Last week ended with a flurry of social media activity about the errant newscast from KTVU in San Francisco. A prim looking news anchorette came on and solemnly read off the names of the pilots of the Asiana flight 214 accident. Only, the station had gotten pranked and the “names” were a list of silly Chinese “joke” names. How could the station be so stupid as to read names like “We Tu Low” and “Ho Lee Fuk” and not get the joke.
Most people in Hawaii, used to ethnic humor, thought it was pretty funny. Maybe it was considered inappropriate, “too soon,” because of the seriousness of the accident, but funny. Not because of the juvenile jokes, like the ones told as third-graders, but because the self-important media was shown to be a bunch of prompter-reading buffoons.
Others, however, decided that it was time for the PC police to straighten us out. The “jokes” were lambasted as “racist.” Really? Racism is wearing a white pointy hat and fire bombing a black church…that’s racism. A silly name pun from grade school days is NOT racism. What was considered a harmless joke when we were kids is now considered the same as fire bombing a church?
What we’ve come to believe in Hawaii is that cultural and ethnic familiarity, enough to joke about our differences, is a good thing. What the PC police fail to understand is that encouraging anger and offense is NOT an improvement over laughter.
Just remember, the same social architects that seem hell-bent on telling you what is and is not acceptable thought are the same idiots who broadcast an obvious prank as straight news because they are too lazy and stupid to read it first. And, we’re not talking about the hapless news readers, we’re talking about the people who tell them what to say.