Diabetes is hilarious*

So your friend posted this link on Facebook with an outraged comment, huh?

Helpful note:

I literally do not believe any of the things said below in this article. This is satire. I wrote this because I am really, really, really tired of people making diabetes jokes, which I do not think are at all funny. They are cruel and they pick on vulnerable people who are dealing with a difficult condition.

“A common feature of satire is strong irony…This ‘militant’ irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack.”

This post calls out the incorrect assumptions people are making when they judge others for having diabetes, or make jokes about it.

That said, the hallmark of poorly-written satire is the need to explain the definition of satire, so I think I’m done writing satire for a while. I am sorry I hurt people in the attempt.

Looking for ways to be hip? Our tipsters are on the case!

TREND ALERT: Jokes about diabetes are totally trendy, because diabetes is hilarious!

Let’s break this trend down to essentials, to get a better grip on what makes things funny:

  1. Mostly fat people get diabetes (also unwhite people and poor people and old people)
  2. Classy people know that food is unhealthy (refined carbs!!)
  3. Only gross people (fat, unwhite, poor, old people) eat food
  4. Gross people are not classy (or healthy)
  5. Diabetes is nature’s punishment for being gross
    1. (And un-classy)

Put it all together and you get devastating wit.

We all know that diabetes (type 2, the yucky kind) is the world’s premier disease caused by being gross. It is also a hilarious indictment of your worthlessness as a human being.

In case you missed the memo, there are two types of people in the world: good people and bad people.

Good people do good things like exercise and eat vegetables, “take care of themselves” as directed by medical professionals and Craigslist personal ads, are good-looking, describe themselves as “upper middle class,” are mostly white, go to university, work hard to stay thin, inspire bonerz, and come from families without a strong history of diabetes, or other endocrine or autoimmune diseases. In short, they are morally superior and make the world a better place.

When they get sick, it is a tragedy.

Bad people do bad things like not “taking care of themselves” which means they steal money from rich taxpayers to underwrite their gluttony, don’t have the gumption to make money or go to university or lose weight, tolerate having losers in their families, are not bone-worthy, are too tired from their shitty jobs to exercise or read Mark Bittman, maintain dark skin, and are generally yucky. They are everything that is wrong with the world.

When they get sick, it is hilarious.

Back in old-timey days, we used to divide poor people up by whether they were “worthy” or “unworthy.” This was a generous and benevolent way of making sure taxpayers didn’t waste their hard-earned money on gross people. In our advanced modern times, we have learned to apply this idea to sick people: are you worthy of our respect? Because there is really only so much to go around.

If you get sick while in the act of being gross, well I am sorry, but that makes you a burden, and you also probably brought it on yourself.

Gross people eat gross food, like carbs. Gross food causes gross people to get gross diseases. When you get a gross disease, it is then your responsibility to cure yourself through reeducation about ways to not be so gross.

Here are some tips:

1. Insulin resistance causes weight gain, making it more difficult for people with diabetes to lose weight? Maybe you should try losing weight, and stop being so gross.

2. Type 2 diabetes is highly heritable? Try not having such a gross family.

3. Type 2 diabetes is highly associated with socioeconomic status? Get a job and stop spending all your money on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

4. Type 2 diabetes is highly associated with being of Aboriginal, Asian, African, South Asian, or Hispanic descent? Way to play “the race card.” Try personal responsibility.

5. Not having enough food is associated with both “obesity” and diabetes? Maybe try eating even less.

6. Type 2 diabetes tends to occur more in older adults? Old people are gross. Try not being so old.

*Not actually hilarious.

Disclaimer: the preceeding is a work of satire, inspired by Rape is Hilarious.

I do not think most diabetes jokes are clever or funny. I do not think older adults or fat people or poor people are gross. I use the term “unwhite” as an expression of Newspeak intended to lampoon Eurocentric beliefs and attitudes, and do not think people of Asian, African, Aboriginal, South Asian or Hispanic descent are gross.

I also do not think it is coincidence that a disease highly associated with marginalized populations has suddenly become a bastion of trendy humour. Because who’s going to argue?

However, in doing so, I do not hate freedom, free speech, or America ™. I also don’t have any problem with people using humour to cope with their own lived experience. But when humour is used to further marginalize people, while betraying and promoting loathsome, sophomoric stereotypes…no. I don’t think it’s hilarious.

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