Friday, September 09, 2005

happy mardi gras

At the newspaper’s weekly staff meeting this afternoon, we were being vastly inappropriate. Let’s just say I came home wearing Mardi Gras beads. Of course I firmly reprimanded the editor & chief for being so callous and endorsing “Katrina related prizes,” but there’s just something about those plastic beads, ya know? In spite of such sentiments as, "What's wrong with you?" and "You're a sick fuck;" we couldn’t help but play along. I am very much a fan of humor that, on the surface, crosses the line. (When in reality it’s mocking A) people who really do cross the line B) our high level of sensitivity and C) the line itself.) But is this too soon?

I feel like Katrina can be put into the same category as 9/11. Though different genres of tragedy (terrorism v. nature), they are comparable for the catastrophic loss of life (though Katrina obviously being greater) and the exposure of vast weaknesses in the world's most powerful nation. So what if people were cracking jokes a week or so after the towers collapsed? Well, perhaps people were?

There’s a fine “too soon” line that separates edgy satire and insensitivity. Things aren’t funny because they’re offensive, but offensive things are funny. Not long after The Challenger exploded, my dad happened to be cutting up an expired credit card, and he tossed the pieces onto the countertop and called it a reenactment. I guess we just need to laugh.


Blogger Tim Duffy said...

The Onion and Jon Stewart have walked an excellent line with regaurds to Katrina. So to has 's own Frank Santopadre: President Bush revisited the scene of Hurricane Katrina this week and attempted to reassure residents of the water-filled city, insisting that he was an optimist who preferred to see New Orleans as "half-empty."

10:48 AM  

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