Who makes jokes?

Part of the bill of indictment against me is that


The horror. Who does that? Who makes jokes?

Well, I do, for one. All the time. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m incurably flippant, and frankly I don’t want to be curable of that, because people who are relentlessly po-faced make me feel bored and suffocated in a matter of minutes.

This means that I make jokes about things I care about as well as less heavily freighted subjects. I make jokes about almost all things. I say “almost” just out of caution – I can’t actually think of any exceptions at the moment.

I make jokes about the left, about feminism, about political passions, about causes, about horrors. The jokes can be dark as opposed to flippant – or not. Either way I don’t consider them criminal in nature.

There are shitty mean destructive jokes, of course. There’s that Tosh guy, there was “Dapper Laughs” – there are all kinds of jokes expressing contempt for underlings. Those jokes are crap. But that doesn’t mean that all jokes about progressive causes are forbidden or slyly wicked.

I’m learning that some people don’t understand that.

There was that Fresh Air about Tangerine, the shot on a phone movie about two trans women. Terry Gross, the director, and one of the stars had a laugh about changing terminology.

GROSS: I want to ask you about the word fish, which is used in the movie by the trans sex workers to describe cisgender women – like, women who are born with a woman’s anatomy and are comfortable with that…

BAKER: Right.

GROSS: …And identify with that.

BAKER: I guess the proper term these days is chromosomal female.

GROSS: Oh, is it changed already from cis?

BAKER: It’s already changed (laughter). That’s semantics.

GROSS: Wow, I can’t keep up with it. It’s chromosomal now?

BAKER: Nobody can keep up with it. Yes, nobody can…

See that bit where it says “laughter”? All three laughed at that point. There were no screams of anguish or sounds of furniture being broken.

I said three words this one time in a discussion about terminology. The three words were “Too last week?”

That’s one of my putative crimes.

Yes really.

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