March 3, 2011

I Can’t Tell My Westboro Baptist Church Joke

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church free speech case. Right when the news came out, people wondered who the lone dissenter on the court was (turned out to be Justice Samuel Alito).

I immediately thought of a punchline that I thought was hysterical... and realized there was nowhere I could safely share it.

My Facebook circle is simply too big. I have family on there. Lots of church friends. Too many people that either wouldn't get, or would be offended by broad humor.

In 99% of these cases, I go to Twitter. My Twitter followers are equal parts strangers, equal parts friends. Much more of a homogeneous group. But the problem with Twitter is that your punchline just sits there on its own. Even if you reply to someone specifically. The punchline sits in your feed without the other person's setup. And this one definitely wouldn't look right on its own.

Ok, my punchline to "I wonder who the lone dissenter was in the Westboro Baptist Church ruling..." that never went out was, "Probably some God-hating fag."

Even here, in my MOST homogeneous group of online friends, I bet only 30% of you laughed at that. 60% don't get it. And 10% get it and still think it's inappropriate.

Should I just call up individuals next time, rather than trying to cause laughter en masse?