QOTD: Is It Offensive for a Funeral Home to Joke About Distracted Driving?

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:

DON’T TEXT


AND DRIVE

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]

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  • Halftruth Halftruth on Apr 08, 2018

    Best bumper sticker seen lately: "Want to meet God? Keep texting and driving." I thought it was great.

  • WildcatMatt 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.

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
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