Too Far?


People love the internet. It can provide endless information and entertainment instantly. Anything out there can be accessed almost instantly with just the click of a button. However, the internet is also a really creepy place where it's possible to find websites encouraging anorexia, dedicated to revenge porn, hate blogs, and any other dark topic an unknown user wants to explore. Some of these sights are clearly illegal. There's no debate over whether or not a child porn site is okay. However, there's an uncomfortable overlap concerning entertainment and illegality. Videos, images, and updates making jokes about rape, murder, sexism, and other crime runs rampant across the internet. For example, Dave Chapelle has an entire standup piece about R. Kelly peeing on an underage girl which is accompanied by a parody song. Dave Chapelle is by no means alone in making fun of serious crimes, nor is he the most extreme example. A song called "I Kill People" actually exists on the internet, and it is well known. While it's obviously meant to be funny, I can't help but wonder if it goes too far. Take Dave Chapelle's song "I Want to Pee on You" for example. This is pretty offensive on a few levels. If R. Kelly actually peed on that girl, I doubt she or her would find the joke song very funny, nor would they appreciate all of America laughing along to the lyrics about her sexual assault. Additionally, if Kelly never peed on that girl, then he undoubtedly doesn't think it's funny that everyone now (a) thinks he's a rapist and (b) has turned him into a public joke. Beyond the personal levels, these jokes could potentially harm others affected by sexual assault or murder. Making light of the situation for a good laugh could unintentionally have seriously negative consequences on people who see the joke. Are these jokes really all in good fun, or is joking about crime morally wrong? Why do we find jokes about crime so funny? Furthermore, do these jokes make light of serious situations and contribute to the problem further?

#rape #comedy #sexism

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