Movies and comedians used to be funny. They used real-life experiences to make us laugh. And it worked! Rita Rudner's idea of requiring her husband to have his legs waxed while she gave birth so that he could in some way grasp the pain of childbirth was funny. Now, however? Movies and comedians stoop to using comedy that is crude, crass, or laced with profanity. And this is supposed to be funny? Perhaps to some. Pardon me, however, if my humor is slightly more refined than that.
Today, I stumbled upon a prime example of just how debased our society's standards of humor have become. A young lady posed this question in a major book provider forum I frequent: "What is ur view on human trafficking?" Granted, it was not posted in the correct forum, and was written in the much-despised text speak. But the responses to her innocent query--posed because she is writing a paper for school on the topic--were anything but helpful. Or respectful. Or decent. Here's a smattering of the responses she received:
"I wholeheartedly approve of the sale and export of anyone who is incapable of spelling the word 'your' correctly. I'll pay for the shipping."
"Mightn't there be legal issues with shipping defective merchandise?"
"Dunno--is there a catalog? I hate buying sight-unseen." (This one bothers me more than any of the other ones.)
"Do it at off-peak times to avoid traffic jams."
And, in an homage to the ongoing ebook pricing war, "I won't pay more than $9.99, especially since there are so many free ones available."
"I am only for it if I can use Amazon Prime for free shipping, otherwise, it's too expensive."
What kind of society have we become where we feel it is acceptable---appropriate!---to joke or make light of such a serious issue? If these people had heard even one of the horror stories I've heard in the last six months alone, they would not find these responses remotely funny, either. They would be as disturbed by them as I am. People, we cannot end these atrocities if we refuse to take the issue seriously.
Thirty minutes after my initial discovery of the thread, I was still so angry that I was seething. My hands were literally shaking with the emotion. For my own well-being, Troy urged me to just ignore the trolls. This particular forum is filled with them, after all.
What is a "troll"? The Google.com definition of a troll is that it is "a mythical cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance." Urbandictionary.com's definition is that an internet troll is "one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a news group or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument."
After further reflection, I realize that Troy was right. What those posters wrote was indeed ugly, meant to incite a negative response or emotion. The truth is, anyone who can make light of such heinous treatment of fellow human beings is indeed an ugly-hearted, cave-dwelling troll.