Author: Catherine White

Cultural Remembering and Forgetting: A Response to the “Tot Tanic” Bouncy Castle

“There are certain topics that are off-limits to comedians: JFK, AIDS, the Holocaust. The Lincoln Assassination just recently became funny. ‘I need to see this play like I need a hole in the head.’ And I hope to someday live in a world where a person could tell a hilarious AIDS joke. It’s one of my dreams.” -Michael Scott, “The Office”

This quote from one of my favorite television shows popped into my head during today’s discussion on memory versus forgetting. Michael’s reference to not being able to make jokes about “JFK, AIDS, and the Holocaust” relates to the immense tragedies involving the topics, but also to the timeliness of the issues. Compared to those three things, the Lincoln Assassination occurred very long ago. The problem with timeliness of the commercialization of or jokes about topics from history is apparent in this quote, as well as in our discussion of the “Tot Tanic” image Beth showed us in class.

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