I don’t write dark humor on my best behavior.
I break things. Mainly, walls.
Hope and Humor writer Jim Watkins explained it to me this way: Comedy is a way to effectively reach the heart stuff by addressing the hard stuff in a light manner. Breaking down walls. Lowering guards. Gaining trust with each laugh.
What I write—dark humor—is satire that addresses ugly topics (torture, for example, and environmental disaster, serial killings, or even simply fear).
First responders often use dark humor to soothe the hurt they witness every day. It relieves stress. It creates bonds. And get this: it actually increases empathy. So while some might say dark humor is inappropriate, for me. . .
For me, it’s like screaming into a pillow. It’s not always pretty. Probably it’s going to sound terrible. Possibly even hurt the back of my throat. But it is healing, and sometimes that ability to break is the only way to keep it together.