It’s funny to think that people our age are still afraid to stand up for others. But you know what isn’t funny? Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars.
It was uncomfortable to watch as he alternated between the racy and the just plain dumb. He delivered joke after sophomoric joke about women’s looks, especially with the song, “We Saw Your Boobs,” which has led many critics to dub his act as sexist, even misogynistic.
To be clear, there are times and places for tawdry or crude jokes, but the Oscars are not it. You’d think someone would’ve mentioned that black-tie events call for more understated humor, or even that it’s a bad idea to objectify half the audience.
I think there is a deeper issue here, and it doesn’t have anything to do with MacFarlane. It has to do with the misuse of humor. I feel genuinely sorry for people who have so little creativity, self-esteem or dignity that they can’t operate in conversation except to make crude comments and talk crap on other people. Humor is a tool that should be used for good, not for stupidity.
When humor crosses the line into bullying, it’s morally clear that we should stand up for the victim, but what can we do about those random, stupid comments? After all, we have no influence over the scripts of television shows, and free will is probably going to be around for a while. But we can have an impact at Emporia State and in our everyday lives.
I suggest that we, the people who know when jokes are inappropriate, voice our disapproval by not saying anything at all. Don’t agree with or encourage them by laughing. Silently protest the idiocy.
Once we have raised our expectations for ourselves and our peers, I think we will all find greater satisfaction in laughing with each other, rather than laughing at each other.