Laughter Was the Best Medicine – Now It’s an Illness.

Not only does someone think they have the right to control everyone around them by violence, they also think the violence is funny.

This is the part I really do not understand.

I have never seen someone (who wasn’t psychotic) laugh while they are beating someone up. But there are plenty of videos on the internet of bystanders laughing while they record someone else beating someone up.

There are also plenty of videos with laughing commentary after the fact by the person who beat someone up.

I do not understand that at all.  And it chills me to the bone.

We all know from the Kitty Genovese example that people tend to not get involved when they see violent situations (in her case, 38 people witnessed the attack).  They either assume someone else has called the cops, or they “just don’t want to get involved” for one reason or another.

But no one broke out a movie camera (yes, kids, they did actually have those back in 1964) to film it while it was happening.  There are no reports of anyone laughing about the attack.

In groups, until one person jumps in and does something, usually no one will do anything.  That is something I guess I can understand, sort of.  I struggle with “group-think” like that, and clearly it’s not something I myself do.

But to video it and laugh?  I just can’t get my head around it.

I asked a patient one time why they thought it was funny when people fought.  Her answer was, “It just is.  It’s funny!”   This was a fairly “normal” teenage girl who was put in the hospital by her parent because the parent could no longer control her.

Aside #3: The usual means of control in that kind of family is violence.  Usually something like hitting the kid with an extension cord, or worse.  Then the parent asks, completely seriously, why the child is so violent.  

When asked if they thought the person being beaten was feeling pain, the answer was always in the affirmative.

“But he/she deserved it.”

So, if someone doesn’t act or think the way you want them to, and you hurt them, it’s ok or even funny because “they deserved it”.

I find that kind of reasoning disturbing.

It’s not a lack of understanding that someone is being hurt.  It’s not caring that someone is being hurt.  And that is a complete lack of empathy.

Sociopathy = you know the difference between right and wrong, you just don’t care.  It’s all about you and what you want.

To see massive numbers of people on social media and elsewhere act like they are sociopaths is very chilling.  To see the same people espouse love for their families and friends is confusing.

What is love without empathy?  Where does the loyalty come from?

The answer to that is in the ‘in-group’/’out-group’ concept.

Mine are the ‘in-group’ and are ok people with dreams, feelings, talents, and so on.

Yours are the ‘out-group’ and are barely even people, let alone people with feelings and thoughts.

So, in a way I guess I do understand it.  But it horrifies me that, in this day and age, after all the struggles humans have been through, it still all comes down to an “us against them” tribal thing.

And now, the societal norms that would normally keep a lid on that – the disapproving glances of an elder or peer, the idea that “we just don’t behave like that” that even complete strangers can express to others who act out, all that seems to be gone now.

But the idea that violence is funny?  That is something I don’t think I will ever understand.

Today’s weirdness comes from Snopes.  And it’s not really weird, but it makes me angry.  It’s some dummy on Facebook trying to tell people there is a “Black Dot Campaign” whereby a victim of domestic violence puts a black dot on their palm so that others know she is a victim.

Because people can’t tell by the bruises?  By the screaming they heard down the street?  By the way the person cringes?  Look, if people won’t do anything when they see and hear these things, some stupid black dot on someone’s palm isn’t going to help that.

The truth is, even if victims wore shirts that said, “Victim of Domestic Violence” on them, people still would not do a damn thing.  Oh, except the abuser, who would then beat the snot out of the victim…again.

Do people think the abuser won’t notice a black dot on someone’s hand?  I can actually envision a scenario where an abuser would cut off someone’s hand or mutiliate it if he thought this black dot would expose him in any way.

People, think!  Don’t post stupid shit like this on Facebook.  I disagree with Snopes that it may have been a victim or survivor who started this – no, I think it was some lame-brained idiot who thinks that Facebook can solve issues like this.

Recommendations for this week…a helpful website:

Title Capitalization.  Yes, you type in your title, choose a style, and it will capitalize it for you.  I admit, I used it on today’s title (though I still think capitalzing “was” looks odd).

Be good.  Be kind.   Laugh, but not at someone’s pain.



4 thoughts on “Laughter Was the Best Medicine – Now It’s an Illness.

    1. Victoria Post author

      Sure…though I don’t think it’s a real campaign, I think it’s just something that a well-meaning but uninformed Facebook person thought up. Not sure how much I can contribute, but I will email you.

      Thanks for reading my blog, too!


  1. SusanU

    I appreciate your insight into why people hurt others. It shows your deep understanding of a human instinct we should realize and control. Your thoughts will give me pause the next time I start to feel angry at another person. Thanks.



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