Can We Stop The Dark Humor Bullshit?

(Another Caffeine Fueled Rant)

I get it, I do. You want to feel like you belong and you want to be special, you want to fit in and be included. Playing the role of a hardened EMS veteran full of gallows humor makes you feel that way.

But the truly experienced EMS providers out there, we see through your bullshit and your internet posturing and your desperate wanting to belong. Trust me, we have seen things way worse than the crap you post on the internet and we don’t need to post memes about it. we don’t get any enjoyment about posting the “most twisted, sickest, darkest memes.”

It isn’t that we are offended by seeing the disabled and mangled bodies,it just isn’t that big of a deal to us. We are indifferent to it.

You are literally producing your own version of “Ow! My Balls!”  Let that sink in for a moment.

You might think I am wrong and that I just don’t get “it” because the echo chamber of morons you surround yourself confirm your views; composed mostly of dialysis transport jockeys and dim-bulb EMT’s who think passing the NREMT test is the pinnacle of academic achievement.
There is a minority out there who are trying to make EMS better, we are out there, we notice and we talk. You might wonder why someday you don’t get hired at that really cool job you want or you don’t get accepted to a paramedic program. What you don’t see are the people that are secretly pulling the EMS strings posting this kind of crap, they are too busy educating, writing your protocols, working with the state and other regulatory agencies and generally determining the course of the future of EMS.

Of course, how could I forget? “If we don’t make these sorts of jokes we will die and it is how we cope.” You can’t play both sides of the coin here. You can’t claim to be so hardened but need to post pictures of crap online to keep yourself sane. Making fun of the disabled is not some sort of gallows humor coping mechanism; it is just you being an asshole.

Gallows humor is about pointing out the irony of our fates

“It was like the old joke about the condemned man turning down the cigarette offered by the captain of the firing squad. ‘I’m trying to quit,’ the guy says.” – Stephen King, The Tommyknockers

No, I’m not butthurt, I’m not really offended either, at least not in the way you might be using that term. I’m not on some moral soap box either, I say some of the most inappropriate things you could imagine but I say them in private and I know who will overhear what I say. I don’t post them in a forum of 50,000+ people.

Why don’t I keep scrolling if I don’t like it? Because at some point the bullshit has to stop and what we don’t condemn, we condone.

But sure, I am actually somewhat offended. I’m offended that I am associated in the same profession as someone who thinks mocking a disabled child on a public forum is appropriate behavior from a health care provider.

I’m offended that EMS providers are so dumb that they can’t see they are their own worst enemy when it comes to things like getting higher pay and being seen as professionals.

Time for another cup of coffee…


6 thoughts on “Can We Stop The Dark Humor Bullshit?

  1. So as a military veteran and now as someone in the civilian world how dare you. I don’t care if you have one bad day or a thousand who are you to judge someone’s breaking point? So what your telling me is someone who has experience in a job cannot experience burnout, nightmares, or issues with healthy problem solving? You are the reason there is a “problem”, it’s in your head. You feel your better then all of these people posting dark humor then you make fun of people who feel they have seen horrible events that left scars how dare you. Let me tell you the two worst days in my life were, it’s easy to figure out. It’s when I went to two separate funerals for fellow soldiers who committed suicide. You must have never been so unlucky and I hope that’s the case. To watch two mothers collapse on the casket because they had to bury their sons. To stand there in uniform and feel as though the whole attendance blames you because your supposed to be there to protect each other. You have no concept of what pain and bad days is if your opinion is as off as this article is.


    1. I think you missed my point. If you need to post memes making fun of disabled children to cope with whatever it is…you’re wrong.


      1. Making fun of the handicap is not “dark humor”. Dark humor is joking about blood and guts, it’s a way of life in the line of work we do. It should be table talk and nothing more. The second you post distasteful stuff online for all to see you really need to step back and ask yourself if you ever want to get that promotion down the line or not because once it leaves the table you can’t control how people on the outside view what you “meant to say”.


    2. I think you’re missing the point, Jeremy. We all use “Dark Humor” to cope, even the author admits he says similar things. There is a big difference between such comments in the firehouse/quarters, and posting them publicly for all (not just EMS providers) to see. The common phrase “paid to save your ass, not kiss it,” is an expression of frustration when said in quarters; but when on a public Facebook page or a t-shirt, it’s a big middle finger to anyone who has or will call 911 for help.

      Also, there is a difference between dark/gallows humor and mocking disabled children.


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