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Hi Ken! Are you listening?

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Re: Hi Ken! Are you listening?

Postby rockgolf » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:18 am

I'm probably going to spend way more time on this than it deserves. Please note I do NOT speak on Ken's behalf.

1) Ken's humor during his entire Twitter history has been eccentric. Often it's funny. Sometimes it's obscure. Occasionally it falls flat on its butt. This tweet, in my opinion, falls into that last category. I personally didn't find it funny. At all. Maybe, as another thread has suggested, there was some context or outside reference that would put this statement in a humorous light, but I'm not aware of any. If its connected to Kanye West's rant about wanting the whole audience to stand, it's a tangentially weak link. So while I was not personally offended by the tweet, I can completely understand why other people were.

2) I'm not a big believer in political correctness. I don't think Ken, or any other public figure, should have to apologize for an attempt at a humorous statement some or even in this case many, find offensive.

3) Why is this particular tweet offensive? Surely there have been worse representations of people in wheelchairs, from Guy Caballero on SCTV to that guy in Little Britain. I've never heard anyone demanding apologies for those portrayals. Similarly, there must be stand-up comedians who've made similar jokes on the subject who similarly have gone unscathed.

4) On its face, the tweet is true. In real life isn't or wasn't Christopher Reeve "hotter" as Superman than in his time as a quadrapeligiac? I know who was the real-life hero, but he could hard be considered "hotter" by any conventional opinion. Who looked better? Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard or as Professor X? Raymond Burr as Perry Mason or Ironside? (I'm sure there must be some similar female role models, but I can't think of them. )

5) Why does the disabled community depend on a game show expert for any kind of validation? As the original poster said, you should revel in the fact that this met with virtually universal condemnation. You indicate that you don't want Ken to grovel, but basically, it sounds like yes, you do.
Last edited by rockgolf on Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hi Ken! Are you listening?

Postby marpocky » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:39 pm

TroyHewitt wrote:I'm screenshoting this post, just in case you decide that my critiques don't have a place here. That said, I'll give you some time before I send this same message off to anyone you are associated with.

I'm not taking a stance on Ken's tweet either way, but this is a pretty petty way to express your discontent.
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Re: Hi Ken! Are you listening?

Postby skullturfq » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:43 am

I also do not speak for Ken at all. My reaction is somewhat similar to rockgolf's.

If you look at Ken's Twitter history as a whole, his humor often attempts to be offbeat, out of left field, or unexpected.

I can see how this particular joke might have fallen flat for some readers. But it's honestly hard to tell how people will respond to a joke. Sometimes people tell jokes about fat people or short people or gay people or old people that are meant to just be playful and silly. And sometimes, a joke that's meant to just be playful and silly will conjure up uncomfortable feelings in some readers.

At the risk of being blunt, and possibly even a little offensive, let me point out that there's a kernel of truth in the joke. There is a certain irony when somebody is physically attractive but also in a wheelchair. It's true that most people's ideal of attractiveness doesn't include being in a wheelchair, so there's a certain irony or contrast there. Sometimes, irony or contrast is humorous to some people.

If you wear braces on your teeth for two years, and then the week after you get your braces off, you're in an accident that causes several of your teeth to get knocked out, well, I wouldn't laugh at you if it really happened to you, but nevertheless there's an irony there that, cynically speaking, makes it funny on some level. I might laugh if it happened to a fictional character or a hypothetical person in a story, even though it does involve frustration and physical pain.
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Re: Hi Ken! Are you listening?

Postby Ken Jennings » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:34 am

I was not, in fact, listening! Sorry, I missed this thread when it was still timely.

Troy, I suspect you're not still checking in here so there's little point in replying...please let me know if I'm mistaken.
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