‘Koala-ty’ humor presses buttons

by Anthony Berteaux

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“Oh my God, why are you reading that trash?”

I am asked often as I snort with stifled laughter reading the latest issue of The Koala, the cover most likely featuring a drug-fueled orgy.

“Damn, get a sense of humor,” is my usual response. People don’t understand The Koala humor quite like I do.

Should I be offended by this atrocious excuse for a humorous publication? Yes. Am I offended? No.

For all it’s worth, The Koala is a heaping pile of offensive, racist, homophobic, sexist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and lewd humor. Every page is filled to the brim with jokes about cancer patients, profanity and phallic symbols. However, for some reason, even as a social justice gay rights touting feminist, I love every bit of it.

The reason I never get offended by The Koala is because, as it should be made obvious from the cover, it’s entirely intended to be offensive and therefore shouldn’t be taken seriously. Most of us should be able to tell when someone is being offensive to get a laugh or when someone is being offensive out of pure ignorance or bigotry. Everyone should know the humor portrayed in The Koala comes from a desire to get a laugh, even if it risks crossing the line. Comedy is allowed to be controversial and push the boundaries to reveal dark truths about society.

[quote]The dark satire portrayed in The Koala reveals a humbling truth about the rest of us.[/quote] As we are aware, racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism are real issues that we face in the world today. The satire capitalizes on the offensive and socially unacceptable sides of these issues and churns them into jokes. By laughing about “so-bad-it’s-funny” jokes about serious issues, we can grasp a dark glimpse of the truth of how awful these things actually are.

Great comedians such as Louis C.K. capitalize on this dark humor to reveal shameful truths about our society.

“I’m not saying white people are better,” C.K. said in one of his comedy specials. “I’m saying that being white is clearly better; who could argue?”

While initially his humor can be construed as offensive and mildly white supremacist, C.K. capitalizes on the uncomfortable parts of human history to get a laugh and to provoke and internal dialogue about racial inequality.

When Nick Cannon released the video of himself made up in whiteface, he received a tremendous amount of backlash and was called a racist, among other things. The prank, while initially construed as a publicity stunt, revealed a double standard of racism that still exists in our country today and the political tensions the African-American community feel behind the original “blackface.”

[quote]Good comedy makes you laugh, but great comedy makes you think.[/quote]

What The Koala does by offering us uncensored offensive humor, which is based on these controversial issues, is show us that we have the capacity to be a little bit racist, homophobic, sexist and twisted inside. If we were to accept this at face value and approach it with humor, the world could be a much better place.

I highly doubt the writers of The Koala are misogynistic, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, or any of these offensive things. I think it’s possible they accept that everyone could be a little bit of these things.

“The mission was to have fun, and yes, put it out there that we have issues with race in this country and in this world, but it doesn’t have to be with hatred,” Cannon reflected in an interview regarding his stunt with the white face incident.

The Koala is taking this nontraditional tactic with these controversial topics by approaching it with humor rather than the bitterness or hatred. There is much to be bitter and feel hatred toward; however, not everything has to be like this. While we must approach these issues seriously, The Koala provides an outlet for ridiculous and hilarious outlooks on these issues.

Meanwhile, I look forward to the next issue of The Koala, expecting my full course meal of racial stereotypes, incestuous dad jokes and sex tips.

 

Photo screenshot from Koala’s Facebook page

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