Two Bad Jokes with One Stone of Criticism

Two Bad Jokes with One Stone of Criticism

(On the Distinction between Good Jokes and Bad Jokes and On the Revised CPR Procedure)

I was watching a Filipino show on GMA channel; one of the hosts joked about “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation” when the contestant he was interviewing said that he had once saved a life. The host quipped, “then you must know mouth-to-mouth resuscitation; can you render it on her?”, referring to the female host, of course expressed in a joking manner.

Good Jokes versus Bad Jokes
I have two issues about the joke. First, it’s a pathetic fact that toilet jokes and sexual innuendos are still very much a part of the sense of humor of many Filipinos; I say pathetic because if we categorize jokes into levels, those involving sex and taunts and ridicule on races/nationalities remain to be the lowest and the cheapest of jokes. The primary purpose of a joke, some will argue, is to poke fun on various issues and human weaknesses and to elicit laughter. However, I believe that there should remain a degree of respectability beneath such jokes. More so, a joke has to depend not solely on what kind of joke it is but primarily on the timing and the manner of delivery on the part of the jokester. Therefore, to claim that sexual and racial jokes are the most laughable is highly subjective—maybe yes, but only for people who have secret envy for others, who have unresolved insecurities, and who are either sexually repressed or lacking in knowledge about other more worthwhile issues.

Failure to Update One’s Knowledge Breeds Ignorance
My second issue with that bad joke of that TV host is the realization that many people have an outdated knowledge about CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
To this day, many people still think that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is the highlight of CPR and they happily use this to joke on someone, playing on the sexual or “gross” image of a lip-lock especially between strangers.

These people should be updating their knowledge on CPR because, as of 2008, there is already a campaign by American Heart Association (AHA) to start eliminating mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as a standard part of CPR.

“The idea of a lip-lock with a stranger makes people uneasy; plus most people don’t know how to do mouth-to-mouth correctly. American Heart Association estimates that only one-third of the 300,000 Americans who go into cardiac arrest in public each year is given CPR, and theorizes that part of the problem is the mouth-to-mouth obstacle.

“In 2008, AHA began exploring a new protocol in which civilian CPR training consisted of rapid chest compressions only. Now several studies have supported this change, finding that chest-compressions-only CPR may not only be more palatable, but more effective at saving patients.”

Sa Madaling Salita
Hindi lahat ng biro o patawa ay nakatatawa. At hindi lahat ng nakatatawa ay kaaya-aya. Sa ibang banda, hindi lahat ng nakaugaliang paniwalaan e dapat patuloy na paniwalaan; maraming lumang kaisipan e nararapat nang baguhin dahil hindi na sumasang-ayon sa pangkasalukuyang pag-iisip at kapakanan ng nakararami.

Or, in Simple Words
There are good jokes, and there are bad jokes. A good joke is that whose purpose is to elicit from its audience not only laughter but also momentary lightheartedness, or “the good feeling of not being burdened by trouble, worry, or care.” Good jokes carry a sense of classiness and respectability for the audience. Bad jokes are bad jokes. They, on the other hand, are those which are insensitive to and unmindful of the dignity of the audience. They are cheap and rude and whose main purpose, whether intentional or not on the part of the jokester, is not to elicit laughter but to ridicule people and poke fun on their weaknesses and differences.