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Comedians have been facing scrutiny over controversial jokes, but the problem is that people are forgetting why we laugh in the first place.

Comedians have been facing scrutiny over controversial jokes, but the problem is that people are forgetting why we laugh in the first place.

Armon Mahdavi, Staff Writer

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The trouble with life is that humans are frequently faced with absurdly dark and unfair events that seem so cruel that they are almost unfathomable, and I feel the best way to handle these events is jokes.

In the 21st century, there has been a surge in what is commonly referred to as “political correctness.”  This is a mentality or movement that condemns any humor that could in any way offend a member of society.

The profession that has been the most greatly affected by the modern censuring of humor is certainly comedians. Chris Rock, one of the highest grossing comedians of all time, has joined many others in his field by discontinuing performances at colleges and universities. He told The New York Times that colleges are “too conservative.”

Successful comedians such as Louis C.K., Joan Rivers, and Daniel Tosh have been condemned recently for certain jokes they have made. Tosh had to issue an apology to his fanbase after being ravaged online for his joke about rape.

The issue with this new mentality towards comedy is that people have forgotten how comedy is one of human’s greatest defense mechanisms towards terror.  The reason people joke about certain dark topics is because making light of the world’s savagery makes existing a little more pleasurable.

I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.”

— George Carlin

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran wrote in her book “A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness” that humor is a mature defense mechanism that functions as a signal when we are faced with something we think is threatening or cruel but really isn’t. Psychologists frequently identify laughter as a natural way in which humans relieve their suffering.

Comedian George Carlin was infamous for talking about dark and controversial subjects. He once stated that it is “the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.”

Those who are advocates of political correctness need to stop getting offended by jokes. A joke is a simple and natural instinct humans have in face of that in which they cannot understand. Comedy and laughter are not only natural but essential as well.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Take a joke