Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tommie Harris' anti-Semitic joke

Peter King is Sports Illustrated's senior NFL writer, and this week he is on a USO trip with pro football players to visit troops in Afghanistan. He's keeping a diary at his Inside the NFL blog, and I imagine this joke by Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, one of a few ribs that King says bring "levity to serious surroundings," wouldn't go over well with the ADL.
Harris riddles us for a while, then produces a joke best saved for last.

"What did the pig say to the Muslim?"

Silence.

"Shalom."

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am jewish and would consider myself to "get" most jokes, even Ziggys. But I don't really "get" this joke or why exactly it is offensive. We jews as well as muslims don't eat pig. Is that part of the joke? Or are they saying jews are pigs. I'm confused....

Brad A. Greenberg said...

Anon,
You're not the only one who found this joke in want. I'm not sure what the intent of the joke was, and I imagine the fact that Muslims and Jews consider pigs unclean was part of it, but I understood, at the simplest level, that the punchline was implying that Jews are pigs.

Anonymous said...

"Jews are pigs"? You sound like fox news. Nice try on taking something and twisting it into your own words. You are probably responsible for making Obama look "blacker" too.

Anonymous said...

Brad, you're insane and looking for controversy where none exists. But, hey, you got Deadspin to link you, so good for you on getting your name out there.

Anonymous said...

If deadspin keeps linking to trash like this I will stop reading.

DB Cooper said...

You don't even know why you're offended, but you still think you should be?

This is always fun, parsing jokes, but here you go:

The joke is actually at the Muslim's offense. See, he hates pork, because it's forbidden and such. But they hate Jews more. The pig is pointing out the irony that the Muslim shares his belief/bias/irrational-food-rule with his arch-enemy.

Of course, it's never funny with a treatise attached.

Brad A. Greenberg said...

Thanks, DB Cooper, for affirming my belief in the double-layered-but-not-so-funny joke.

I like Arkansas Fred's explanation in the comments on Deadspin:

I laughed at the joke, though I'm not sure it was funny per se. Maybe it was the talking pig.

RobinFiveWords said...

Looks like the joke was removed from the online article within the last hour.

Brad A. Greenberg said...

You're right. I'd e-mail Peter King and ask him why -- something I wanted to do yesterday, too -- but unlike blogs belonging to most reporters, his offers no apparent contact info.

Here is the link to the cached version:

Wednesday, 11:15 p.m., Bagram

Seven bunk beds, eight men. Sounds like a sitcom. And for awhile in the pitch black of the guest barracks at this huge airbase, it was.

Understand something. When eight people leave the United States, fly halfway around the world and try to adjust their body clocks immediately to the exact opposite time (day is night, night is day), different sleep patterns ensue. I've been napping on planes and in vans taking us from one activity to another. Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris falls into a coma on planes.

Tonight, Harris could not sleep.

Lights out. Silence in the barracks for 10, 20 seconds.

"Anybody got any stories?" Harris says, sounding like a kid who needed a story to fall asleep before bed.

A few chuckles. No volunteers. Finally, I speak up.

"I've got a joke," I say.

"Yeah?" Harris says. "Go ahead."

I say, "Termite walks into a bar. Says, 'Hey, is the bartender here?'"

Silence, then a few pained chuckles.

"I don't get it," Harris says.

"A termite eats wood," I say.

"Ohhhhh," he says.

"Sandwich walks into a bar," I say. "Bartender says, 'I'm sorry. We don't serve food here.'"

A couple of guffaws. I'm on a roll now.

"Three-legged dog walks into a bar. Looks around and says, 'All right! Who shot my paw?'"

Luis Castillo roars. The house is brought down.

Punchy Americans in a smelly wood hut between mountain ranges in northeastern Afghanistan are acting like it's a third-grade sleepover in the middle of Kansas.

"I've got a riddle," says Harris. "A man is found in a car. Bullet in his head. Windows rolled up. No gun anywhere. How'd he die?"

We throw a couple of bad ideas out. Harris knocks them down.

Finally, I say; "He was driving a convertible."

"You got it," Harris says.

I have to say it's a surreal thing to be laying in blackness on the other side of the world, with the cabin-rattling noise from an occasional night mission taking off from a runway 500 yards away while I'm having a joke-off with a Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

"We're in Afghanistan," Harris says, echoing the wonder of us all just being here. "There's a war going on!"

Nobody responds. But you'd be inhuman, with F-15s piercing the eardrums, to not think exactly the same thing.

Harris riddles us for a while, then produces a joke best saved for last.

"What did the pig say to the Muslim?"

Silence.

"Shalom."

bucky said...

talking animals are funny.

Freddee said...

Speaking of anti-Semitic, what do you make of this Obama supporter Jeffery Hart's view of Jews:
M. Thomas Eisenstadt's blog
Like the pig joke, it's a little confusing - is he for us or against us?

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