Today there’s been a lot of debate about whether or not it’s ever permissible to do a genocide against a group of people. Some say no, others say yes. Actually, most say no. Almost everyone says no, except this one guy who thinks genocide is perfectly fine as long as the victims are Gazans.
His name is Yochanan Gordon, and when I first read his post, “When Genocide is Permissible,” my first reaction was, “This asshole is stealing my bit.” But as I read, I was like, where are the jokes? This guy isn’t doing jokes. He’s not talking about Four Loko or his handicapped son. There’s nothing about getting fucked-up and living a dope life. Then I realized he wasn’t kidding, and I went into serious mode. I knew that as an important voice in the media, people would want to know how I felt about this shit.
Gordon’s post has already been removed from the Times of Israel, but not before it could generate some serious thoughtful discussion. I mean, he does have a point. There have to be some occasions where genocide is OK; say for instance, if you really, really don’t like a group of people—like the Gazans—and you want to murder their children so you can take their land.
Are Gazan children to blame for the actions of Hamas terrorists? Gordon says yes. Gordon thinks they should be held accountable, and that in a dire situation like the current one in Gaza, it’s perfectly acceptable to annihilate an entire group of people—and he doesn’t mince words here; the word “genocide” is in the fucking headline. He wants to murder children.
My question, however, is this: If it’s OK to do a genocide sometimes—if certain conditions are met, like the ones he has outlined in his argument in favor of the mass extermination of an ethnic group—doesn’t that mean that sometimes genocide can also be funny? I think if you’re going to argue that it’s permissible in some circumstances, we should also be allowed to joke about it.
Many people say no, that you can’t laugh about genocide, that genocide is never funny. But Gordon has made it clear that the only solution to the crisis in the Middle East is the mass murder of every Arab in Gaza. That’s fine, Gordon, you sold me, but how the hell are you going to do that without the entire world painting you as a villain? Well, you have to make it funny.
See, as the best writer on Thought Catalog, I’m constantly challenging myself to deal with the tough issues. Being in your 20s. Relationships. What kind of dog breed you would be if you were a dog that just couldn’t even. I tackle hard subjects, but I do it with a taste of some family-safe humor and that’s why literally everyone loves me. I make it funny.
Historically, genocides have all been serious. We’ve all seen Schindler’s List and The Pianist; they’re serious movies, not comedies. Even the Maus series of graphic novels, while intended to be comical as they are drawings, are incredibly somber and emotionally gripping.
But if we were to allow the genocide of Palestinians, you would have to do it in a way that was hilarious; that way, when history looks back on the horrific actions of the war criminals, they won’t realize how bad it was.
What if the IDF soldiers all dressed up like birthday clowns and then went into the hospitals pretending to be there to entertain the children? They could paint little rockets on the children’s faces and then laugh about using that as a justification to shoot them. It would take maybe 10 or 20 years before they made a movie about it in the same vein as Patch Adams.
Or they could pretend to send in humanitarian aid, but it’s nothing but cream pies. And when the Gazans try to bite into the cream pies, they’re actually filled with explosives or some kind of gas that melts their flesh. This goes hand-in-hand with the clown theme, and people find clowns funny.
I don’t have all the answers; I’m just one woman with most of the answers, but I do know that if we’re going to go ahead and flat-out defend genocide as a reasonable, rational measure in war, then we should at least be able to laugh about it.