*Wrote this back in December, right before I graduated. It’s been collecting dust as a draft — decided to publish it because it’s still relevant, unfortunately…
I need an outlet to express what the hell just happened in my philosophy of humor class at UCLA. Please bear with me. I checked out of that class early in the quarter, not because I’m some slacking, unappreciative lame. But because of the Eurocentric, misogynistic, racist, and unstructured nature of the course (and somewhat the professor and all the way the other guy besides me in the class). I will admit, I hate that I checked out — that I chose to handle the course that way. But today’s lecture brought me right back in.
Today’s topic of discussion: why is the Sharkeisha video so damn funny? Don’t watch it. I don’t think it’s funny. It’s rooted in violence against women, especially young black women. It promotes stereotype and all this regressive b.s. that I’m at UCLA to deconstruct and ultimately end. But if you want to see a clip of some girl named Sharkeisha sucker punching (and nearly killing another young black girl), then go for it. It was popular early last year among some folks who need to really decolonize their minds for the sake of youth and women of color.
Side note: decolonize means the undoing of all colonial legacies, including the ideologies that we’ve internalized since colonization. (But be aware. We’re still in colonial times, just a different form of it).
Back to this. This class is mostly women, with the exception of me, some dude, and the professor. The course description has beautiful potential, but it hasn’t and will not reach that anytime soon.
So, the dude says something like, this video is funny blah blah blah. I don’t want to give him a voice here. He then gets into what I’d say is linguistic terrorism, and then misogyny, and then he generalizes all Latinos. Hold the f up, dude. After he shut his ass up, I started writing. I hate that I communicate better through writing, but love that I communicate better through writing. My blessing and curse.
I started thinking about new media, including social media and all those clips that are circulated over and over by youth everywhere. At the root of all those “funny” clips there’s implications of racism, misogyny, classism, and any other regressive b.s. you can think of. The larger population has become desensitized to these issues. First things folks see is not Sharkeisha’s sucker punch, but instead her name. The larger population is not talking about the implications at the root of this clip. They’re talking about the audio — and even parodying it. Case in point: the fool in my class who finds this funny and ignores the reality of what’s going on.
Long story short. I’m gunna write my final on this situation — leave this class with a bang. Thanks for reading. I’m a Chicano, feminist, writer. I need to own it a little better because that dude has yet to get the picture…