Self-Deprecating Humor: “If I don’t laugh, I’ll Cry”

We discussed in class the idea of superiority in humor. More specifically, I’ll talk about the superiority within oneself. Simply put: Laughing at ourselves in order to feel superior (to ourselves….)

It doesn’t come as a shock (at least for Americans) that younger generations tend to fall onto humor that is self-deprecating or sometimes extremely nihilist. To me, it is (among other things) a coping mechanism. I’ve seen countless people deal with their own depression, their own mental illness, with facetious attitude or dismissive statements. It can be alarming, but also a little empowering/uplifting. When we use ourselves as the punchline of a joke, who can be offended on our behalf? With the rampage of social justice via anonymous blog posts on social media, it isn’t too shocking to say that when you make fun of yourself, that is the safest and surest way to “stay in your lane.” It isn’t without repercussions of course.

That being said, what do you think of Morreal’s “Superiority theory” being utilized in such an inwardly turned way? Do you think this is a logical progression in humor and comedy? Or perhaps, is it a scapegoat to try and “make sure not to step on anyone’s toes?”

(I’m merely being devil’s advocate here; or simply put, raising this question for the sake of discussion).


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