Depends on who tells them, what the intent is, etc. I’ll laugh at jokes from my SO I would be offended by from anyone else in the world, because I know his heart.
I wouldn’t like jokes about a disability of mine unless they had the same disability. In a similar vein, I laugh my fool head off at jokes about Indians by Russell Peters (who despite the name, is a Canadian-Indian comic) but when white people make them I don’t find them funny.
I’m very fat, and only find fat jokes objectionable if they’re directed at me, or particularly mean-spirited. I also have a non-obvious-on-sight form of MD, but I don’t really hear Jerry’s Kids jokes, and if I did, meh. I make awful, tasteless jokes to myself all the time, about anyone and anything.
I have a seizure disorder and have no problems with jokes about epileptics. I make quite a few such jokes myself. In fact, I have no problem with jokes about more or less anything unless they’re not delivered in a mean-spirited or truly ignorant fashion. My husband and I often make jokes about each other’s country of origin, but I wouldn’t do that with someone I didn’t know well.
I’ve got my own limits, of course. I draw the line at jokes about kids with disabilities. I also have problems with fat jokes when they’re directed at me, mostly because I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in high school. I still struggle with it and my weight because of what I did to myself then. Jokes aimed at fat people make me want to start playing the deprivation game again.
As many have alluded to here, it is rarely the joke itself that is offensive, it is the spirit in which it is told. Sensitivity towards the audience, and those who may overhear the joke must be taken into consideration, but a terrible mean nasty joke told in a spirit of fun is much better to hear than a politically corrective rant by a Ofenderatti, any day of the year.
How many holocaust deniers does it take to change a lightbulb?
6 million, but they calim that the number is exagerated, and is probably close to zero.
I really don’t like it when a (for example) Jew tells jewish jolks (I’m not a Jew, or even Jew-ish), especially in a situation where I may be expected to laugh at their jokes. What am I supposed to do there–laugh at the jews right in front of a jew?
I tried to teach a guy a lesson one time by telling a jew joke myself (very tame, basically making fun of the throaty sound in yiddish by saying that jews spit everywhere when they talk). It didn’t go over very well, and I doubt any lesson was learned atexcept perhaps by me).
For me, the questions are whether the person intended it to be offensive, and whether it is directed towards the person with the disability. If the answer to either of these is no, I can’t really get offended. I can think them in poor taste, but that’s far less than offense.
If they’ve told the joke, they are giving you permission to laugh. They can’t very well be offended if you do what they obviously intended for you to do. Well, they can, but they’d be douchebags of the highest order.
At one point I had his routine memorized word for word I watched his DVDs so much. I tried repeating one of his jokes to a Sri Lankan friend of mine, only to realize that it was suddenly not cool because I wasn’t brown. :smack: