taking pictures of starving people and going “wacka wacka!”  Nobody is saying, “Ukranian worker Maxim is so stupid, he doesn’t even know how to put coat racks away!”  The joke is on the Russian government, who had years and years to prepare — and on the Olympic commitee, who, for some reason, picked Russia.  Russia.

Man, I am pretty, pretty tired of this “don’t ever laugh at anything ever ever ever” stuff.  Geez, the Russians laugh at themselves. That’s part of what makes them Russian.  Finger-wagging joke stompers with their Masters in journalism, though, are a hell of a lot less appealing.

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  • Joseph Nelson

    I was sort of expecting this post to be more funny….. 😉 Well, for some reason the post text changes fonts sporadically, which is funny…. LEAVE PUTIN ALONE!

    • Josh

      You must not read Patheos sites often…trying to figure out which font changes are intentional and which are glitches is half the fun. But what can you expect when Patheos decided to go with the very unproven startup font management firm шрифты удовольствия?

  • chezami

    Your laughter at inept Russians causes me deep spiritual pain. DEEP SPIRITUAL PAIN!!!!

  • PixilDot

    DoNt LaUgH aT tHe FoNtS!

  • Tom

    If we can’t laugh when things are bad, then shee-it, what are we supposed to do, sit around crying?

    • Honestly– if parents of kids on the autism spectrum couldn’t laugh about it once in a while, I think we’d collectively go off the nearest cliff.

  • DeirdreMundy

    Hey, at least the rooms have private bathrooms! By European standards, that’s 4 star quality!

    The problem with Americans is we consider “Holiday Inn Express” decent middle-class accomodations instead of the luxurious, decadent accomodations that they really are.

    I mean, private bathrooms and FREE CINNAMON ROLLS and COFFEE. We’re spoiled.

  • SDG

    Two Laws of Humor (HT: Victor Morton)
    1) Nothing *IS* funny.
    2) Anything *CAN BE* funny.
    “Nothing” and “anything” apply absolutely. There is literally, absolutely no topic that is automatically funny, and there is literally, absolutely no topic that cannot be an ingredient in humor.

  • Sierra Lawrence

    Every time I see the words “human person” I know it’s going to be good. What the heck is a human, if they’re not a person?

    • wineinthewater

      Well, between some agitating to extend personhood to non-humans and others agitating for the continuation of the denial of personhood to some humans, you can see how an activist might feel the need to be more specific. 🙁

  • Blobee

    Thanks for this. I agree about 1000 percent.

    Okay, this is off topic, but can I tell some “blonde” jokes?

    Two blonds are walking down the street, and they come across a compact case. One picks it up, opens it. looks at the mirror and says, “Gee. She sure looks familiar, but I can’t place who she is.” The other one snatches the compact, looks in the mirror and says, “Silly! It’s ME!”

    A blonde was bragging about her knowledge of state capitals. She says, “Ask me any one. I can name them all.” So a friend says, “O.K. What’s the capital of Wisconsin?” She says, “That’s easy. “W.”

    And finally,
    Blondie was taking a government class at college, and the professor asked her if she knew what Roe vs. Wade was about. She thought a minute and said, “Sure. That was the decision George Washington had to make before he crossed the Delaware.”

    Okay. I’m done. Yep, humor has been browbeaten out of us, and it’s sad. Very sad. 🙂

    • PeonyMoss

      What did the blonde name her pet zebra?


      • Blobee


  • Rebecca Fuentes

    We cannot discuss Russia in our house. Every time we mention Putin, the kids break into giggles, “His name is Pootin!” Followed by numerous fart jokes.

    • Jordan

      I used to call my son baby Vladimir whenever he farted.

    • Karyn

      We definitely get those as well…and despite the fact that I know they’re coming, they’re still funny.

  • Melissa Hunter-Kilmer

    You aren’t allowed to make any jokes, ever. Especially if you’re wearing pants and thus causing men to sin. You hussy, you.

  • anna lisa

    I’m sad that you didn’t include a picture of “sex symbol Putin”. Pictures of him with his shirt off always brighten my day when I’m in need of a chuckle.

    I’m really worried that I’m not going to remember how to spell LGBT if they add any more consonants….

    I have a true story of a lesbian who has added a whole new layer of fabulous to garden- variety homosexuality:

    My son has a college friend who was a Trad for a while. She’s a pretty little blond with a genius IQ. After being an atheist she turned so, so Trad, she wouldn’t even shave her legs. She could quote Aquinas and encyclicals like none other. After having two kids she got bored, and turned into a hippy who decided that soap was evil. She was of the opinion that bathing should be optional. She then decided she was going to join a free-sex American Indian commune (maybe they wouldn’t take her??). She ditched her husband who had been on board with the commune idea and then came out as a lesbian. She is now engaged to a *guy* who has decided *he* is a lesbian after becoming transgendered into a female.

    My son says his friend is obsessed with being the BEST of everything she tries out. So she’s going to be the best damn lesbian the world has ever seen.

    Seriously–I’m NOT exaggerating!
    Heheheh heh. I should be ashamed of my lack of sensitivity.
    I do pray for her.

    • Josh

      This reminds me of a friend who took a class on vocations in her Catholic HS that was taught by a woman who was a nun, then a wife, then a divorced single woman. She told the class–in all seriousness–that she was extraordinary qualified to teach the class because she had three different vocations at different points in her life.

    • Deimos

      Dearie me, Anna you are being very non inclusive by using the old LGBT acronym. The last version I saw was LGBTAAT (lesbian gay bisexual transgender asexual androgynous transvestite) and I am not joking.
      You can probably guess that I read at least one left wing website when bored of Fox News.

      • anna lisa

        I’m glad they’re being inclusive of vowels as well, but I’ll never remember. I just won’t. My son tells me that his lesbian friend refers to males and females as “cismales” and “cisfemales” because it isn’t fair that we get to pretend to own the entire gender category. Gender bean counting is new to me also.

      • You forgot the Q for “questioning.”

    • “I’m sad that you didn’t include a picture of “sex symbol Putin”.
      Pictures of him with his shirt off always brighten my day when I’m in
      need of a chuckle.”

      As Mr. Beadgirl said: in Putin’s mind, he is the Most Interesting Man in the World.