Monday, June 12, 2017

Jokes and Fundamentalism

A strange juxtaposition, but bear with me.

I was watching an interesting video of Jimmy Carr interviewing Frankie Boyle (two of my favourite comedians) and Jimmy mentioned that “people are not offended by a joke, but rather by who’s telling it”. I thought that was an interesting observation and that it had a lot of truth to it.

But Frankie had an incredibly perceptive take on it that really sharpened my thoughts on fundamentalism, religious mostly, but anything with a narrow fundamentalist view.

Frankie said that “A joke is a thing that people laugh at in a room – a contract between people. As soon as you have to defend it, then it is simply something inappropriate that someone said”.

Now, it is easy to say then that the comedian is responsible for what he or she says and that he or she must be aware at all times of who is listening. But the reality is that the joke simply floating in the air and it is a choice to be offended by it.

The problem with the vast majority of fundamentalists is that they choose to be offended by everything. Vocally and often violently.

That has to be one of the world’s biggest problems these days – that 2/3 of the people on the planet have no sense of humor and scream about almost everything that happens in the free world.