Jokes about tragedy.

By now you’ve all probably have heard of The Skeptic Feminist shooting. If you haven’t, in short it’s alleged one of the three members of TSF had a PTSD episode or something to that effect. Somehow, unfortunately, this led him to shoot and kill one of the other members of TSF who was also his girlfriend. He was apparently taken to a hospital, before to a police station to be charged. Its a tragedy that’s hitting a lot of people, as alot of people were friends with the three members of TSF.

Not only has someone’s life ended, but two people’s lives are ruined too – and the shockwaves of that are rippling through our little internet community. To which I must say thank you to all the people who have been reaching out to comfort those affected and call out some of the more heinous statements being made by assholes. You guys rock.

And by the above I mean the actual assholes. The ones who are out right laughing at the fact someone has died – which I’ve personally seen and had to call out. I’m not going to post any examples here because I don’t want to give their assholery airtime. But what I’m not talking about is making jokes, I’m totally fine with jokes.

I think jokes about tragedy are a really important part of human nature, of processing and getting through stuff. I’ve my own fair share of tragedy and without humour I don’t think I’d have made it through to be the semi-well rounded individual I am today. Jokes are absolutely necessary to the process of dealing with an event like this one. I would never stand against making jokes about this. Though I would ask you have a smidgen of tact – though I’m not going to draw the line in the sand for you. That’s on you to decide.

However, one thing I do keep hearing is that “we’re not mocking a death we’re mocking a killer!” and I really don’t think this is as good a defence as it first seems. I got into this discussion with Sargon of Akkad last night after hearing him say it on his live stream. He talked about a couple of examples of jokes being made, including this one from @HarmfulOpinions.

Which again, I’m okay with the joke being made – but to argue this isn’t inherently about the fact someone died is just false. Its kind of cowardly that you’re willing to make and defend these jokes, but refuse to actually stand by the actions you’re doing. Its a total cop-out. Arguing semantics that the focus of the joke is the killer and not the victim doesn’t change the fact that you need to have a victim for this joke to make sense.

If these are the jokes you want to make, for whatever reason, you’re free to make them. I’m not your mum and I’m not going to wag my finger of morality at you and tell you what to do. But I will tell you that your defence for the thing you’re doing is a crappy argument and if you need to argue such a weak semantic defence in the first place – doesn’t that kinda imply you think what you’re doing is wrong anyway?

Anyway, this tragedy sucks and I urge you all to look out for any charity raising stuff going on. I’ve heard of a few going around and yeah – it would be dope if people could help out and maybe help prevent this kinda thing happening again in the future.

Stay good ❤


8 thoughts on “Jokes about tragedy.

  1. AlexLopez says:

    Nothing else to add, my feelings are the same. I just think it’s sad people are making fun of a person that got shot in a horrifying way.

    Side note: Joan Rivers cracked a pretty heavy joke only one year after 9/11, making fun of the widows. She never apologized and I don’t think she had to. The joke itself was very funny, but even then it was a whole year after. It’s not like you can’t joke about these things, but you should, at least, try to not sound like an asshole. Everyone sees everything on Twitter, and these events travel fast.

    I love me 9/11 jokes, but in all honesty, try to be sensible, people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karim Halawa says:

    Harmful had a much better defense for this style of humor than Sargon did. From His response to one of his critics:
    “I consider jokes to be art, and don’t think morality applies to art unless it’s meant to be didactic or directly harms”


  3. Anonymous says:

    It seems like every other sentence you contradict yourself. I mean this in a constructive manner, not meant to be a personal attack: Get over yourself, and despite what you clearly believe, realise that you’re not any better than anybody else just because of arbitrary lines you yourself decide to draw when it comes to petty shit like jokes.


    • cursede says:

      there’s nothing contradictory here? i’m okay with the jokes being made, and im okay with people drawing their own lines on tact. i’m just saying that inherent to the jokes is the fact someone died. there’s nothing wrong with that.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Your argument seems to boil down to: “these jokes involve a victim (including relatives), and the joke could reach those victims, and they might not be able to make the same semantic distinction as you (for whatever reason), and so it might make them feel bad.”

    To me, that doesn’t seem all that compelling. And also perhaps a little presumptive of any given victim’s inability to make that semantic distinction.

    I mean, yes, there is a potentially bad outcome at the end of the chain. But how much effort do you want to go into to preventing that outcome? Short of a total prohibition on dark humour – ensuring jokes are about people other than the victim is an important and valid part of reducing the negative impact of dark humour.


    • cursede says:

      My argument has nothing to do with whether the families of victims see it. It’s purely about what the joke is actually about, what is necessary for the joke to be funny. A murderer joke, especially the ones told by the people in the stream *inherently* involves a victim. This is a fact. Semantic arguments don’t change that.


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