Last week a little boy watching fireworks at Disney World was killed by an alligator. An unbelievably tragic event by any measure of tragedy.
Being a guy who grew up on the Disney classics, however, the first thing that crossed my mind was "How come nobody heard the beast ticking as it came ashore?".
That's of course a reference to "Tick-Tock the Croc" who swallowed Captain Cook's hand as well as his watch in "Peter Pan". And of course, the second thing to cross my mind was "Too Soon", that term which seems to have been at the forefront of comedy since 9/11 and dictates that a certain amount of time must pass between a tragedy and when it's okay to joke about it.
A couple of guys either braver or dumber than I am, posted their own versions of the same joke and were immediately pilloried by that incredibly fast growing demographic known universally as "The Joke Police".
We're definitely in a time when those who don't appreciate either humor or ideological difference or that some people have an alternate take on life or are simply unaware that "shit happens" quickly take offense. And I'm not really sure what benefit that is to anybody except those who want the world to be absolutely clear on what they find offensive.
Friday night, Bill Maher did his own Disney Alligator joke which offended many in his audience and later did some Muslim and Gun jokes they also didn't appreciate. And by the growing disgust I see on Maher's face, I can tell that one of the Left's most admired comics is frankly wondering what happened to the openness and acceptance that used to typify the Leftist audience he cultivated.
We've all got jokes we don't get or find funny. Most of us just shrug, offer a weak smile and move on. But the Joke Police want humor stifled and silenced. And going down that road inevitably means the joke will one day be on them.
For further insight into this, I offer conservative pundit, climate change denier, gun rights supporter and otherwise thinking speaker most of the Joke Police would consider a right-wing wing-nut. I say that only because I don't want anybody watching what follows without knowing he's somebody they're not supposed to find funny from the get-go.
Enjoy Your Sunday.