QOTD: Is It Offensive for a Funeral Home to Joke About Distracted Driving?
It’s odd how the same thing can make some people laugh and others feel offended. There are countless examples in a popular culture that cultivates a new outrage du jour practically every day. Even well-intended comments are seen as provocative. Hie thee to Twitter or Facebook for your regular fix of dopamine.
I was reminded of this while my siblings and I were making preparations for our mother’s recent funeral, may her memory be for a blessing. We were sitting in an office at the Hebrew Memorial Chapel, and along with guides and books on Jewish mourning practices, the funeral planner offered us some magnetic signs the chapel had made to discourage texting while driving, and also, I presume, to promote its services (it’s a non-profit community-based organization).
The 6-inch round signs read:
WE’D RATHER WAIT
HEBREW MEMORIAL CHAPEL
Your Community Funeral Home
What was interesting to me was how we all reacted to the attempt at humor over a literally deadly serious topic. Both my brother and I thought it was cute while our two sisters thought the sign was possibly offensive or in poor taste. That surprised me a bit because both of them live in the New York City area, where discourse can be a bit frank at times.
The almost opposite reactions made me think this would make a good Question of the Day. Is it appropriate for a funeral home to joke about death behind the wheel? Are you offended by it? Did it make you laugh or smile?
My family was divided on the topic along gender lines. So, if you plan on commenting, please show the picture to your significant other or friends of both genders and report their reactions as well.
[Image: Ronnie Schreiber/TTAC]
WildcatMatt on Apr 24, 2018
Context and timing are everything. To this day I react negatively to the Simpsons episode "Screaming Yellow Honkers" because of the scene with Marge and the funeral procession. The first time I saw the episode I had just lost a loved one and so that bit was "too soon" for me at the time. I'm sure if I'd seen the episode a month earlier or later I would feel differently, but it is what it is.
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