Wednesday, 4 March 2009

The Boundaries Of Comedy Part 2

I hope you all enjoyed the first instalment, as now, it is time to be serious again for a moment. Last time we discussed the media's power to instil a sense of immorality into selective areas of comedy, and pondered why they choose to ignore other, potentially more offensive aspects. This time, the focus shifts slightly onto the current political climate and how that is effecting the comedy that is produced.

First of all, I turn to tragic events and overblown sensationalism caused by them. Now, it's not a secret that our newspapers enjoy taking a terrible event and making an even bigger meal out of it in order to create a profitable story out of next to nothing. In the past, we've seen many breaking stories that have dragged on for much longer than they should have done, and many, whilst terrible in their nature, have been taken to the point of national hysteria. I only have to point at the support groups set up for Jade Goody as an example of this.

How does this impact on our tastes in humour? It might not necessarily affect us personally, but our comedians and writers are having to become increasingly aware of their subject matter. Sure, they might not even care if people are offended by their material (they may even relish it), but the recent trend seems to show that people outside the target audience are getting involved and trying to make it difficult for those who don't veer on the side of caution. Whether this is the reaction you are aiming for or not, it's obvious that many, many more people are becoming too reactionary to such trivial matters, and will purposefully go out of their way to ruin your day, blissfully unaware of the hypocrisy involved.

I have witnessed this first hand. A simple joke can cause a massive backlash, and on the Internet, can cause hate groups to spring up out of nowhere, simply because the other person doesn't share your sense of humour.

Not all that long ago, each of these breaking stories used to have a series of topical gags that would begin circulating around via text, email, and good old word of mouth. You'll probably remember the jokes about maddie turning up in the back of a Renault McCann, or about the local council doing away with christmas lights in favour of hanging (Gary) Glitter instead. Sure, they might be in bad taste for some, but regardless of whether you enjoy them or not, the lack of them sprouting up about recent stories indicates that a there is a growing sensitism amoung the public.

So what can be done? Frankly, until people cease allowing themselves to be manipulated into a false sense of alarm and realise that you don't have to rally around the latest national outcry to be a decent, contributing member of society, there isn't much that can be done. Our tabloids will continue to milk the latest tragedy for their own ends and means.


  1. Good piece, left me wanting a bit more though.

    I'm fed up with a "new" Jade story every fucking day, Jade gets cancer, cancer spreads, Jaade gets hospitalised, Cancer gets to blood stream, has operations, gets married, goes home, goes back to hospital, nutter with a tiny gavel (not the hammer we were led to believe) goes to see her, now she's going blind. She'll be deaf tomorrow just because Max cunting Clifford want's to get his name in the paper. We all know how cancer works, instead of telling us what we really need to know the red tops are peddling what I call "Cancer Porn" just to sell their racist rags.

    If Jade had set up some sort of fund to actually help fight cancer I may not think she's a total cunt, but as she chooses to reveal a new step every day to give her kids money, she's got plenty already and i'd imagine the actual dad isn't too bad off either.

    My Gran has just been diagnosed with cancer, we know she doesn't have long to live, so we'll be there supporting her, not dribbling out shit to the press about what a hero she is.

    Plus she hasn't told her kids, she's told the entire world in the most lurid way, but not her kids.

    Sorry for the long rant, to cancel it out heres a link for some great Jade jokes amongst others.

    Have fun and stay sexy.

  2. Fantastic rant there, and I am in full support of what you just said. I might just replace my post with your comment. Although I am sorry to hear about your grandma.

  3. She's in her 90's her husband died before I was born, her quality of life is virtually zero, it sounds harsh but this is probably the best thing for her, she'll be dosed up on pain killers, she'll be having a whale of a time.


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