Please note that in this blog post I am not talking for or about any one of these three people. I am writing a blog post inspired by them.
Privilege, feminism, racism, hoo-boy. I’m not going to educate anyone on these issues. Check out the links in this blog post, look for the paragraph that says, “To be blunt…” and where it says, “here, here and here.” But hell, read the whole thing.
I love getting together with my geek-brothers and geek-sisters for some gaming. That act, the hobby where we get together and create fictional memories together (paraphrasing Malcolm Sheppard’s beautiful quote) is one of my favorite things. Just like real memories, playing a table-top role-playing game creates this wonderful short-hand vocabulary, through things that we pretend happen and through that chemistry that just occurs when people sit around a table together.
So, we’ve got these emotional topics with lots to learn and we’ve got this hobby where we can get together with our friends and visit places that don’t exist. I am an intensely privileged mofo, so allow me to say a word to other privileged mofo’s who might be scared. I get ya. There are all of these people and they have these intensely emotional issues and there’s this worry that we might offend them. Maybe you are worried that you won’t be allowed to sit around during lull moments of gaming and tell dick jokes.
I know the dick jokes of which you speak. I adore what Bill Hicks called, “big ole hairy, veined dick jokes.”
The truth is that the more you become educated about issues concerning race, class, feminism and gender (and I’m no guru, I’ve only just begun myself), the more you build trust and relationships with all kinds of people, the better the dick jokes get. Not only that but dick-jokes won’t be the only ones at the table and turns out vagina’s are freakin’ hilarious, ask anyone who has one. Seriously. From a foundation of trust and love and intimacy and friendship the raunchy jokes only become smarter because the funniest jokes aren’t the lazy stereotypes but the funniest jokes are those that hit on truth.
People will get offended from time to time. Land-mines will get tripped over. It is part of being a grown-up. So, we say that we’re sorry and we listen to our friends and learn something that we didn’t know. We learn something about them and about the world.
Don’t live in fear of offending anyone. Live in fear of a world where you can’t gather fictional mementos with all kinds of people from all manner of backgrounds. Live in fear of a world where we see marginalized people not as people but as something to avoid so that we don’t cause an uncomfortable moment. Live in fear of a world where we aren’t quick to apologize for causing someone pain.
Live in fear of a world without dick jokes.
Because I’m looking at mine right now and its freaking hilarious.