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Thread: Morbid Humor

  1. #41
    will make your day Carebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustDave View Post
    I know I will get in trouble for this as it's off topic, nevertheless I think you probably have the coolest avatar ever. I always knew those bears were little hell spawns.


    Yes, they're definitely the spawns of hell. They're almost as annoying as the teletubbies.

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    Yay, great page, thanks!

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  2. #42
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Without cruelty there is no festival...

    I like olde English drinking games. Only a farthing, too.
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  3. #43
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post

    I used to visit somethingawful.com in high school through my sophomore year in college. I guess I just outgrew it. Awfulplasticsurgery.com and perezhilton.com are more my tastes currently. Could be the same humor in some respects.
    It's interesting that you bring up these examples, because I find perezhilton.com 10x more offensive than the brand of humor Carebear's picture embodied. To me it's all about intent. I think morbid humor tries to make a point or at least draws humor from dissonance, as Jennifer said. It displays some thinking. To my sensibility, if you have something to say you get a little bit more leash. Perezhilton.com has no nuance and no higher purpose...it's simply there to make entertainment from humiliation.

    Morbid humor can be offensive, but offense is a byproduct. With entertainment in the vein of perezhilton.com, offense is the point. To me it's the difference between football and boxing. In football, people get hurt as a consequence of playing the game. But in boxing, the entire point of the game is to injure.
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  5. #45
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    Yay! I got a mention in an OP!

    I don't know what else to add.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  6. #46
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Humour is a survival tactic.. we laugh at painful subjects to protect our psyches.
    I agree on this. Painful things are handled by using dark humour. Many times people who use dark humour are hurting but don't want to show it outside. The other option is that person really enjoys hurting other people by what they say. The third option is that they don't realize that their humour hurts people meaning that they do not realize the unspokable social rules. And then there are groups who just enjoy morbid humour among their own group.

    So just saying that people who use morbid humour are sick is not necessarily right one.

  7. #47
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcea Rosea View Post
    Many times people who use dark humour are hurting but don't want to show it outside. The other option is that person really enjoys hurting other people by what they say. The third option is that they don't realize that their humour hurts people meaning that they do not realize the unspokable social rules.
    I think you can use morbid humour and not actually hurt anyone. It just involves being a bit dark; on which some people thrive. From my experience, INXPs love it.

    And it doesn't necessarily insult anyone, but sometimes it is in rebellion to being surrounded by overly positive people, which can grate.

    Sometimes it's just to make the conversations more interesting, when possibly coming to a lull. Somebody will ask me, "what are you doing this weekend?" and as I usually don't have much planned at all, I'll reply with something like, "mutilating my arms."

    It might offend people from a sensitivity standpoint, which is very rare, but I wouldn't say anybody was hurt as a result.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    It's interesting that you bring up these examples, because I find perezhilton.com 10x more offensive than the brand of humor Carebear's picture embodied. To me it's all about intent. I think morbid humor tries to make a point or at least draws humor from dissonance, as Jennifer said. It displays some thinking. To my sensibility, if you have something to say you get a little bit more leash. Perezhilton.com has no nuance and no higher purpose...it's simply there to make entertainment from humiliation.

    Morbid humor can be offensive, but offense is a byproduct. With entertainment in the vein of perezhilton.com, offense is the point. To me it's the difference between football and boxing. In football, people get hurt as a consequence of playing the game. But in boxing, the entire point of the game is to injure.
    I think Carebear's picture works better outside the U.S. I would say that Carebear's picture is political satire along the lines of "How the mighty have fallen; here are the great America's main contributions to the world: Mickey, Ronald, and napalmed children."

    As an American, I don't find the joke funny--it's too cheap a shot. But I have to admit that I've laughed at cheap shots in U.S. comics about other nations and their hypocrisies in turn.

    As for Perezhilton.com, I think that's just the current style for reporting celebrity gossip. There are too many outlets for celebrity gossip, so outlets set themselves apart by blogging the news and commenting on it, often in a catty, put-down style. I think the device is seen as harmless--the stars are going to do their own thing anyway, no matter what the gossip columnists say. In fact plenty of stars seek out the Perezhilton website and pass along news themselves, catty commentary or not, just because Perez Hilton has become one of the premier sites.

    IOW, I think both of those examples are just examples of "business as usual" rather than morbid humor per se. Carebear's picture is specifically dark political satire (in the cheap-shot style) rather than mere morbid humor for laughs; Perezhilton is just how the gossip industry works right now, with the columnist acting both as a catty commentator and a celeb himself alongside with the celebs he is reporting on.

    If we're talking about pure morbid humor, I think the most recent couple comics that people posted (posts 41-43) are good examples. [Edit:] And Mort Belfry's "mutilating my arms" comebacks.

    (Disclaimer: I check out Perezhilton myself, just to keep up on celebrity news for social purposes; I basically ignore the chatter and commentary portion and just scan it real quickly to stay up to date on Hollywood events.)

  9. #49
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    In honor of Protean, here is a long unedited post. Kidding. But these are my disjointed thoughts. I know I need to befriend brevity (well it's not happening tonight, kids!!!)

    1) As Alean pointed out, if you identify or empathize with the 'napalmed girl' -- who has a name btw Phan Thi Kim Phuc - then it's not funny. FineLine also touched on the importance of identification -- what's humorous is sometimes a matter of degrees in your relationship with the subject. It may be alright for you to joke about the passing of your parents, but if someone else were to crack a joke (while you're in mourning), I'm sure your response would not be the same. 'Ownership' is another way of looking at it (ah gawd, I hear the comics frothing at the mouth already)

    2) Fineline even mentioned it 'cheap shots' -- some humor is just easy. It's not edgy, not deep, it's cliched, lazy, and therefore not funny. Violating boundaries to comedic effect and more importantly to make social commentary funny (which is really what 'humor with a point' is) is hard, I know 'cause I actually do it sometimes, nnkay? (Yeah that's right, I'm all that. ) I think an example of morbid or twisted humor as social commentary (or vice versa) that works is 'TheTruth' anti-smoking campaign.

    [Long rant about how just because it's offensive, morbid, "twisted", or "sick' doesn't make it some genius piece of art or even funny.]

    4) All twisted/morbid humor is not the same, intent, the social commentary, the POV, that pretty much makes it or breaks it. Look at public figures in the states who are known for such humor - Bill Maher, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Eminem -- they don't share the same opinions or stances but they do use 'shock and awe' humor that plays with boundaries and expectations of decency and propriety. *Edit* And what you find funny often hinges on how much do you agree with it.

    5) However, in the cases of 'deep' or 'sarcastic' pictures like the Mickey D's one, I really wonder who made it. Was it Vietnamese refugee? Was it a guilt ridden heir to the McDonald's fortune? Some bored blue-blooded 6th year Hampshire student who got high one night and had a lot of time on his hands? Similar to intent, I think the overall context depends a lot on who made it. And effect overrides good intentions.

    6) Does it matter I did not find the Mickey D does Napalm pic funny? 'Cause I did (or maybe grammatically I should say 'did not'). I hold commentary on it until I figured out who made it and in what context.

    7)BTW, I use 'sick/twisted/wrong' etc. humor myself. Except when I do it, it's funny Hahahahaha -->it's a joke people. Jeez, how come no one has a sense of humor.

    6) That's right I'm not done yet, I'm gonna keep rambling tomorrow.

    *Edit*

    7) Never mind I think everyone else covered my points already. Sheesh. Okay I'm gonna find examples of 'wrong' humor that I find funny.
    Last edited by CzeCze; 04-06-2008 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Clarification
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    5) However, in the cases of 'deep' or 'sarcastic' pictures like the Mickey D's one, I really wonder who made it. Was it Vietnamese refugee? Was it a guilt ridden heir to the McDonald's fortune? Some bored blue-blooded 6th year Hampshire student who got high one night and had a lot of time on his hands? Similar to intent, I think the overall context depends a lot on who made it. And effect overrides good intentions.
    Good post, CzeCze!

    I'd be curious to know the background on the picture myself. It looks old, like it was xeroxed. And the version of Ronald McDonald in the picture looks like an old one. (Today's Ronald McDonald is much fluffier with a very feminine hairdo.)

    It looks like an old-style political jab at the U.S.--the old "radicals" used heavy-handed imagery like that to make their point. IOW, it could be some old artifact dug up from another historical period altogether. [Edit:] Though that's not to say that the message isn't relevant today as well.

    But I hate to speculate too much. It's hard to say much of anything for sure without knowing where it originated. *shrugs*

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