WHAT COULD THIS GUY HAVE BEEN THINKING?
WAY INSIDE THE 2%
Funny trumps wrong 98% of the time.
I love funny, and created that phrase to describe my approach to life. I've gotten in trouble defending that mantra before. I've done stuff I shouldn't have, and paid the price, but then I've always believed it.
I've been thinking a lot about this lately in light of Gilbert Gottfried blowing up his career by releasing a string of inexplicable "jokes" in light of the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.
I'm not generally in favor of knee-jerk outrage when someone makes a crack that's a bit out of bounds. Like I said, I really believe if something's funny enough, it's usually worth it.
Two violations of the rule above doomed Gottfried in this case. First and foremost, what he said wasn't funny. The jokes weren't funny; they weren't even jokes. They were seemingly heartless jabs at a devastated people. If you want to beg for mercy in the court of comedy, you must first prove your questionable material was actually funny... and this wasn't.
Second, while under the rule funny usually wins, it is shy of 100%. Some things that may even get a laugh out of people are just not okay. They're never okay, no matter how hilarious you think they are.
Joking about people literally having their lives washed away can't be okay. It just can't. This is what the 2% is about.
Gottfried was fired by Aflac following the jokes. One of our news stories today pointed out that the company does 75% of its business in Japan. Yeah, and Aflac does 100% of its business on this planet. As the world reaches out to help Japan stabilize, recover, and rebuild, I'm guessing the People of Earth will probably reject Gottfried's humor.