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Humor about race and religion, and its importance


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Aline Adams has a good piece on using humor to turn stereotypes on their head - and wonders whether her kids are getting the joke:

http://www.kveller.com/blog/parenting/d ... ish-jokes/

I happen to like this sort of humor. For example, I've been known to refer to the assorted quirky kid demands in our family (toddler son must have baby washcloth of a certain size and texture to grab at all times, oldest girl cannot be within 3 feet of an identifiable vegetable, etc) as The Protocols of the Youngers of Zion. I also love Russell Peters, esp. his "Beat Your Kids" routine.

I also love this video:

but then fear for humanity when I read the comments. It's a joke, people...and the butt of the joke is racist idiots who believe this hateful crap.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Dow Marmur wrote an interesting piece about the role of humor in faith:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commenta ... armur.html

He writes:

Amos Oz, the Israeli writer, commenting on his recent book, How to Cure a Fanatic, told the London Jewish Chronicle: “I’ve never seen a fanatic with a sense of humour. Neither have I seen anyone with a sense of humour become a fanatic, unless he or she lost their sense of humour over something.â€

I admit to using the sense of humor test when figuring out if someone has drunk too much Kool-Aid. I remember attending a friend's wedding. He was newly religious, the whole thing seemed surreal, and just as we were wondering if he had gone off the deep end, he came around to the table and made a crack to my husband about Colorado and Florida being in the playoffs. It was a sign that deep inside, he hadn't changed who he was. He teaches our kids now, and still has a sense of humor. OTOH, fanatics and despots seem to hate humor and snark. I love Jon Stewart for standing up for people like Bassem Youssef when he got into trouble for making fun of Morsi in Egypt, and for drawing attention to how the Iranian regime was so threatened by a comedy fake-news show interviewing Maziar Bahari that they arrested and tortured him.

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I agree. Of the political or religious fanatics I know, the one common denominator is that they have no sense of humor, and are absolutely incapable of laughing with people. Takes away from the seriousness of the Cause. :roll:

During the dictatorship in Greece, the only way to get opposing views published was to cloak them in humor. Humor was kryptonite for those fascists. They would run down any Op-Ed that deviated so much as a millimeter from their worldview, but seemed incapable of understanding irony, so that is how resistance in print would slip through.

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