LSU Frat Makes Light of Tragedy
I try to use this blog as a tool of tolerance, but there are certain groups with whom I have a hard time sharing oxygen. And here’s one example as to why.
The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Louisiana State University decided to show their school spirit before the football game versus Kent State. That name should ring a bell for all you students of history. So, what did this banner proclaim?
“Getting massacred is nothing new to Kent State.”
File this under “Foot In Mouth”, subsection “Ho-ly Crap”.
As you may recall, Kent State was the site of the infamous murders of four protestors and the wounding of nine others by the Ohio National Guard in 1970. Kent State responded to the banner with, “We take offense to the actions of a few people last night who created an inappropriate sign and distracted from the athletic contest on the field.”
The frat has since issued an apology, but before you sweep this under the stained carpet, you should know that this is the same group who once held aloft a banner announcing, “Like the Batman premiere, we’re starting off with a bang!” in reference to the Aurora theater shooting.
Like any geek, I’m a connoisseur of fine dark humor and politically incorrect jocularity. I can recall instances when Patton Oswalt and episodes of The League have made me ashamed to laugh, albeit only briefly. So when does humor cross the line? Is there even a line? The obvious answer is whether or not something is funny, but obvious is too easy. I believe like most every issue, it’s a case-by-case basis.
One would think that a group of individuals smart enough to get into college would have the common sense to recognize something as being in bad taste. Humor is all about context. And context is all about your target. Comedians have been making jokes about tragedies since the first caveman uttered the first chuckle, but targeting the innocent victims of a tragedy is the wrong direction in which to proceed.
I’ll give you an example. I recall an episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit in which they (well, Penn anyway) expressed a desire to rebuild the World Trade Center in exactly the same way as it was originally constructed, so as to represent two giant middle fingers to the terrorists who attacked us. I found it funny because I could rally behind it. It made you laugh, while subliminally supporting the victims.
Furthermore, one has to consider their audience. Students and alumni of Kent State have a more difficult time distancing themselves from the massacre. Were they the intended targets of this brand of frat humor? One may argue no, it was the students of Louisiana State who were the intended audience. But we all know that’s bull. When you trash talk a rival sports team, do you do it behind their back or to their face?
In the end, I’m not going to support censorship. I will however say that as you have the freedom to express whatever sick joke you want, I have the freedom to not laugh, and to think you’re an ass.
Source: Think Progress
Pope Francis Is Pretty Awesome So Far
Pope Francis is calling out his own people, something so few of us tend to do. He has pointed out that the Catholic Church is too “obsessed” with certain social issues such as marriage equality, birth control, and abortion.
“It’s not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” the Pope said. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not all equivalent.”
As a former Catholic (I now consider myself a Christian/Buddhist/Humanist), I remember one of the big things that pushed my family and I away from the Church was man’s interpretation of holy doctrine and will. In other words, who are we to judge?
I know not everyone believes in the same deity as I, or even any deity at all. And that’s perfectly fine. As I’ve stated before, so long as your beliefs do not cause physical harm to anyone else, you can believe in anything you want. But my religious and spiritual musings must be saved for another time. They could make a complete blog entry all on their own.
Pope Francis seems to get it. My upbringing, which was partially based on the Catholic dogma with which I was initially raised, taught me to accept others for who they are. We have gotten used to some of the more extreme figures in the Church using their religion as a platform to preach intolerance. It is nice to see their leader essentially telling them to shut it and move on.
If the Church does not “find a new moral balance,” the Pope said, then “even the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards.”
The Catholic Church has more influence than Microsoft, Apple, and Sony combined, and it has the potential to do more good than any of those entities. The fact that they now have a leader who not only recognizes his organization’s own shortcomings, but who is actually willing to say something about it is a step in the right direction. After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right? Well, we’ve got a journey of seven billion miles and someone has finally shuffled forward.
Now, if Pope Francis could condemn and agree to prosecute all the priests who have molested children, we could grant him sainthood.
Source: Think Progress
Northampton Clown is Gonna Give Me Nightmares
I need some battery acid.
A mysterious clown has been terrorizing the community of Northampton in the United Kingdom. The clown has been spotted in various locations, giving citizens the general creeps. He (no, not he…it…IT!) even offered to perform a little home improvement on one resident’s house.
Yeah, you know what instantly improves my home? No clowns.
The creepy costumed character has even generated the hashtag #NorthamptonClown. Keep a lookout for this carnivorous carnival creature. As for me, I’ll be double checking my locks and—
What was that sound?
Source: Northhampton Herald and Post