Humour Writers Face Crisis as Ebola Hits America and Isn’t as Funny as It Used to Be


Kingston, Ont. (October 5th, 2014) – Humour writers for Golden Words and other humour publications such as The Onion, The Beaverton, and The Journal found themselves struggling to come up with funny and relevant content as Ebola’s requisite funny distance of somewhere in Africa has come to the much closer location of some place in the States. Analysts fear that if it does creep across the border with fatal cases of it in North America, people won’t be able to even nervously laugh about it anymore.
Ayn Random, a humour analyst specializing in the study of ‘too soon’, spoke to us about the relation between how dangerous something is to you, as opposed to how funny it is to you.
“One of the key factors is if you can identify a possibility of something being dangerous to you specifically, as opposed to someone you’ve never seen or talked to. Essentially it infers that we’re horrible people, but we need to keep in mind that laughter is the best medicine. It’s important to embrace our moral depravity.”
Random remembers earlier tragedies with a mischievous smile. “We were throwing wave jokes back and forth the same night when the tsunami hit Japan.” She recalls, “It was a good mix of having adequate distance that it could be joked about immediately.” Not everyone, however was of the same opinion. “Takeshi stormed off angrily, but he’s a dick at the best of times.”
Heavily coming into play is knowing the company you’re in. Joe Craib, Editor of Golden Words says, “it’s hard to not joke about Ebola, but several of our writers have relatives who have been directly affected. Naked Mole Rat has a cousin who is a strain of Ebola.”
In order to avoid being insensitive, the Golden Words Team tirelessly goes through relevant media evaluating it on the basis of geographical distance, temporal distance, and the level of butthurt people tend to have about a subject.
Bird flu? Pretty funny, because it’s been a long time. Someone’s death, at their own funeral? Don’t learn to avoid those the hard way, some people at funerals tend to be a bit stiff. There are a lot of touchy subjects that have to be avoided at all possible costs, which is why I avoid mentioning them. If you wish I had listed some, just imagine being solely shocked/offended and not finding any of it funny. That’s what we just avoided.
Finding content in the world news just isn’t what it used to be in today’s global world. Now that you can read the news and see images of real people suffering on account of other people’s bullshit, one must maintain ignorance in order to joke about things that are happening. It’s one thing to know that the American Government is monitoring shit on the internet in manners that are unconstitutional, and another entirely to joke about the NSA publishing the raunchiest porn tags (#leprechauns) searched on his work computer. When we have to resort to another article about the administration at Queen’s, or about how West Campus is kind of far away, the world is in dire straits, and that’s when they need us most.