how many days have to pass before it is acceptable to have a joke about tragedy

This site was sent to me by a friend who must have thought this was funny. It seems to think 9/11 and the Columbia tragedy are funny. I don’t think its nice to laugh at things like this, especially as the Columbia tragedy is so recent. After every event like this, there are always some assholes who feel they need to have a laugh about it. How soon after this war, before we can joke about our soldiers that were killed? I’m sorry but this pisses me off, I have more respect for the dead. Maybe its just the way I was raised.
The link is here but I warn you the images are distasteful.

I am sorry.

Perhaps you will tell us all the appropriate way to deal with 4000 people blowing up.

I sure as hell don’t know, and I certainly don’t feel qualified to tell anyone else how to deal with horror. It is called gallows humor. It is a coping mechanism for some people. If you have a way to deal with the idea of 9/11 I am glad for you.

I am reminded of a student of mine, whose 40 year old mother was dying of brain cancer. It was in the end stages and the woman was in incredible pain, and no longer recognised her children. The student had to take charge of the younger children and had been acting as a parent for most of the previous year. The family was falling appart around her and no one was quite sure how to help. The way this young woman coped was with humor. Some of the family that arrived for the end thought that she was going about coping all wrong and that she was crass and selfish. She was just trying to get from day to day.

Ask your friend not to send you those types of “jokes” if they shock and offend you, but you don’t get to decide how anyone else deals with the events that have devistated the world the last couple of years.

Just out of curiousity, if one of your friends makes a joke about Saddam Hussein and/or Iraqi soldiers getting killed, would you object to that?

There was an very cathartic joke thread started here within days of the 9/11 tragedy, but the search function isn’t turning it up right now. It was clearly labeled as intended to be humorous and to skip it if you’d be offended.

Humor about a tragedy isn’t necessarily intended to be disrespectful of the dead; often, it is soothing to the living to be able to laugh in the face of it.

In response to the OP title - 2.

Dinsdale, I think you’re missing a 4. :slight_smile:

Wow, you guys are slow. I came up with a great zinger about 45 seconds after the second tower collapsed.

I have some Jewish friends who tend not to laugh when somebody tells a joke about the Holocaust, and various Christian friends of mine are not too amused by jokes about the crucifixion, so my answer would be: Way lots, depending on the audience.

The jokes used to come much more quickly. I remember a series of doozies about the Challenger shortly after that disaster. Every disaster seemed to come with its own series of sick jokes a few days later. Nowadays, you aren’t supposed to joke about anything at all for weeks after such an event. :rolleyes:

Feel free not to laugh. I don’t think a joke about dead soldiers would be very funny, either. However, a joke about President Bush or Saddam Hussein could be very funny. The thread (on another message board, but there was a link here) a few weeks ago that put captions underneath the government’s ambiguous pictures telling you what to do in case of terrorist attack were, IMO, funny as hell.

I think that, for a lot of people these days, you laugh to keep from crying.

We had a company picnic where they rented a hugh inflatable Titanic, sinking at a 45 degree angle. You slid down the deck, into the “inflatable water” below.

I was one of the few who saw the crassness of this.

I’ve always thought that the more sick jokes there were about a tragedy, the more it had affected people emotionally. Every tragedy has one or two, but the first shuttle disaster immediately produced a whole flock of them–I took that as a measure of how upsetting it was. I agree with furlibusea–it’s a way of coping with something that would otherwise be unimaginably difficult to deal with. I don’t always find them funny, but I’m not shocked by the fact that people can laugh at such things, either.

Maybe it’s not quite the same thing, but when my dad died there were times we laughed. After the memorial service my family sat around and re-told stories about my dad. Since he was a truly wicked-funny man we laughed for a good while. The laughter was a path to follow, away from death, grief and the tears that accompany it and into life, with it’s laughter, again.

Since I’m not going to follow that link, I’ll guess that some people are whistling in the dark and others are being crass. I can take comfort knowing I will not participate in it.

Well, I thought the link was funny. The one where giant Tetris pieces were added into a picture of people fleeing debris from the collapse of the two towers made me laugh out loud.

In all fairness, I have to admit that I don’t have a lot of respect for the dead. All the troubles we have to face every day, and those lazy buggers are just laying around, not helping anyone out at all. If they’re not going to get off their asses and pitch in with the rest of us, I don’t see why I should respect them at all.

Hell yea Miller, I’m glad someone else realizes just how lazy those damn dead people are! I know they whine about how busy they are decomposing and such but let’s face it, its the bacteria that are doing all the work. The corpses just lie there. And they take of valuable real estate as they’re doing this too. I’d be one rich mo fo if I had all the land that the dead are lazing around on.
Damn bastards–they should get off their bony asses and lend a hand. Being dead is no excuse for being lazy!

Jesus Christ, that’s cold, but I’m laughing.

Why? Because I assume you made this joke good-naturedly (I hope that’s a word.) I think gallows humor is ok, as long as there is some kernel of compassion or good spirit in the person(s) telling the joke. Hell, as long as I think that somewhere, deep down, the jokester cares, then I can laugh along. If s/he doesn’t care, well, that’s just sad. :frowning:

One of the all-time great SDMB threads – and a great comfort to me in the days following 9-11. The thread was started on 9-16 – note the WARNING in the thread title…

Possible ONION Headlines (Warning: WTC Humor)

BadBaby, I too spent time after my father’s (untimely) death remembering, and laughing about, funny stories about him, or that he’d told, or whatever. However, I think there’s a difference between laughing as part of mourning and cracking jokes about something tragic just because it’s current events. To the OP, Alan Alda talks about time after an event before you can joke about it, in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. “If it bends, it’s funny. If it breaks, it’s not”
True story here: the first day of school (I go to the local community college) after the Columbia disaster, on campus there was a table set out with information about the school’s “Re-Entry Program.”

comedy = tragedy + time

Death is the one certainty in life. Everyone dies, and some people die in tragic ways before they get to live a full life. And this scares a lot of people. To deal with it, some people try religion, some people simply ignore it, and some people make jokes about it.

To each his/her own.

In an earlier Photoshop contest on Something Awful, there was a pic of the intact WTC towers, with a giant Ford Pinto flying toward them. For those who don’t know, the Pinto is infamous for its tendency to explode on impact. This pic had me laughing hysterically, against my better judgment.

The week after the D.C. snipers were caught, I had as my Windows desktop a photo of a blue '90 Caprice with the license plate “5N1-P3R” Photoshopped on, and captioned, “Snipers foiled by l33t-speak.” Hey, I thought it was funny.

-Andrew L

When my father passed away a couple months ago, when we were at the funeral, my mother was completely devastated. But, after the family’s initial crying jag, she made the joke while viewing his body, “He must be dead, he’s never this quiet!” (He had ubelievable sleep-apnea type snoring in his last years)