Reader: Dropping the flag on the Joe Paterno shot

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People in sports bars across town were glued to TV sets last week, watching the latest development in the Penn State scandal. The news of the coverup -- and the longtime coach's subsequent firing -- inspired the quick creation of a shot to to commemorate this hottest of current events: the Joe Paterno.

But the situation was no laughing matter to a few commenters, including Sad:

We understand that you couldn't help yourselves with the last line. Child rape is so funny!

Another anonymous correspondent took it further:

I am a jokester, and a very open minded person. But your Paterno Shot article is in absolute bad taste. I am personally going to urge clients to not support Denver Westword, and will be also writing Village Media.

There were children injured in this story, and your insensitivity to the issue makes you just as bad as those involved.

To the showers.


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12 comments
Elwood
Elwood

No problem with the tearing down of Sandusky or Paterno and if that is where the original post stopped then also no problem.  Seriously though, satire, over-sensitivity, black comedy, etc. cannot explain away or even begin to defend the choice to add the last line:  "Close your eyes, and bottoms up!"  The shot idea was funny, the last line not and it was wrong to include. 

Mantonat
Mantonat

Really? Making a joke about Joe Paterno is just as bad as what Jerry Sandusky did? Really? In the realm of social satire, making fun of someone is a form of criticizing them. It is not intended (nor does it really come across as) making light of the situation or condoning criminal actions. Just because something inspires laughter does not mean that the subject or the thoughts that the joke provokes are not serious.

I think it's around 8th grade that most kids are introduced to Swift's "A Modest Proposal." If you aren't familiar with this essay or the concepts of satire, there might be some remedial adult literacy programs available to fill in those gaps.

Jon S
Jon S

Amen to that Mantonat.The absurd overly-sensitive logic of these commenters doesn't hold up.  It's like saying Stanley Kubrick is akin to a mass murderer for making Dr. Strangelove because people in Hiroshima were killed by a nuclear bomb.

Whereisyourmoralcompass
Whereisyourmoralcompass

Paterno jokes/derision are not off limits.  He's a doddering simpleton bent on protecting his legacy with a level of culpability easily distinguishable from the rapist.  However, a direct joke about a child rapist is over the line.  Straining to find some absurd pop-culture "comparison" that isn't remotely similar to a direct joke about the actual perpetrator of child rape is telling.

We'll see how overly sensitive you get when your 8 yr. old son is raped by a trusted adult.

Amen to that.

Whereisyourmoralcompass
Whereisyourmoralcompass

The actual issue is your laughter at "Close your eyes and bottoms up (or is that last part the Sandusky)."  That's not contextual, satire, or degradation of the perpetrator.  It's laughing at a helpless victim.  To attempt to justify your laughter, because it is indefensible, you go on the attack with hypocritical defensiveness through your imaginary victim strawman.  Go ahead, keep laughing at the expense of the real victims.  Because you're hopelessly lost. 

Even your imaginary victimhood isn't helping you to develop some empathy.  Which is infinitely sad.  You can't even imagine being empathetic.

Jon S
Jon S

It's no misinterpretation. You literally wrote the words"We'll see how overly sensitive you get when your 8 yr. old son is raped by a trusted adult." No joke, and you specifically wished child rape against someone you don't know. It's the internet, your words are there for all to see, no backing away from them now. Might as well own them.

If you can't see how bad your statement was, and compare it to a joke about a perpatrator, then you are hopelessly lost. I've expalined myself plenty that I'm laughing at the jokes because they degrade perpetrators. I'm not laughing at child rape. All you've done is post personal insults without ever once addressing the actual issue. Moral compass my ass. You can't separate morality from your own inability to comprehend the context of a joke.

Whereisyourmoralcompass
Whereisyourmoralcompass

Or maybe I'll just call your misinterpretation of my posting "a joke" or "satire" and you can laugh along with it.  Unless all of a sudden you have a line now that can't be crossed?

I don't need to convince anyone of your type.  Your the childless guy who laughs at everyone's else's expense but gets all huffy when called on it so you go into attack mode.  If you did have children, you wouldn't find child rape funny and wouldn't go through those gyrations to justify your laughter.  So if you think my posting was a "wish" for you, just replace the word "son" with "unicorn."  Same thing in your world. 

Jon S
Jon S

Sure thing, you go on ahead and be the person that trolls boards and issues rape fatwas against unknown people's children. Some great "empathy" there for you. I'm sure it'll work out and really convince anyone.

Whereisyourmoralcompass
Whereisyourmoralcompass

Your absurd overly-sensitive logic doesn't hold up. 

"Bbbbbbut , you wished this, and trolled that, and can't read, and I can laugh all I want at child rape as long as I call it satire." 

Whatever.  It's pretty clear that your capacity for empathy is limited to your pathetic life's experience.  Good for you.  You've never been victimized so it will always be sooo funny.  Soon enough you'll be the only one getting "the joke", like the guy who cracks offensive "jokes" only to wonder why no one else is laughing.  Let's make this clear; I'm not your friend.  And it's a wonder you have any.

Jon S
Jon S

Moral compass? I simply defended a joke, you wished the rape upon the child of someone who doesn't share your absurd overreaction. Regardless of your "empathy" bullshit, that's exactly what your comment says. I'd say that makes you completely morally bankrupt my friend.

As Mantonat stated, the jokes are directed at the perpetrators, not the victims. I didn't need to "note  a distinction" because it was obvious in the actual reading of the article. Perhaps you really need that remedial course adult literacy if you were unable to see that. By the way, why did you bother clicking on the article in a food blog if it was just going to offend you? Do you also troll comment boards for every late night talk show host that makes a Catholic priest joke? That was a way more widespread case of child abuse with far more victims. I, apparently along with most people given their popularity, find jokes at the Catholic churches' expense more than appropriate.

Anyway, I'll continue to laugh at jokes that satirize and degrade the perpetrators of heinous acts, regardless if you fail to comprehend the nuances and believe they cross some imaginary line.

Whereisyourmoralcompass
Whereisyourmoralcompass

Oh?  Now who's the overly sensitive one?  No one "hoped" that anyone's family would be victimized.  Rather, the hope is that those laughing would develop some empathy before a tragic event happens, but the sad reality is that tragic events are the only things that evoke some empathy in these times of anonymous blog chatter.  Hell, even Westword didn't put a name on their original article (penned by "Cafe Society"), which speaks volumes about their belief in its propriety.

Because your original comment evidenced a distinction between Paterno and Sandusky, and thus a distinction between their actions as objects of the "joke", my comment was not directed to you.  It was directed to Jon S, who fails to evidence a distinction.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Cafe Society's humor may have been a little crude, but the targets are clearly the offenders, not the victims. No, there is absolutely nothing funny about child abuse of any kind, but it is human nature to find some level of satisfaction in the derision of the perpetrators. We can all sit at home shaking our heads in sadness and disbelief, or we can use our public voices to vilify the villains. The surprise and shock of a satirical statement can be a means of catharsis or bonding for those feeling confused or angered by seemingly senseless acts toward innocent victims. To claim that insensitivity is only due to a lack of traumatic events in one's life is to ignore the general human condition; everyone at one time or another experiences pain, trauma, grief, outrage, victimhood. Not everyone deals with it in the same way, but everyone deals with it.

I actually find it pretty chilling that you would hope that I would learn my lesson about the inappropriateness of satire by having my own family victimized.

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