Look, here’s how comedy works – you take something that is known and you twist it in some clever way to make a new connection. The humor comes from doing it with timing and making people believe you are headed one direction and then *BAM* you end up in another place. There are many different ways for this to work, but that’s basically what happens. It’s how all comedy works, and it’s not a bad thing.
But now we have the dorks at some random
fag/lezzie/hobag/trannieG.L.B.T. organizations that claim to speak for me getting their panties in a wad over jokes. Granted the jokes are about fags, but believe me, we’re funny people. If you only knew the half of what we do, you might giggle, you might guffaw, you might pee. Whatever would happen, at least you’d have a moment in your day that was amusing and not hateful.
Here’s a good litmus test for whether or not something is meant to be hateful or joking. When you tell it, what’s your aim? When Jay Leno tells a joke, it’s to make people laugh. Same for David Lettermen and, I’m told, Conan O’Brien. I always thought his hair was the joke, but I digress. If not to laugh, then to at least just hear themselves speak. If it’s told with the intent to define someone as ‘less-than’ another, that’s when you have a problem. And then it doesn’t matter what the fucking topic was, it matters who the fucking moron is who is speaking.
Remember, the terrorists have no humor, this is why their religion is out of control and they are wreaking the havoc we see on the nightly news. Humor keeps us human. It keeps perspective in times of crisis, it helps us cope with danger, trauma, fate. It’s the one spark of creativity that exists truly in the moment, never to be captured again, because, while it comes from another, it only happens in you. Do you laugh? I do. Not enough, but I do. I find humorless people, who seek only to make everyone safe from every little thing that could ever possibly go wrong from random soup poisoning to cars breaking to bad air to bad jokes… exhausting. Yes, there are plenty of things wrong with the world, not the least of which is unfounded fear and hatred that leads to stupid things like Defense of Marriage Acts. However, jokes about gay men from people who know and love us won’t hurt. From people who respect us won’t hurt. Hell, jokes from us won’t hurt, either. The only thing that will hurt us is when we lose our humor and randomly attack everyone – foe or friend. Then we’ll be in trouble. Because when we do that, we lose our voice. And for so long, we had no voice, and AIDS ravaged our community. And no one heard our screams for so very long. We can only fix what needs fixing if we keep our wits about us. And let our wits out once in a while.
So, frankly I’m more worried about the uptight twits at the organizations than the jokes flying around the media – especially when you consider how many in Hollywood and the media are the reason we have made the progress in HIV/AIDS research, breast cancer, and so many other problems that plague us as gays, lesbians, humans. People like Jay Leno, and David Letterman, and yes, even Conan O’Brien. And his hair.