Everything You Laugh At Is Built On Sadness
“Internet humour is not subtle; it largely relies on a childlike immediacy between image and reaction. An amusing graphic of someone falling over is a loop of an instant. There is no time for its backstory, and we do not seek it out. But when we are shown what made the meme it forces us to stop and consider not just that the funny thing happened but why — and perhaps the feelings of the people involved. Our laughter is suddenly less secure. After the Elsa cake, we are adrift: who could have guessed it would contain so much tragedy? That a wonky eye made of sugar came from sick children and bereavement and led to humiliation? It was impossible to know. It was just a funny-looking cake.”
— Look, you know what else has tragedy in its backstory? Every single fucking that has ever happened to anyone. The human condition is one long tragedy interspersed with occasional moments of illusory joy designed to keep you from being fully aware of just how awful it all is. If you strip the Internet of its ability to mock things that might be based in bereavement and despair all that will remain is intersectionality, optical illusions and idiot teens tweeting “YASSSS” and “SLAAAAY” every ten minutes. Oh, and also transient manufactured outrage. Always the transient manufactured outrage. That said, making fun of people in wheelchairs is gross. Actually, everything online is gross. You know what? Maybe let’s just get rid of the Internet altogether. I feel like it would make us all so much happier. Let’s burn it the fuck down. Who’s with me?