'Its just a joke' is not an excuse

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

'Its just a joke' is a common back-peddle defense people use when they say something shitty and offensive and people actually call them out on it. Guess what, it aint an excuse.

At best, it means your joke sucked. Just admit it. Anyone who offends someone with a joke when they did not mean to would feel bad that their joke was offensive to someone. Saying 'Its just a joke' after offending someone is like saying 'Oh that didn't hurt' after punching them.

No, your joke wasn't funny, your joke was offensive, and you're the one at fault.

It's just a joke, bro.

Marik2:
It's just a joke, bro.

...I'm just bummed man. You weren't always like this.

https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.169484-Why-is-the-escapist-such-a-nice-place?page=1

Seriously man. What happened?

erttheking:

Marik2:
It's just a joke, bro.

...I'm just bummed man. You weren't always like this.

https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.169484-Why-is-the-escapist-such-a-nice-place?page=1

Seriously man. What happened?

It's just a social experiment, bro.

Marik2:

erttheking:

Marik2:
It's just a joke, bro.

...I'm just bummed man. You weren't always like this.

https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.169484-Why-is-the-escapist-such-a-nice-place?page=1

Seriously man. What happened?

It's just a social experiment, bro.

Is there any chance you can just talk to me straight and not just spew memes? Please? For five seconds?

I can't tell if Saelune is joking or serious.

erttheking:

Marik2:
It's just a joke, bro.

...I'm just bummed man. You weren't always like this.

https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.169484-Why-is-the-escapist-such-a-nice-place?page=1

Seriously man. What happened?

I'm still more or less the same person. I've always been an honest person with a twisted sense of humor.

Marik2:

erttheking:

Marik2:
It's just a joke, bro.

...I'm just bummed man. You weren't always like this.

https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.169484-Why-is-the-escapist-such-a-nice-place?page=1

Seriously man. What happened?

I'm still more or less the same person. I've always been an honest person with a twisted sense of humor.

Well. Ok.

Thank you for that, it may not seem like much but it means a lot to me.

"It's just a joke" at best means you couldn't read the room, and that's probably not the hill you want to die on.

Not a fan of this line of thought.

Say I'm doing a stand-up gig of 100 people. I tell a joke. All 100 are offended. Chances are the joke was in bad taste.

Now consider other jokes being told - say I offend 50 people. Then 25. 10. 5. 1. Is there a cut-off point when it becomes acceptable, or can jokes only work when 0% of individuals are offended, which is practically an impossibility, because even if I offend 0% of all 100 individuals, at least some of those people will share the jokes, and then someone's bound to be offended. And when you have people who will literally kill others due to causing offence...fuck that noise.

Course, if you're telling jokes just to cause offence, chances are that they're shitty jokes - that isn't humour, that's just provoking outrage.

Also, obligatory not!Monty Python sketch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_wzzc24XyY&t=

Saelune:
Saying 'Its just a joke' after offending someone is like saying 'Oh that didn't hurt' after punching them.

Difference being in this scenario a punch is made with deliberate intent to cause harm. Telling a joke that's taken as offensive isn't.

Hawki:
Not a fan of this line of thought.

Say I'm doing a stand-up gig of 100 people. I tell a joke. All 100 are offended. Chances are the joke was in bad taste.

Now consider other jokes being told - say I offend 50 people. Then 25. 10. 5. 1. Is there a cut-off point when it becomes acceptable, or can jokes only work when 0% of individuals are offended, which is practically an impossibility, because even if I offend 0% of all 100 individuals, at least some of those people will share the jokes, and then someone's bound to be offended. And when you have people who will literally kill others due to causing offence...fuck that noise.

Course, if you're telling jokes just to cause offence, chances are that they're shitty jokes - that isn't humour, that's just provoking outrage.

Also, obligatory not!Monty Python sketch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_wzzc24XyY&t=

Saelune:
Saying 'Its just a joke' after offending someone is like saying 'Oh that didn't hurt' after punching them.

Difference being in this scenario a punch is made with deliberate intent to cause harm. Telling a joke that's taken as offensive isn't.

I make offensive jokes about Trump all the time. If Trump heard them and was offended, good, I want to offend him, but I also want to make people who realize he is terrible laugh at how awful he is.

But also I am making a point about when you aren't literally performing at a comedy venue. For example, when you are on say, twitter, or the Escapist forums.

And even then, when you make a joke, if your intent was to bring joy, and you don't, then own up to it and apologize. My first thought anytime someone says 'Why does x', is to say 'because you touch yourself at night', a joke in reference to Family Guy. But I rarely say it cause I am sure most of the time it wont be clearly read as a joke, and I don't actually want to offend the person I would say it to.

Also, honestly, once we stop pretending offensive bigots are 'just making a joke', then I think we can go back to 'lightening up'. Once we can be certain bigotry is not ok, we can go back to trusting that people making jokes are not just bigots afraid of consequences.

It's just a joke isn't necessarily an excuse, sometimes it's meant to add context.

Many people have inside jokes with their friends, and many times those jokes can seem offensive on the surface if there's no context given.

If I tell my friend to go die in a fire and they laugh and I laugh and some bystander who has nothing to do with the conversation gets offended then the correct response really is "it's just a joke, and it's a joke not meant for you, please go away."

It's just a joke really shouldn't be an excuse if you say something offensive directly to another person and they get offended, but it's fine when you indirectly offend someone.

Dirty Hipsters:
It's just a joke isn't necessarily an excuse, sometimes it's meant to add context.

Many people have inside jokes with their friends, and many times those jokes can seem offensive on the surface if there's no context given.

If I tell my friend to go die in a fire and they laugh and I laugh and some bystander who has nothing to do with the conversation gets offended then the correct response really is "it's just a joke, and it's a joke not meant for you, please go away."

It's just a joke really shouldn't be an excuse if you say something offensive directly to another person and they get offended, but it's fine when you indirectly offend someone.

I get that, but the problem is the hostile approach. Why does it have to be a 'fuck you' kind of response? Why not 'Oh, sorry, yeah it is just a joke between my friends and I, I don't really mean that'?

If I upset someone when I didn't want or mean to, it is unfair of me to get mad at THEM for it. Like, if you accidentally spilled your drink on someone, would you yell at them for getting upset?

If you're telling a joke and half your audience don't like it, you're doing a bad job at comedy.

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:
It's just a joke isn't necessarily an excuse, sometimes it's meant to add context.

Many people have inside jokes with their friends, and many times those jokes can seem offensive on the surface if there's no context given.

If I tell my friend to go die in a fire and they laugh and I laugh and some bystander who has nothing to do with the conversation gets offended then the correct response really is "it's just a joke, and it's a joke not meant for you, please go away."

It's just a joke really shouldn't be an excuse if you say something offensive directly to another person and they get offended, but it's fine when you indirectly offend someone.

I get that, but the problem is the hostile approach. Why does it have to be a 'fuck you' kind of response? Why not 'Oh, sorry, yeah it is just a joke between my friends and I, I don't really mean that'?

If I upset someone when I didn't want or mean to, it is unfair of me to get mad at THEM for it. Like, if you accidentally spilled your drink on someone, would you yell at them for getting upset?

Why are other people eavesdropping on my conversations? My first response to a stranger talking to me in public is "Who are you? Get away from me."

Dirty Hipsters:

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:
It's just a joke isn't necessarily an excuse, sometimes it's meant to add context.

Many people have inside jokes with their friends, and many times those jokes can seem offensive on the surface if there's no context given.

If I tell my friend to go die in a fire and they laugh and I laugh and some bystander who has nothing to do with the conversation gets offended then the correct response really is "it's just a joke, and it's a joke not meant for you, please go away."

It's just a joke really shouldn't be an excuse if you say something offensive directly to another person and they get offended, but it's fine when you indirectly offend someone.

I get that, but the problem is the hostile approach. Why does it have to be a 'fuck you' kind of response? Why not 'Oh, sorry, yeah it is just a joke between my friends and I, I don't really mean that'?

If I upset someone when I didn't want or mean to, it is unfair of me to get mad at THEM for it. Like, if you accidentally spilled your drink on someone, would you yell at them for getting upset?

Why are other people eavesdropping on my conversations? My first response to a stranger talking to me in public is "Who are you? Get away from me."

Why are you having public conversations?

I find it funny that some people cant handle someone not liking their joke. It's even okay for someone to be offended. You getting offended at someone else's offense isnt a default win. Grow up and talk to the person instead

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:

Saelune:
I get that, but the problem is the hostile approach. Why does it have to be a 'fuck you' kind of response? Why not 'Oh, sorry, yeah it is just a joke between my friends and I, I don't really mean that'?

If I upset someone when I didn't want or mean to, it is unfair of me to get mad at THEM for it. Like, if you accidentally spilled your drink on someone, would you yell at them for getting upset?

Why are other people eavesdropping on my conversations? My first response to a stranger talking to me in public is "Who are you? Get away from me."

Why are you having public conversations?

Because people have casual conversations in public places? What the hell kind of question is that?

trunkage:
I find it funny that some people cant handle someone not liking their joke. It's even okay for someone to be offended. You getting offended at someone else's offense isnt a default win. Grow up and talk to the person instead

'Don't be a hypocrite' is a controversial stance to have.

Gordon_4:

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:

Why are other people eavesdropping on my conversations? My first response to a stranger talking to me in public is "Who are you? Get away from me."

Why are you having public conversations?

Because people have casual conversations in public places? What the hell kind of question is that?

The kind meant to point out Dirty Hipsters's absurd stance.

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:
It's just a joke isn't necessarily an excuse, sometimes it's meant to add context.

Many people have inside jokes with their friends, and many times those jokes can seem offensive on the surface if there's no context given.

If I tell my friend to go die in a fire and they laugh and I laugh and some bystander who has nothing to do with the conversation gets offended then the correct response really is "it's just a joke, and it's a joke not meant for you, please go away."

It's just a joke really shouldn't be an excuse if you say something offensive directly to another person and they get offended, but it's fine when you indirectly offend someone.

I get that, but the problem is the hostile approach. Why does it have to be a 'fuck you' kind of response? Why not 'Oh, sorry, yeah it is just a joke between my friends and I, I don't really mean that'?

...Because you touch yourself at night?

Sorry, but considering your previous post, you kinda set yourself up for that one. Though as food for thought, do you suppose that this response right here might qualify as a 'fuck you' kind of response?

Asita:

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:
It's just a joke isn't necessarily an excuse, sometimes it's meant to add context.

Many people have inside jokes with their friends, and many times those jokes can seem offensive on the surface if there's no context given.

If I tell my friend to go die in a fire and they laugh and I laugh and some bystander who has nothing to do with the conversation gets offended then the correct response really is "it's just a joke, and it's a joke not meant for you, please go away."

It's just a joke really shouldn't be an excuse if you say something offensive directly to another person and they get offended, but it's fine when you indirectly offend someone.

I get that, but the problem is the hostile approach. Why does it have to be a 'fuck you' kind of response? Why not 'Oh, sorry, yeah it is just a joke between my friends and I, I don't really mean that'?

...Because you touch yourself at night?

Sorry, but considering your previous post, you kinda set yourself up for that one. Though as food for thought, do you suppose that this response right here might qualify as a 'fuck you' kind of response?

I am offended. :(

Ultimately though, everything in context. Like, yeah, sometimes people get offended when they shouldn't, and sometimes you sincerely apologize to someone and they don't care, but really I just want people to have a base respect for eachother and understand that everyone has their own standards and preferences and what does and does not upset them.

I think a lot of people are offended by things they should not be offended by, but I also think there are lots of things we should be more offended by than we are.

So few people ever seem to want to own up to their own actions. And even less are willing to just say 'sorry' and mean it.

Saelune:

Gordon_4:

Saelune:
Why are you having public conversations?

Because people have casual conversations in public places? What the hell kind of question is that?

The kind meant to point out Dirty Hipsters's absurd stance.

Is it absurd to want strangers to mind their own business?

Dirty Hipsters:

Saelune:

Gordon_4:

Because people have casual conversations in public places? What the hell kind of question is that?

The kind meant to point out Dirty Hipsters's absurd stance.

Is it absurd to want strangers to mind their own business?

You're probably not as quiet as you think you are. And people should get involved if people are throwing around bigotry or something. If you're just joking with friends it wont kill you to just explain the situation politely and move on. If they continue to persist then sure, get annoyed, but if you don't want things you say in public to be heard by others, don't say them in public. That is on you not them.

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:

Saelune:
The kind meant to point out Dirty Hipsters's absurd stance.

Is it absurd to want strangers to mind their own business?

You're probably not as quiet as you think you are. And people should get involved if people are throwing around bigotry or something. If you're just joking with friends it wont kill you to just explain the situation politely and move on. If they continue to persist then sure, get annoyed, but if you don't want things you say in public to be heard by others, don't say them in public. That is on you not them.

I can make as many jokes about dongles as I want and no one can stop me.

Frankly though you'll never convince someone to not be upset over something they've already decided to be upset by. It's not worth the energy trying.

Dirty Hipsters:

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:

Is it absurd to want strangers to mind their own business?

You're probably not as quiet as you think you are. And people should get involved if people are throwing around bigotry or something. If you're just joking with friends it wont kill you to just explain the situation politely and move on. If they continue to persist then sure, get annoyed, but if you don't want things you say in public to be heard by others, don't say them in public. That is on you not them.

I can make as many jokes about dongles as I want and no one can stop me.

Sure. And other people can respond to you, and you cant stop them. Freedom of Speech goes both ways.

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:

Saelune:
You're probably not as quiet as you think you are. And people should get involved if people are throwing around bigotry or something. If you're just joking with friends it wont kill you to just explain the situation politely and move on. If they continue to persist then sure, get annoyed, but if you don't want things you say in public to be heard by others, don't say them in public. That is on you not them.

I can make as many jokes about dongles as I want and no one can stop me.

Sure. And other people can respond to you, and you cant stop them. Freedom of Speech goes both ways.

When people bring up "freedom of speech" and it has nothing to do with the topic at hand

image

Dirty Hipsters:

Saelune:

Dirty Hipsters:

I can make as many jokes about dongles as I want and no one can stop me.

Sure. And other people can respond to you, and you cant stop them. Freedom of Speech goes both ways.

When people bring up "freedom of speech" and it has nothing to do with the topic at hand

image

Except it does because your only recourse is to suck it up or go somewhere else. You cant call the cops because they overheard your conversation at a movie theater or whatever.

There's a wonderful expression I've heard in a YouTube video recently. It's "Schr?dinger's Asshole" and it describes that insufferable sort of person who makes an outrageous statement, waits for the reaction and then decides if he was being serious or not. Those people are the worst.

Tricky, sometimes things are just jokes and part of the joke is people's reactions.

Many years ago I made a thread here about making a bit of extra cash by selling my sweaty socks (I run a lot) to people with foot fetishes, under the pretense that I am a lady with smelly feet. I am not.

Inexplicably, the responses in the thread suggested that people thought I was serious (much discussion about the ethics and practicalities of the ruse). But I was not. Obviously so, I thought, because the prospect was clearly silly.

It was, in fact, just a joke.

I think one of the problems of this defense is that it is not that it is wrong in principle but not nearly always true or relevant. Sometimes people do take things too literal and/or overreact. But what the OP is thinking of is probably the kind of people who either make jokes that are still shitty whilst being jokes or the 'Shr?dingers douchebag' where something is retroactively a joke due to backlash.

Saelune:

No, your joke wasn't funny, your joke was offensive, and you're the one at fault.

Got examples? I mean... If you're going to treat it like a rule.

I could imagine examples for myself but I could probably also split them into categories of thinking the joke teller is at fault and thinking the offended are being oversensitive/unreasonable. It's all just a bit nebulous.

Saelune:

And even then, when you make a joke, if your intent was to bring joy, and you don't, then own up to it and apologize. My first thought anytime someone says 'Why does x', is to say 'because you touch yourself at night', a joke in reference to Family Guy. But I rarely say it cause I am sure most of the time it wont be clearly read as a joke, and I don't actually want to offend the person I would say it to.

So something like 10 years back a Swedish comedy troupe (Grotesco) did a TV-series that was essentially a bunch of sketches or skits strung together. Grotesco were characterized by their mix of parody, meta humor, absurdism and political commentary and one of their sketches was a parody on a Swedish debate TV-show. This particular sketch involved a bunch of extremist Christians taking over the show to start a song with the chorus "it is the Gays fault" and a first minute of the song that goes like "The war in Afghanistan? The gays fault. The dictatorship in Iran? The gays faults. And Earthquakes, floods and other bad stuff? That Vin & Sprit, Saab and Volvo aren't Swedish anymore? It is the gays fault.(x3) The world is in flames and it is the gays fault. My son killed four people with a rifle and somehow I can feel it is the gays fault. Divorces and alcoholism? The gays fault. Parking guards and atheism? The gays fault."

This song caused an outrage among... the GLBT community who felt it was insulting to them. Now, I might be wrong and my sarcasm radar might be faulty as fuck, but I am fairly confident that the song is making fun of how extremist religious groups love to blame homosexuals for all kinds of inane stuff. Now, are Grotesco just unfunny or was parts of the GLBT community just a wee bit thin-skinned when taking offense at a joke that was meant to mock people that hate them? I hardly think it is the former.

And I would like to point out that a common use of comedy and humor is to mock and satirize people you don't agree with, just as Grosteco did with extremist Christians. Preferably this means punching up, against people with power, but just because someone makes fun of me at my expense that doesn't mean the joke can't be legit funny for everyone else on this forum or that there's ill-will behind it.

Gethsemani:

Saelune:

And even then, when you make a joke, if your intent was to bring joy, and you don't, then own up to it and apologize. My first thought anytime someone says 'Why does x', is to say 'because you touch yourself at night', a joke in reference to Family Guy. But I rarely say it cause I am sure most of the time it wont be clearly read as a joke, and I don't actually want to offend the person I would say it to.

So something like 10 years back a Swedish comedy troupe (Grotesco) did a TV-series that was essentially a bunch of sketches or skits strung together. Grotesco were characterized by their mix of parody, meta humor, absurdism and political commentary and one of their sketches was a parody on a Swedish debate TV-show. This particular sketch involved a bunch of extremist Christians taking over the show to start a song with the chorus "it is the Gays fault" and a first minute of the song that goes like "The war in Afghanistan? The gays fault. The dictatorship in Iran? The gays faults. And Earthquakes, floods and other bad stuff? That Vin & Sprit, Saab and Volvo aren't Swedish anymore? It is the gays fault.(x3) The world is in flames and it is the gays fault. My son killed four people with a rifle and somehow I can feel it is the gays fault. Divorces and alcoholism? The gays fault. Parking guards and atheism? The gays fault."

This song caused an outrage among... the GLBT community who felt it was insulting to them. Now, I might be wrong and my sarcasm radar might be faulty as fuck, but I am fairly confident that the song is making fun of how extremist religious groups love to blame homosexuals for all kinds of inane stuff. Now, are Grotesco just unfunny or was parts of the GLBT community just a wee bit thin-skinned when taking offense at a joke that was meant to mock people that hate them? I hardly think it is the former.

And I would like to point out that a common use of comedy and humor is to mock and satirize people you don't agree with, just as Grosteco did with extremist Christians. Preferably this means punching up, against people with power, but just because someone makes fun of me at my expense that doesn't mean the joke can't be legit funny for everyone else on this forum or that there's ill-will behind it.

All they need to do is sincerely explain it, not as an excuse to defend their behavior, but just as a means of explaining their point. 'Its just a joke, we didn't mean to offend and are sorry' is not what people who say its just a joke mean. They mean 'Fuck you, suck it up and stop being a baby'. Which never makes me feel they are sincerely telling a joke.

Dirty Hipsters:
If I tell my friend to go die in a fire and they laugh and I laugh and some bystander who has nothing to do with the conversation gets offended then the correct response really is "it's just a joke, and it's a joke not meant for you, please go away."

That's not allowed these days. If there's any chance someone who might be offended might be eavesdropping, you have to assume they are and avoid saying anything that might offend the eavesdropper. Look at all the people who supported Adria Richards during the whole "Donglegate" bit, which was exactly that situation -- she eavesdropped on a private conversation, was offended by a joke told, and very publicly tried to have the two involved shamed and fired. That was 6 years ago, and it's not like things are more chill now.

Dirty Hipsters:
I can make as many jokes about dongles as I want and no one can stop me.

But your dongle jokes are what keep women out of STEM (which seems shockingly easy to do, basically anything shy of constant praise and reinforcement seems to keep women out of STEM these days)! They probably also literally kill trans people (because everything seems to these days, from mistaken identity jokes to eating at the wrong fast food place)!

Baffle2:
Inexplicably, the responses in the thread suggested that people thought I was serious (much discussion about the ethics and practicalities of the ruse). But I was not. Obviously so, I thought, because the prospect was clearly silly.

I mean, there's a noticeable market for both negative drug tests and positive pregnancy tests and also every manner of anything anyone might get off on, I can see why someone might bite and take you seriously. It's neither the strangest nor the most horrible thing out there for open sale.

Asita:
...Because you touch yourself at night?

Part of me wants to argue that this is literally killing trans people because many of them are distressed by their genitalia.

Saelune:
'Its just a joke' is a common back-peddle defense people use when they say something shitty and offensive and people actually call them out on it. Guess what, it aint an excuse.

They need to learn the standard left wing backpaddle instead. It wasn't "a joke", it was "starting a conversation" - you know, like when you pick a male student from your college at random and make a wanted poster declaring him a "potential rapist". Or just do that in a list and include every male student attending. Both of those actually happened in the 90s.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked