Is My Sense of Humour Broken?

I recently came across a post that is currently recirculating the social media circus (it’s apparently been around for 5 years or more) which provides an audio recording from a man who starts out leaving a voice message for a coworker/boss during his drive to work, and then suddenly becomes his eyewitness account of an accident and it’s aftermath.  I’m sharing it here, without vouching for it’s authenticity, because quite frankly, whether or not this really happened is not the point of my post.   Here goes:

http://youtu.be/TN8YQVM1GQI

(Thank you to “elliptical3” for posting this with subtitles on YouTube)

So, if you’re laughing right now – please explain to me:

WHAT THE HELL IS SO FUNNY ABOUT THIS?

I don’t get it.

I’ve been told by numerous people that I’m funny – and I’d like to think they were not referring to my looks.  People laugh with me fairly frequently (they laugh AT me pretty often, too, come to think of it), so I’ve come to trust that I could be considered someone with a decent enough sense of humour.

Yet, I find absolutely NOTHING funny about this audio recording description of a man getting a beatdown by 4 old ladies.

In fact, this recording leaves me with more questions than smiles.

Like: WHY was the man getting the beats by these ladies?  Barring the fact that he caused an accident and then appeared (according to the person describing the events) to be indicating with body language that he was not properly accepting responsibility for causing the accident – did he really deserve what sounds like a fairly vicious beating, albeit by senior guerrilla soldiers?  I’ve even considered the possibility that perhaps he was screaming obscenities at these little old ladies and that detail wasn’t provided in the recording, but would even THAT warrant a takedown by the elderly vigilante team?

I’m also wondering why hitting someone with a hardcover bible is considered funny.  Notwithstanding the irony this mental image provides for atheists and agnostics, it just doesn’t seem all that funny to me, but I’ve been surprised to find numerous Christians online who profess incredible love for that good ole book to also be posting comments about how they find it hysterical to hear about that same book of love being used to deliver a beating.

I’ve never been a big fan of comedy via physical pain.  The Three Stooges just annoy me, and even as a kid, I never enjoyed the the roadrunner consistently laying the smackdown on Wile E Coyote while foiling his attempts to capture the roadrunner. When I take Baby Girl to kids’ movies, which are often plagued with “funny” scenes of cartoon characters getting the snot beaten out of them in one manner or another, I usually lean over and whisper to her that it’s not funny when somebody gets hurt.  Yeah, I’m a real fun movie date that way.   But I mean it – I truly don’t find it humorous to witness a living creature suffering physical or emotional pain.  Sadly, there are currently over 2 million clicks on this recording that put me in the minority on that one.

Wile%20E.%20Coyote%20and%20Roadrunner[1]

Can somebody tell our producers that I’M actually faster than this bird, so I can finally eat and give my legs a rest?

So, this leads me to the bigger picture here and is relevant whether or not the scenario described in the recording really happened or not – what has made our society so amused by physical violence?  How did we become a society where a large majority of the population finds the physical beating of it’s own kind or other living creatures to be a form of amusement?  And what distinguishes the situation described in this recording as “funny” when other public beatings are not?  Would we have found the Rodney King beating “funny” if we had first heard about it through a YouTube audio recording from a man driving to work?  Doubtful.  So what’s the difference?  Is it the fact that seemingly harmless little old ladies unexpectedly delivered the can of whupass?  Perhaps.  Is it that they were not in a position of authority over the man who caused the accident and surprised his apparently poor attitude with some vengeance of their own?  Maybe.  Was it the weapons of convenience used by the aging warriors that pushed the scene into the comedy zone?  I don’t know.  

Heavy artillery for the geriatric mercenary

Heavy artillery for the geriatric mercenary

I don’t get what’s funny about it, and while I don’t think that Rodney King’s beating was exactly the same as this supposed one, I do still feel that in both scenarios, a man got physically harmed when he should not have.  Perhaps you are thinking at this point that I should just remove the stick from my patootie, take a chill pill and just laugh at this recording because everyone else seems to find it funny and what is my problem?  I don’t blame you, you’re certainly entitled to that opinion.  I’ve contemplated those questions myself, but continuously come up with the same answer – I just don’t find this, or other scenes of physical violence, to be funny.

Finally, please don’t take this personally if you did laugh at the recording – you’re one of millions and my post is not in judgement of you personally.   I don’t think I’m a better person because I didn’t laugh – in fact, I wonder sometimes if there’s something missing from my sense of humour when I don’t find this kind of stuff amusing and worry that maybe I just take life too seriously sometimes.  This post is more a commentary on our society than a personal judgement on you or I.

If we find it funny to hear a live description of old ladies delivering the kung-pow to a defenseless man who did nothing but make the common mistake of causing a traffic accident, what will we eventually find funny in the future?  
Scary to consider…

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2 thoughts on “Is My Sense of Humour Broken?

  1. I…well…I laughed at this. I feel the same about the three stooges. I don’t think people should be beaten. I think it was just the way the guy was narrating it that cracked me up.

    To me fair, I have to admit that my sense of humor is not overly cerebral.

    • Hey, thanks for the comment Michelle! I’ve read some of your blog posts and tweets, and I think you’re pretty cerebral. I guess I just have to chalk this one up to the fact that everyone has different tastes, and that includes in their sense of humour!

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