My aunt recently gifted me a mug, and as sweet as a gesture that it was - I was confused after I saw it. First of all, it had minions all over it. I don't think I have to explain further on that end. Second of all, the mug had a quote which read - "In 1963 women has n rights!! In 1987 women fight for some rights! And in 2016, women are always right!!!"
There's two ways of going about this - either I do away with that mug, or actually try and understand what that quote meant. While the answer is clear, I still chose to decode what the mug said and that's when it hit me - it is a joke. I am supposed to laugh at it, just as my aunt did when she saw it.
But is it really funny? Is it even a joke? Will it elicit even a small puff of air out of my nose? It did not. But this is exactly the undertone and path that most of boomer humour consists of. WhatsApp jokes, Facebook status' and boomer memes all follow the same lines, and today I decided to decode it all. So buckle up because this is going to take a while.
Marriage Is A Pain, And So Is My Wife
Here's a real "joke" from my family group - "Q: Why doesn’t our democratic society permit a man to have 2 wives? A: Because our laws protect us against cruel and unusual punishment. "
This trend of jokes and riddles is very common in boomer humour, most people go as far as sending it on family groups to let everyone know just how much they loathe their spouse. Now, if you were a boomer, you'd be laughing your ass off. But, if you're not you would just look at it as maybe a toxic relationship but not a joke.
India isn't exactly welcoming of divorce or marriage counselling, so how do you deal with a rough patch? You send passive-aggressive "jokes" to the entire family.
Child And Domestic Abuse Is Really Funny
Here's an example to get you started - "Have you ever noticed that it's only 'perfect' people who are murdered or killed in horrific accidents? "He was the perfect son" or "She was the perfect daughter." "Such a tragic accident they were the perfect family." "They died together, the perfect couple till the end." Makes me glad I abuse my kids and beat up my wife. Makes me kind of immortal."
Okay, when you see that people pass these messages around, make abuse a punchline and think it's normal - we can see why we still have a long way to go for change.
Millennials Are Technological Slaves And Know Nothing Else
If you have never heard the classic "this young generation cares only about facebook and Instagram, technology has ruined you guys" then consider yourself lucky and also a liar. Every single Indian parent has given their child an earful about technology and becoming technological slaves.
What better than humour based on stereotypical assumptions on the new generation? Boomers have never let go of an opportunity to show the new generation just how dumb and stupid they are, and all the comics and memes that they share hint to exactly this.
I think we've all seen that one comic where a child doesn't know what a book is, and this exactly is the peak of boomer humour. Ironic that they're posting these jokes on Facebook or WhatsApp though. (tsk tsk)
No One Can Take A Joke Anymore, Everyone Is Too Sensitive
Again, these jokes are usually targeted at millennials and the younger generations but the gist of it is basically this -
Boomer: makes sexist/racist/homophobic "joke"
Millennial: that's just rude, not funny
Boomer: OH MY GOD LEARN TO TAKE A JOKE PLEASE!!!!!
Basically, if you ever call out a Boomer for making a rather uninformed or bigoted joke, you're always going to end up being "oversensitive" or you "just don't get it." But jokes based on this oversensitivity are what really rile up the oldies. Here's one for reference -
Minions. Just Minions Everywhere.
If middle-aged moms didn't repost minion jokes all day long, it would have been possible to let the minion memes die once and for all, but there's no stopping these moms. Facebook is infested with these, and for whatever reason moms are laughing their asses off at minion memes and images. (case in point: my aunt and her mug)
The little yellow god-awful demons surfaced in 2015 and we're almost approaching 202 now but I still see one of those hellish yellow faces every day. Thanks, mom.
To sum it up, the entirety of Boomer humour depends on stereotypes, abuse, marriage, and the worst generation ever - the millennials. There's no changing it, but there's also no accepting it - so each to their own I guess.