Would You Defend Your Country Against Libel?

Anyone silly enough to still have a Blackberry may also be the kind of person who would add this guy… #bbpin #hilarious #sodoha

Ever since my husband upgraded me to an iPhone life has become more photographic. I left behind the pixelated world of the Blackberry camera to snap away at anything (clay rings on my toddler’s fingers) and any dish (yes, I do collages of meals), posting through the app Instagram on through to Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter, as the content warrants.

Being a writer and standup comic, I do like the occasional joke or ironic photo comment. Sometimes my humor doesn’t suit the random passerby on social media.

This was the case on two occasions last week when I discovered my homemade hashtag #soDoha was not taken in fun as I’d intended. The first instance appears to your left. While sitting in traffic I had the chance to capture the unusual practice of sharing your Blackberry Pin (the unique number to your device through which people can access the free messaging service) on the back of your vehicle. The caption started a string of criticism about my inability to afford a Blackberry. Clearly my detractors haven’t heard that RIM is hovering at bankruptcy.

Where did the Instagram bullies come from? I’m not sure. Had they been following me or been alerted to my stream by someone else? Unclear.

What the incidents did remind me of is that humor is relative. And for some people residing in the city-state of Qatar, there is very little room to poke fun.

Even at guys who put their BB Pin on the backs of their cars or designer labels that can’t handle their own repairs.

What’s interesting is that in defending, the commentators were offending, and guilty of the same offense they accused me of by assuming I was not able to afford a Blackberry or genuine Gucci shoes.


Have you ever given offense at someone else’s expense? Or had to get defensive on your own behalf?

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Reader Comments

  1. Jack Durish

    History is my weapon of choice. It provides all the evidence I need to defend America. Have we done bad things? Absolutely. Have we ever lived up to the promises enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? Never. However, these documents serve as a promise, a goal as yet unattained, and towards which we strive. We correct our course continually. No other nation has even set such lofty goals let alone set their courses towards them. Not anywhere else in the world, not in all of history.

  2. Karen Sandler

    Yes, some jokes are intentionally bigoted or cruel. But putting those aside, there are jokes told out of ignorance that offend. In those cases, I try to use my internal radar that tells me, shut your mouth, Karen, you’d be hurting others for the sake of a laugh. Then I keep my “humor” to myself. Not everything that pops into my mind needs to be expressed.

    That said, it seems like some folks are looking for opportunities to be offended. To take personal offense over choice of tech device seems bizarre to me. I guess the BB folks think you’re questioning their judgment when it’s really a question of personal preference. I like Android. They like BB. Many are committed to Apple. Choices are a good thing.

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