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Monday, August 31, 2009


You may be right that tragedy jokes may have ended with 9/11.

My sister is a national-level reporter. She was one of the first reporters at the scene at Waco. She rode out Katrina in New Orleans and was there for weeks thereafter. After Waco, all the way through, she had a barrage of dark jokes that were hilarious; I told her the reporter pool was sitting around inventing these jokes when there was nothing else to do.

She had not one single joke about her time in New Orleans. I hadn't thought about it, but you may be right that something changed. Although, for folks in this part of the world, Katrina may be as untouchable as 9-11 in the northeast. But I wonder whether there has been some sort of shift about what's appropriate.

On the other hand, the grimness of what went on in New Orleans is so dark it may have been beyond the reach of humor.

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