Sunday, April 23, 2017

Two Guys Walk Into a Bar...

I picked up the newspaper to read just a few minutes ago. There are certain ways to read the paper, and I have mine. I always check the Local section followed by the Sports. Then come the ads. None of this really matters, except the first thing I saw in the Local section was a small sidebar piece about Dyngus Day and 97 Rock. My initial reaction was “Give me a break.”

Apparently, 97 Rock made fun of Dyngus Day by telling Polish jokes and asking callers to phone in with their favorite jokes, too. Eddy Dobosiewicz didn’t like it. He’s demanding an apology from the radio station, and, if he doesn’t get that, he’ll call for an advertising boycott. Ugh.

I’m all for standing up for what you believe in, but I just can’t in this instance. This is yet another example of an emerging problem in this country. We’ve lost our collective sense of humor.

Now, maybe I’m a little biased. I hang out with a group of friends who continually berate and poke fun of each other. Honestly, you have to have pretty thick skin to hang out with us. We’re brutal. Almost nothing is sacred with us. And to be fair, we all are equally pretty hard on ourselves. I always say, if you can’t make fun of yourself, you can’t make fun of anyone else.

Back to 97 Rock. I’ve listened for years, even though I wouldn’t call myself much of a fan. These antics are no different from any other year. And trust me, I’ve heard the DJs make as much fun of themselves as they do of anyone else. Every Dyngus Day, they make jokes. You know what they do the rest of the year? They make fun of everyone else, including themselves.

So, what makes this year different? Society is changing. We’re offended by everything. There will be people offended by this article. Does it bother me? Nope. Should it bother me? Not in the least.

Listen. The jokes were inappropriate. Telling “black” jokes on Martin Luther King Jr Day is unacceptable. Religious jokes on those holidays are equally wrong. As my friend, Scott, pointed out this morning, what makes it okay for this group that’s not okay for other groups? He’s absolutely right. The real problem is in the reaction.

We demand that people apologize for every perceived infraction. All that does is erode the power of a true apology. If everyone apologizes for everything, where’s the sincerity? What gets lost are the true, heartfelt apologies. I think the sorry/not sorry “revolution” proves the point.

What should we do instead? Take a moment to laugh. Laugh at ourselves. Laugh with others. And when you’re done laughing, take a deep breath and realize that life really isn’t that bad. There’s no need to be miserable over life. It is far easier to smile than frown. Being petty over some of these situations takes away from the great things you do otherwise.

I don’t see the need for any apology from 97 Rock. Maybe they could be a bit more cognizant of jokes that may cross the line. As for Mr. Dobosiewicz, I think you should laugh about it, shrug it off, and continue to prove how great Polish heritage is through your parade and festivities. Use this moment as a means to teach others the importance of your heritage. Don’t detract from that with this meaningless charade.

Craig Bacon has an easily ridiculed last name. He’s never asked for an apology for that. Besides, Bacon is awesome.

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