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Acceptable Mockery

            America has always been known as the land of the free where individual rights are of the highest value. Freedom of speech is one of these rights and loses accuracy more and more as each day passes. The word "sue" was hardly known in the early 1900's, harshly regarded in the mid 1900's, but today it is common news. Every day people take millions from others over a few untactful words- and American law supports it! Yet mockery is still very much existent in our society. How? When is it safe to jest others? It has become quite complex but is still definable.
             Firstly, there are two main types of mockery, positive and negative mockery. Negative mockery is, by far, the much more complex type of mockery is targeted at anyone believed to be symbolically, physically, culturally, or dogmatically different than oneself. Those who can actually be mocked though, are determined by those controlling a large majority of the combined powers of punishing and protecting both the joker and the laughingstock in the given audience. These powers are, at different levels, existent in all members of the audience; identified, covert, real, or imagined, all add to the pool of power. Put simply, most Americans aren't half as liberal as they think themselves to be. .
             Negative mockery is always aimed at those the joker views as different from himself. Take the common butt of jokes, George Bush Jr., for example. To a given joker, Bush's inconsistent speech symbolizes laziness, his small stature represents physical weakness, his cowboy outfits show his cultural distaste, and his politics show his inconsistent dogma. The joker believes himself to be in no way like Bush and so easily makes a victim of him. Sadly, this belief, not reality, is the determining factor when most Americans choose to jest at one another. Look at the men who, while resting their beers on their huge guts, call women fat asses. Or the women who, while maintaining that men should always pay for everything on a date, also believe they themselves are being done an injustice by society and should be treated as equals to men.

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