Why Do We Laugh At These Things?

STEVIE WONDER:

Stevie Wonder jokes and memes run rampant on the Internet. As a matter of fact, people have been making blind jokes about Stevie Wonder for as long as I can remember. I’ve been hearing them since I was a kid. Tons of people made jokes and memes about him being blind. I must admit that I used to laugh at quite a few of them. But now that I look back on it, I think it’s pretty sickening and distasteful to make jokes about someone for being blind.

Being blind is a serious thing and is the furthest thing from a laughing matter. I believe most people are only okay with telling these jokes and laughing at them because they don’t understand blindness. They’re not blind themselves and they’re not close to anyone who’s blind. If they were, they wouldn’t think blindness is funny at all and would be very offended and upset at people for making fun of them or their loved one for being blind.

I also think people make fun of Stevie Wonder for being blind because he is famous. I don’t think people would make jokes and memes out of a regular blind person. If they did, they would be dragged and shamed all over the Internet, would probably make the news for bullying, and all of their social media accounts would be terminated. But since Stevie is a celebrity, people don’t take it as seriously.

I can only imagine what life would be like if I were blind. Sight is definitely something I think so many of us take for granted. Not being able to see for the rest of your life sounds like a very sad and horrible thing. Millions of people across the world have to live with this, yet this is what we choose to laugh and make jokes about?

RODNEY KING:
Jokes about Rodney King is another thing I’ve been hearing since I was a kid. I would hear comedians and people around me making jokes about him getting beat. Since people thought it was so funny, I thought he got beat up by a woman, another man, or a group of men. But as a child, I still thought it was weird that people were laughing at him getting beat, regardless of who beat him. As I grew up, I later learned and found out that he was beaten by police.

After finding out he was beaten by police, I always thought, if he was beaten by police, why is it so funny? I’m still wondering why it’s funny. Somebody please answer this for me and help me. Why is someone getting beat up by police funny? Isn’t this the same incident that sparked the 1992 LA riots? Isn’t an incident like this the same thing Black Lives Matter is fighting against today? How did this become so funny? Why are people laughing at the very same thing people rioted and got killed for? Why?

RIHANNA:
Ever since the incident between her and Chris Brown happened, people have been making jokes about it. Snapchat even made a distasteful poll that said ‘Would You Rather Slap Rihanna or Punch Chris Brown?’, which was obviously making fun of the incident. Rihanna’s response to the poll costed Snapchat to lose millions of dollars in shares. Jokes about Ike and Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, and many other celebrity domestic violence disputes have ran rampant for many, many years as well. And just like the Stevie Wonder jokes, I think people only make jokes about them because they’re celebrities. People are a whole lot less likely to make a joke about a regular couple suffering from domestic violence.

I’ve heard people make jokes about people getting raped, children being molested, and child abuse, amongst other distasteful and insensitive things.

We can keep saying it’s “just a joke” to justify these jokes all we want, but some things shouldn’t be made into a joke and should be taken seriously. Everything can’t be made into a joke.

I think this proves that our society is sick. There are so many things I see and hear people making jokes about that they really shouldn’t. I think most people in our society are mentally ill and desensitized to things they should be highly sensitive to.

If We ACTUALLY SAW The Bad Things Celebrities Do, Would We Still Love Them?

I remember an episode from The Simpsons where Bart idolized an actor named Buck McCoy. Bart saw him as a hero until one day, he saw him drunk and found out he was an alcoholic. Bart was crushed. He tore down all his posters and everything he had of Buck. It made me think if this is what celebrities are like in real life. Being total trainwrecks behind the scenes, but on television day in and day out being idolized by millions of people and being seen as heroes. Millions of people look up to them, thinking they’re so perfect and inspiring, and want to be just like them. Then some of those fans end up finding out about them being trainwrecks and are seriously heartbroken.

I thought I was thinking too hard until I think about their music/movies, interviews, biopics, and news stories. They admit to and get caught doing the most craziest and devastating things. They admit to being alcoholics, serious drug addicts, fighting their friends, sleeping around with nobody knows how many people (some of them have admitted that they slept with so many people, they can’t even count themselves!), and the list goes on and on. They even get caught or admit to criminal crimes, such as rape and murder!

So many celebrities do some of the craziest things imaginable, yet so many of us still love them. Even when they get caught on camera doing something crazy, there’s still so many of us who defend and still love them. Why is this?

What I’m thinking is that people have to ACTUALLY SEE WITH THEIR OWN EYES these things that celebrities do, like Bart Simpson did with his idol. I think we downplay the things they do & admit to because we didn’t personally see them doing these things ourselves. It’s much easier for us to cast something out of our heads when we don’t see it ourselves. Also, I think we do this because we still want to love them.

I’m thinking of the time when Ariana Grande got caught on camera licking a donut. What if she was never caught doing that and the store sold that donut to someone without knowing she had licked it? After the video was released, she gave an apology, which I think was filled with an excuse. She said she was just “disgusted with Americans’ eating habits” and “childhood obesity rates”. That shouldn’t be a reason to go lick a donut! To me, the apology only sounded like she was sorry because she got caught. Yet, many people forgave her and she still has so many fans. Would they have forgiven her if they ACTUALLY SAW her doing that? Not on camera in a video. But actually there seeing her do that. How would they feel if they were right behind her watching her as she did that?

I’m thinking of the story of Chris Brown beating Rihanna. I’ve heard rumors saying the story was fake and was an attempt to smear Chris Brown for some reason. I don’t know if it’s fake or not. But let’s stick to saying it’s real for now. So many people forgave him, even Rihanna herself, for beating her like that. Some people forgave him immediately when the story broke. What if people are only saying the story is fake because they don’t want to believe he did it? What if people ACTUALLY SAW him beating her like that? What would they be thinking? Would they be so forgiving after seeing it with their own eyes? Would they still want to be such huge fans? There’s stories about Rihanna hitting him on the night of the incident as well and they say that’s what escalated it. Yet, people only talk about Chris beating her and when it is brought up, people either ignore it or make excuses. She still has many fans, too. What if people were ACTUALLY THERE seeing with THEIR OWN EYES her hitting Chris Brown? Would they be so forgiving then?

I watched a few biopics over the years, but the Ray Charles story with Jamie Foxx is what I’m going to use as an example here. In the movie, he was shown doing drugs and skipping out on his wife for years, amongst other bad things. So many celebrity biopics are this exact same way. Yet, Ray Charles, too, still has many fans. I remember when the movie first came out and hearing so many people praising it. Jamie Foxx even won an Oscar for that movie. If people actually saw Ray Charles doing drugs and leaving with women that weren’t his wife and treating his wife the way he was treating her as the movie depicted, would they still be huge fans?

When most of us hear these stories about celebrities, we usually respond with saying things like, “We shouldn’t judge”, “Nobody’s perfect”, “Everybody makes mistakes”. But would we say that if we saw them or would we be singing a completely different tune?

If we actually saw with our own eyes the bad things these celebrities admit to and get caught doing? If we actually saw them doing massive amounts of drugs, drinking themselves to an early grave, raping someone, killing someone, hurting someone, saying bad things about others? Cheating on someone they claim to love? If we actually saw them doing these things? If we were actually there, watching them with our own eyes, when they were doing these things, would we be so forgiving and still be huge fans?

Or would we be devastated and heartbroken, like Bart Simpson?