People know I'm a comedy writer and they'll often casually pitch me jokes. When I lend a buddy a hand moving a TV, for instance, and something stressful or annoying happens while we're moving the TV, such as the TV falls on my feet, or we took the wrong box, my friend will throw me a smile, shrug his shoulders and say, "Hey, just write some jokes about it!"
Pop culture and current events have people pitching me joke ideas in particular. Something stupid happen on the Real World? You know someone's gonna throw me an IM"""Yo, U C RW 2nite? Write jokes ASAP!" Something weird happen in Brazil? I get emailed a link with the attached note"""Put THIS on your website!"
Well, Hurricane Katrina struck. So, quite obviously (and rather unfortunately), I've been getting Katrina joke "ideas" from every wise ass I know. The jokes have been quite diverse:"Dude, you should write about how the real victims are Girls Gone Wild!" "Dude, make a joke about Mardi Gras and naked chicks in the hurricane!" "Dude""Three words""Girls Gone Wild! I'll show you my tits for food!"
Those jokes aren't funny for two reasons. First off, if you've watched more that five seconds of coverage on CNN, you'll see that the images conjured up by the hurricane aren't stripping college girls, they are the poor and the minorities of New Orleans with looks of sadness and desperation on their faces. Or they are the images of FEMA workers making daring rescues. This sort of makes any Mardi Gras boob jokes irrelevant. But secondly, what IF there really are Girls Gone Wild in danger? Then go save those sexy college coeds for God's sake""don't just make jokes.
I'm not going to be making Hurricane Katrina jokes, but I'm not going to chastise people who do either. Listen, I know it's tough being a snarky and ironic college kid during a tragedy. I was a sophomore at NYU on September 11th, 2001.
The collective memory of that day? One of the worst tragedies our country has ever seen. My memory of that day? A pretty surreal, sad day where I hung out with my friends and made Bin Laden jokes while we ate Hormel chili, watched SNL on Comedy Central and gave each other rides on an industrial handcart we stole from the NYU computer store.
I was an editor of my school's humor magazine at the time, NYU's The Plague, and for the magazine, the coming weeks were strange and rough but we still managed to have a good time and make some jokes. Some of the good ones (that made it into the magazine)? An article about Art suing Life for copyright infringement. Some of the bad ones (that I wrote, that didn't get in)? An ad parody for British Airways where they boasted, "None of OUR planes were hijacked!"
Just like in 9/11, there ARE some funny things about Hurricane Katrina. Did anyone see that the Hard Rock Casino was completely destroyed""except for their signature oversized guitar? How the hell did a skinny glorified neon sign stay up in a hurricane when the surrounding CONCRETE structure fell to ruins? I really wish I had a "Hard Rock: Biloxi" shirt right now.
I'm not here to be like Ruddy Giuliani on SNL "" "It's okay to laugh!" I found that incredibly insulting, not only because I had already deemed it okay to laugh after 9/11, but because it looked like he was giving the finger to the camera. That's pretty rude Rudy.
I know why you're at the site now""you want a break from the drab coverage and the "heady" conversations about the race factor in this disaster that you're probably having in class. I as well was sick of hearing about 9/11 and the oncoming war in Afghanistan that my classes (my SPANISH class in particular) kept having. So click on some links, have a laugh, look at some lewd chicks who embarrassed themselves on Webshots and enjoy some CollegeHumor. Oh, and dude, what IS going to happen to Girls Gone Wild? They are, like, TOTALLY screwed.
Please consider making a donation to any of the worthy charities working to help those affected by this disaster. It only takes a minute, and if you have spent money on beer in the past week, you can probably afford it.