Dark humor is something which people don’t really understand, it is right up there with Mathematics, Inception, and pineapple on Pizzas.
But there exists a significant portion of the population that enjoys putting a humorous spin on topics like death, pain, deformity, tragedies and other such morbid topics. Let’s find out why.
For the Layman
Now, what is dark humor? Essentially it is cracking jokes on matters which do not conventionally merit being cracked jokes upon. For example, deaths, or babies.
One of the best standup comedians dabbling in this field is Anthony Jeselnick, who once did a set on a man being killed by a shark in the sea. He also does dead baby jokes.
People usually think that those who enjoy dark humor actually are mentally deranged and most importantly insensitive. Many feel that these kinds of people simply do not have the mental capacity to process grief and therefore do not follow the social practices that accompany it.
But that is the exact opposite of reality. The reality is that those who appreciate dark humor (yes, even dead baby jokes) process their thoughts and emotions at a higher level of understanding than what the societal norms prescribe. Instead of crying or beating our chests, we prefer to joke about it.
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Breaking Societal Norms
Now, this might go against well-established beliefs, after all, jokes are to be reserved for non-serious occasions and cracking them on serious occasions is considered to be you know, wrong. But I beg to differ.
Cracking a joke about something very serious requires coming to terms with the reality and processing it to a degree that you are comfortable with it.
For example, if tomorrow, a relative of mine dies, I would prefer to joke about him, remember him as he used to be, even bitch about him, then repeatedly drill into my mind the fact that he is in fact dead.
This is not processing, this is just wallowing in the same cesspool of emotions that seek to drive you insane.
And that’s why I feel that dark humor is much preferred by people. It gives them an alternate pathway to deal with tragedies that might befall them.
Now one might also argue that another distinct advantage that dark humor has is the cynical point of view that it gives a person. And the society that we live in these days, it is actually an advantage. With so many things to despair upon, with news channels inundated with news of crime and hate and impending war, cynicism acts like a shield, it helps you shrug all this off instead of letting all of this crush you.
At the end of the day, dark humor is just an alternate pathway to processing stuff. It might be looked upon, but it is what it is. It requires a higher level of mental understanding than normal, because of the high logical quotient attached to it. This has been proven in studies.
Until the day that we can normalize this usage, people like me can only hope that we can crack these jokes and not be beaten up by people around me.
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