Not my idea of funny

© Robert Pinero and me

© Robert Pinero and me

While all humor is essentially subjective, what I’ll refer to as ‘hipster humor’ confounds me.  I recently saw a picture of an old homeless person that was accompanied by what I consider a cheap joke.  Possibly it was supposed to imply more about the kind of person who would identify with the joke’s vapid perspective than anything about the homeless, per se, but I think the actual person in said picture — someone who likely has no real lifeline in our society — at the very least deserves not to be used as esoteric commentary by someone of privilege.  Being down and out is not cute.

As a byproduct of apathy as coolness, hipster humor is bigger than people in places tailored to currency and exclusivity.  Apathy as coolness is hardly a stranger to thug culture.  But where thug culture does the most damage — in disenfranchised neighborhoods — perhaps there’s more of a sense that homelessness often has a lot to do with being unlucky.  If anything, you’re more likely to hear idiotic jokes that try to separate how far apart someone is from the conditions of homelessness, as opposed to things like caricatures.

Beyond the very important economic reasons, that kind of humor makes it easy to see why some folks who live in between the “bad” in their neighborhoods find the idea of improvement, and who it brings, so disheartening.  Some people seem to show fresh air more consideration than they would people who are struggling.


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