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Maya Angelou's What's So Funny: An Eye Opener

By dynastyx26 Nov 26, 2012 373 Words
In Maya Angelou’s excerpt, “What’s So Funny?” she pointed out that vulgarity and crudeness happens to be the direction in which comedians, entertainers, and people take their jokes. She explains that behind the obscene profanities, are people who are just as vulgar as their jokes. By us laughing with them, we are not only stooping down to their level, we are also taking part in the humiliation. I agree with Maya Angelou’s point. For example, laughing when someone makes a joke towards someone else who suffers from obesity not only humiliates that person, but makes them feel disgusted with themselves. The person laughing is applauding the comedian. What’s the humor in that? There’s a difference between being funny and being disrespectful. A lot of us tend to be confused as to where to draw the line. While others simply like to cross it. It’s almost like a form of bullying, but not a lot of us see it like that. Ms. Angelou believes that there are other ways to make jokes and start conversation without having to stoop low and belittle someone.Our generation has grown to become more shallow and vain through the years. When entertainers, comedians, and people use vulgarity and crudeness to express their thoughts and use it in their jokes to make an audience laugh, it paves a path for the audience to chime in and think that it is okay to behave that way. Perhaps the person making the joke is hiding behind the shallowness in order to prevent exposing their own insecurities? Maybe they’re using obscenities and humiliation as a self-defense mechanism. I never even thought about the bigger picture until now.Ms. Angelou is right. Nothing should stop us from saying “that’s wrong.” We don’t have to laugh at someone else’s mean joke just because it’s meant to be funny. Maybe the cold shoulder to a rude joke would be the bigger reaction. Either way one as an individual needs to realize when someone has crossed the line. I feel that Maya Angelou’s “What’s so funny?” has definitely opened up my eyes and made look at things from different perspective because I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t one of those audience members.

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