I think I’m coming down with something.
And this time I got advanced warning from a friend on Facebook. Usually I don’t remember until it’s too late to dress for it. September 19th. How hard is that?
And now, some pirate and pasta jokes. It’s a Pastafarian holiday, dontcha know? Ramen, my brothers and sisters. Ramen on this, His holy and delicious day…
What’s a pirates favorite kind of fish?
How does a pirate clean his ship?
He has a Yarrrrrrrrd sale!
What were the last words of the quantum physics-savvy pirate that was made to walk the plank?
“I’d never have thought a Planck length could seem that long!”
Q: What would you get if you crossed pasta with a snake? A: Spaghetti that wraps itself around a fork
Q: What do you call a fake noodle? A: An impasta.
(The rest there are really awful in the “not for polite company” kinds of ways. Are pirates polite? Go if you dare.)
Because it’s too far to walk.
A bad joke’s all you’re getting for the moment. Feel free to add better or worse ones in the comments, though.
A Facebook friend posted it and I thought I’d do the same:
A burglar is working his way through the living room when he hears a a voice from the dark call out, “Jesus is watching you!” He swings the flashlight around the room but sees nobody. Again he hears, “Jesus is watching you!” This time he locates the source – a parrot sitting high on a perch.
“What’s your name?” he asks.
“Moses,” replies the parrot.
“What sort of person would call their parrot Moses?” he asks.
The parrot retorts, “The same type of person who calls their rottweiler ‘Jesus’.”
I quote an article from the Atlantic where there’s some concern over what guides an audience to an article online. In early days of paper publishing, a pithy headline was a guaranteed eye-catcher. These days, though…
Despite the fact that Crowley has won ACES’ top award for headline writing, he regularly finds that his funny headlines for the Review-Journal have been re-written by the online desk to be more search-engine-friendly. For example, when Harrah’s casino announced plans to build a new entertainment center with an observation wheel, Crowley came up with the headline “Brave new whirl.” The online desk changed it to “Harrah’s plans retail, entertainment center.”
“I understand the shift toward search optimization,” he says. “But I think we’re losing something when we take the wordplay and surprise out of headline writing.”
In a widely circulated 2010 article criticizing SEO practices, Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten made the same point by citing a Post article about Conan O’Brien’s refusal to accept a later time slot on NBC. The print headline: “Better never than late.” Online: “Conan O’Brien won’t give up ‘Tonight Show’ time slot to make room for Jay Leno.”
Off, but near topic, I search specific keywords when I look for things to write about, (usually “God news” or “Jesus news”) and I’ve noticed a predilection for some of the results to highlight a religious connection to the story, even if the story itself could be about all kinds of topics. If it’s a celebrity interview, for example, the article headline might note some comment made about that celeb’s beliefs as if that’s more important than the train wreck their career is having. (Assuming that’s actually important. Sometimes I question what qualifies as “news”.) All the Lindsay Lohan stuff comes to mind as a prime example. Between her father’s religion, his crimes, dreams of God rehab, and now forays into Scientology, it seems like religiously inspired topics get used just to keep certain people in the news, not because what they’re up to is particularly newsworthy.
Getting back to the article:
Before the session wraps up, a young copy editor raises her hand to ask Crowley about the conflict between funny headlines and SEO guidelines.
“A lot of times I’ll write something, and the online desk will rewrite it because it doesn’t work.” He crosses his arms and leans against the dry-erase board. “And that’s because Google doesn’t laugh.”
If hilarious headlines are less desirable in respected online papers, at least there are blogs to pick up the sarcastic/ironic slack. Slate gets mentioned in the article as being a site that still makes room for humour while staying true to the story because they know what their core audience wants and appreciates. They appreciate being in on the joke, for one thing. Popular bloggers (and virtual unknowns like me) might have a better shot at catching the audience eye because they aren’t under any guidelines about what makes for an “acceptable” headline. I’d joke even more than I do already in order to snag the notice of readers who might not have clicked my links otherwise. There are still people who appreciate a play on words. It’s evidence of wit, but more than that, it’s evidence that we’re trusting the audience to understand it. It’d suck to reach a point where nobody can anymore.
I recently posted about a kid who was using her t-shirt at school to promote her faith and got in trouble over it. She got in trouble, not me. Just clarifying that.
In the National Post at the end of December last year, there was an article titled The death of humour and I’d fully intended to check out the rest of their “Year in Ideas” series when I saw it but then forgot. Big surprise there.
How are these things related, you might wonder? Personally, her shirt reminded me of a joke: How do you make holy water? You boil the hell out of it. Wearing a shirt that says, “Jesus, he scares the HELL out of you” should be equally funny (if dumb jokes are your thing) but it wasn’t. The school opted to call foul on the use of HELL on school property and a news story resulted.
Not long after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, Twitter was a-fluttering with tweets on the topic, some of which were entirely tasteless. Gilbert Gottfried got a tsunami of bad press after his series of tweets and that cost him his job with Alfac Inc. He’s since apologized.
It makes a person wonder, though: has crass taken the place of comedy, or are we just becoming too thin skinned and perceiving offense where none was meant? Onto the NP article:
In the war between literalism and irony, the first casualty is jokes.
The trend is global, and Canada is not the worst affected. Just as the American obesity epidemic is sometimes described as 10 years ahead of Canada’s, so does Britain — where the tourist attraction of Speaker’s Corner is the only place you are truly allowed to speak freely — offer a glimpse of what might be in store.
One of its most celebrated and blackest comics, Rowan Atkinson (who, for the literalists out there, is not actually black) advocates against laws that aim to ban speech that could be considered offensive to certain groups, and which are lethal to comedy.
This puts in mind the blasphemy laws Ireland set up. Michael Nugent, of Atheist Ireland said at the time,
“We believe in the golden rule: that we have a right to be treated justly, and that we have a responsibility to treat other people justly. Blasphemy laws are unjust: they silence people in order to protect ideas. In a civilised society, people have a right to express and to hear ideas about religion even if other people find those ideas to be outrageous.”
I’d say the same extends to comedy but I don’t think that translates into a free pass to be an asshole. Joan Rivers defended Gottfried, her argument being that comedy helps people deal with tragedy. While I agree with her to some extent, it’s so easy to go too far with it. I think Gottfried did, for which he Gottfired.
Anyone who’d mock a tragedy as it happens deserves a fair amount of derision, especially when it’s done so publicly. I think there’s still a need for some sense of personal responsibility in terms of what we say and give to the world. I think it’s even more important now given how far across the world an idea can get, and how fast it happens. Gottfried showed no compassion at all. He wasn’t mocking an ideology or belief system or drawing Mohammad. He was cracking jokes at the expense of people dying through no fault of their own. That’s nothing anyone should laugh at or applaud. What kind of human beings are we if we do that?
Typical ones, I suppose. Satire like it is, even The Onion gets it:
According to Perkins, the exceedingly rare occurrence of the human race simultaneously feeling a moment of tenderness and selfless concern for others only has a handful of modern precedents: Similar behavior occurred for 22 minutes following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, for six minutes following the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, and for slightly under four seconds after news first broke of the trapped Chilean miners last year.
Experts calculated that in order for everyone on Earth to act like a good person for 30 minutes, 1,000,000 human beings would have to die in a volcanic eruption or flood. For an hour of worldwide charity and altruism to take place, statistics suggested that an entire ethnic group would have to be genocidally murdered in a single afternoon on live television.
In order for people to be decent and caring for an entire day, there reportedly would have to be only 12 survivors left on the planet, though by the next morning they would likely begin arguing, slandering, and killing each other for resources.
I’d really hate for them to be right…
A man is walking through the forest and runs a bear, who begins chasing him. Running for his life, the man shouts, “Oh God! Please help me!”
God responds, “Why should I help you? You’ve never called on me before, but now that you’re in trouble, you expect me to be there for you?”
The man replies, “Well, at least make the bear into a good Christian then!”
Suddenly the bear stops, puts his paws together, and says “Dear Lord, thank you for this meal you’ve set before me….”
A middle-aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.
While on the operating table, she had a near death experience.
Seeing God, she asked “Is my time up?”
God said, “No, you have another 43 years, 2 months, and 8 days to live.”
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a
facelift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come
in and change her hair color. Since she had so much more time to live,
she figured she might as well make the most of it.
After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While
crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, “I thought you said I had
another 40 years? Why didn’t you pull me from out of the path
of the ambulance?”
God replied, “I didn’t recognize you!”
A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer when all of a sudden he said aloud, “Lord grant me one wish”. The sky clouded and a booming voice said, “Because you have tried to be faithful I will grant you one wish.” The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want to.”
The Lord answered, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time to think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me”.
The man thought for a long time and finally said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know what they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘nothing’, and how I can make a woman truly happy?”
After a few minutes God said, “How many lanes did you want on that bridge?”