Monday, July 19, 2010

You're too sensitive.

“We’re going to be wearing a bulls eye. But that’s what you play for,” Dwayne Wade said. “We enjoy the bulls eye. Plus, there’s going to be times when we lose 2-3 games in a row, and it seems like the world has crashed down. You all (media) are going to make it seem like the World Trade is coming down again, but it’s not going to be nothing but a couple basketball games.
Dwayne Wade apologized for that remark. Why? Because it was seen (or heard) as being offensive to people who remember the events of September 11, 2001. We call it Nine-eleven around here.
"In an interview yesterday, I attempted to explain how some people may view the Miami Heat losing a few basketball games in a row during the upcoming season. It appears that my reference to the World Trade Center has been either inaccurately reported or taken completely out of context. I was simply trying to say that losing a few basketball games should not be compared to a real catastrophe.
"While it was certainly not my intention, I sincerely apologize to anyone who found my reference to the World Trade Center to be insensitive or offensive."
His apology addressed a couple of issues that are routinely addressed in apologies. First, he used the "out of context" excuse. As though what we heard was not what he said. Never mind that several news outlets played his comments that were recorded. They were taken out of context. What was his context? We don't know, other than whatever he meant was not what he said. He attended college.
Secondly, he used the "anyone who found my reference ... offensive" excuse. As though he isn't apologizing for the remark, only to those of you who found it offensive. It's your fault, and he apologizes to you for finding it offensive.
It is strange to have a time limit on jokes about national disasters. What is the time frame and when can we start to joke about it? There are plenty of jokes about Lincoln and his assassination at Ford's Theater, and jokes about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Those events took place before almost everyone alive today was born, so that makes it OK to joke about, right? I suppose a comic in 1915 couldn't have told a joke about the Titanic without being booed off the stage.
What is the statute of limitations on joking about disasters? What constitutes sick humor from humor in general? Can we joke about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Does what we say change anything that happened or will happen? And what if the Miami Heat lose 50 games? Is that funny or just sad?
For those of you who remember such things, here is a little joke for which I will not apologize, other than for the spelling:
Q: What kind of pizzas did they last order at the World Trade Center?
A: Two large planes.
In 75 years you'll laugh like Hell.

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