I am 21 going on “Get off the lawn” and “Would you like some cookies dear?”
So, yes, I am part of Gen Z. If you were born between 1997 and 2013, you are Gen Z. Congratulations. That being said, my day-to-day outlook on life is nothing like the stereotype.
Stereotypically, Gen Z can’t take a joke, has zero attention span, is addicted to technology, calls everyone that is rude a Karen and tries to cancel offensive things.
Apparently, Millenials and Boomers think that is all we are. Well I am not, even though I sit here on my computer complaining about that as anyone from my generation would.
Well back off Karen, because I can still laugh.
This week I read an article about Jennifer Aniston saying my generation is offended too easily. I happen to agree with Aniston on this one.
Aniston said, “Now it’s a little tricky because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians, because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life.”
My generation, apparently, came out in droves saying the sitcom Friends is offensive. Which, yes, it was in some regards. However, my generation doesn’t seem to understand intentional satire.
A lot of the issues discussed on Friends were ahead of what people believed back then. “Back then” being only 19 years ago.
I think back to Chandler’s parents. Gender identity was a sketchy topic to be airing even only 25 years ago. Could the show have done better about Chandler’s dad being trans? Probably. But keep in mind, pronouns and identity didn’t really become acceptable until recently, not long after Friends aired its last episode in 2004. Even now, though, it is still not fully accepted, and gender identity has been a topic since the 1700s.
I grew up with satire and comedy about oneself. My dad, who has Tourettes syndrome, has never had any shame in making fun of himself or others. He used to say some terrible things about Tourettes on stage, but he would always come clean and explain that he had the syndrome, too. He sometimes says to me, “What can you laugh at if you can’t laugh at yourself?”
No one makes me laugh harder than him.
I think satire should apply to the offensive things, too. If someone is making a joke about it, then there is probably something offensive to someone about it. But when they make the joke, it brings that problem out in the open and shines a light on it. Then, sometimes, people start to change their ways.
It gives the general public a mental break from the dreary problems we deal with on a daily basis.
In this world, which has been through some tough times the last few years, we need a good laugh. There was a time when Chris Farley, Jim Carrey, the Wayans, Dave Chappelle and Molly Shannon would make utter fools of themselves for no reason at all except to get that laugh. It used to be a compliment to be made fun of on Saturday Night Live or In Living Color.
Now, it feels like a laugh will get you killed or shunned by society.
Oh and here is a thought: If you find it offensive, don’t watch it.
Maybe we should just cancel people’s humor. Then, the world will be right. Right?