i've spent a good bit of my evening pondering this while at work. valid points have been raised. at its core, as gospodin continues to bring up a lot over and over again with much pomp and circumstance, what we are essentially laughing at is something pretty terrible: domestic violence (i reject the notion that it's implicitly racist because the baby is black; race in the context of this picture is purely functional in that it serves as the fulcrum, if you will, upon which the joke hinges. without words it's the only thing that tells us what really happened here.)
so does this mean finding it funny suggests thinking domestic violence is funny?
in a word, no. in several words, not necessarily, and we would be shirking our due diligence in this debate by not first engaging in a philosophical discussion of what constitutes humor and what humor is itself grounded in. this would be an incredibly long-winded discussion to have (someone go start a new thread) because we'd be spanning a breadth of modes based on linguistics, semantics, incongruity, base epistemologies, etc., and it would get tangential pretty quick. but for the purpose of this discussion i think it's worth broaching the topic of "psychic distance" which basically is a term to describe a disconnect between the visceral actuality of an event and an impersonal observation of it. this disconnect can be time or distance, or, i would argue, it can be modes of observation: in this case, seeing it on the internet as a static meme versus witnessing it irl. this is why i can watch a video of a teenage girl pulling a tv on a cart and goofing off and tripping and pull it down on top of her (a painful, potentially hospitalizing event) and laugh at it, and why i can watch a kid trip and fall on his face or run a tricycle into a tree and think it's funny.
dismissing the family guy analogy as mere tropes and thus incomparable is a bullshit. the viewer enters into a contract with the premises of the show and accepts the antics therein upon their own terms, the hypercritical context which structures all of the concerns of humor as they relate to its practical application and political correctness within societal norms. like, say, the internet. most of us enter the huddle and thus into a contract with its culture and we operate within those parameters, and things which are funny or unfunny within those cultural parameters may not be funny in another context.
this is all to say that i can chuckle at an apparent misfortune in memetic form on the internet, having entered into this context-forming contract, without it being an accurate reflection of my mores irl. an attempt to paint it as anything else reeks of moral self-aggrandizing bullshit.
a final thought: mav1234 noted that finding it humorous perhaps reveals a bit of a dark side of his nature. i think this is a point that would be easy to overlook: does not humor itself often stem directly or indirectly from the context of another person's misfortune? where does this play into this whole thing? it's an incredibly interesting question and worth pursuing... just not in this thread
family guy has the context of absurdity and yes, family guy revolves around the skewering of tropes. also it's a cartoon. i think it's valid to criticize family guy for things like "peter hitting meg" but it's not all that comparable to an image on the internet of a woman with a black eye. whether you like it or not, there is much greater context surrounding what goes on during an episode of family guy. it's similar to south park's cartman. he's obviously meant to be a "look at how absurd this stupid fuging racist is" type of character. that being said, i know for a fact that there are people out there who love him BECAUSE he's a stupid fuging racist. again, there's a conversation to be had about the impact that violent and hateful cartoon characters have on viewers, but it probably shouldn't be held at the same time as a discussion over what makes a context-less picture of a white woman with a black eye holding a black baby and standing next to a white man "humorous"
also that's a lot of words to not explain why exactly this "apparent misfortune in memetic form on the internet" is actually funny. do you laugh at all "apparent misfortunes in memetic form on the internet"? do you laugh at, say, images of racism or rape (provided of course that no actual victim was involved in the making of this HILARIOUS meme)? it's ok if you, like mav, accept that it's not a good thing. everyone's flawed. but don't try to justify it.
does not humor itself often stem directly or indirectly from the context of another person's misfortune?
well think back to discussions we've had regarding "conservative humor."conservative humor is defined by its lack of empathy and, well, i'm not detecting a lot of empathy for the woman with the black eye here in this thread. if anything, ppl appear to be laughing at the end result of a woman failing to conform to expected gender and race roles.
call it "moral self-aggrandizing bullshit" all you want; i struggle to find a context-less picture of an implied victim of domestic abuse "humorous"