The difference between funny and appropriate

The difference between funny and appropriate

Some people thought I was off-base in my criticism a few days ago of a Ford ad that showed a priest lusting after a vehicle with the vague hint of the Scandal wafting in the background.

I think I have made it clear that I am not one of those people sitting in my recliner just waiting to be outraged by someone. I have a sense of humor, a dark one even, and will gladly laugh at what others find offensive sometimes. But there is a difference between what might be darkly funny between friends and what should be shown on network television. It’s a question of appropriateness.

It is just too soon to be airing funny commercials that hint at priest abuse. Priests as the butt of a joke, okay. But a wink and a nod at celibacy (“Oh, those sexually repressed priests!”) and the inability to control one’s urges is just a little too close to home. Notice that it wasn’t priests or the Church complaining to Ford about this ad, but victims of abuse. I think that says something.

After all, would it be okay to air a funny ad about Muslim terrorists flying planes into high rises? You’re darned right it wouldn’t. It’s just too soon. Maybe after some time has passed, but not now.

Hey, a funny ad about Pearl Harbor would probably go unremarked.

Here’s a f’rinstance: This is not a real ad for a Volkswagen, but if it were, would you think it would be appropriate to air on TV? Sure, it’s kind of funny in a sick way, but on TV? No way.

(For those of you who are broadband-impaired, it’s a mock VW commercial showing a suicide bomber trying to use a Volkswagen to commit suicide and kill others, but the car “prevents” him.)