Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When a joke is not funny

The suggestion of killing one million people should never be considered funny.

I don't expect many objections to the above statement. However, when the number changes to 1.3 billion, many viewers of the Jimmy Kimmel live think it is funny.

No, it is not cute or provocative.

The kid first instinct when asked whether to pay back a debt is to "kill everyone in China." I suspect he cannot point to China in a map, nor does he know how many people live in China. So the racial or political aspect could wait, but kill just because you owe someone money? This is serious. The kid and his family need help. In a time mass shooting is routine, (two school shooting this week alone), such talk is not joke. 

Just substitute China to a neighbor next door. Imagine the same dialog:
Father: You may not have the Xmas gift you want because we owe Uncle Joe next door one hundred dollars.
Son: Kill him.
Do I hear anyone laughing? To the kid, it is probably same, Uncle Joe or everyone in China. It is the audience. When they hear China, it is remote, and enemies live there. So, it is "funny". Except it is not. 

This is my primary complaint about the show. The violence, and more importantly, the apathy toward it.

Killing over debt is not an abstract idea. It has happened many times, too many, in human history. States went to war, neighbors killed each other, and feud between families. We don't educate our kids this way.

To be fair, Jimmy Kimmel was trying to "educate" the kid that killing is not the good idea, but the talk has no place for airtime on national TV.  

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