BY TARQUIN SUTHERLAND
It’s a larf, innit?
As any sane person knows, those that fail to appreciate the sheer absurdity of the accident of their own birth – or worse, wilfully ignore it – are either the dullest of self-aggrandising morons or overt fascists of one stripe or another and most usually an unedifying combination of the two.
Here in Britain we have a long, rich history for one of the most celebrated senses of humour on the planet – for better or worse. Gallows humour is a tradition – and those that have the most harrowing of jobs shall know that finding the very bleakest of laughs in the most tragic and upsetting of circumstances is at least one way of remaining connected to one’s sanity. We have a love of the bizarre and the eccentric – of the avant garde and the downright offensive – “…all done in the best possible taste”, of course.
The litany of world class comedians this little collection of islands has produced over the years from Charlie Chaplin to Billy Connolly and back – via the still-sorely-missed Kenny Everett and the inimitable Dave Allen – is, nigh on, endless. And we haven’t even begun to unravel the genius of The Goons or Monty Python.
We love our stereotypes in dear old Blighty, don’t we?
The Scots are tight-fisted, the Irish are thick, the Welsh are pseudo-intellectual, and the English are arrogant. We ALL know this NOT to be true, but we enjoy the banter to be had from employing these ridiculous and low-resolution caricatures of each other in the pursuit of cracking a smile. It’s what friends do.
It is indeed a terrible thought to conjure – that of a world in which Political Correctness has simply crushed all humour from mankind – and make no mistake, that truly IS the intention of the Neomarxist postmodernist crowd. Because they themselves have no sense of humour. They lack that essential component of humanity required to both see and appreciate the true absurdity of the cosmic joke we call life.
They are the wannabe traffic wardens of our minds. Feverishly painting triple yellow lines around every single thing that we might once have found funny. Make no mistake in all of this – that the inch, once given, shall quickly turn into the proverbial yard. Before too long the killjoy mindset shall have us all enmeshed in the kind of joyless web of self-censorship that could only have ever been conceived by those that simply don’t get the joke – and never will. Funny David Mitchell metamorphosed into dull POMO Mitchell – outrageously funny Frankie Boyle reduced to BBC shill Boyle.
The freedom of speech and thought are inextricably linked to the notion of humour and we must all now look deeply into the cesspit of what passes for a ‘bit of banter’ in the turgid recesses of the online world – the recent story of one James Gunn comes to mind…
There is nothing whatsoever funny about child abuse. Nothing. Not even those who have suffered it can find a fraction of an ounce of gallows humour in it. The only people that might laugh about such a subject can only be considered as those that might harbour dark fantasies of indulging in such a depraved pursuit. Yet it appears, now, to be fair game in eliciting the cracking of that apocryphal smile… as armies of lefties come to Gunn’s defence.
It seems all rather at odds with the fact that even dear Kenny Everett’s memorably hilarious caricature, ‘Cupid Stunt’, whose catchphrase was quoted above, would now be considered ‘transphobic’, no doubt.
The recent banning from Twitter of the inimitable Godfrey Elfwick should send shivers down the spines of ALL sane folk across the English-speaking world. As everyone that has had even the briefest brush with a little history shall know, the type of person that cuts off the Jester’s head can ONLY be a tyrant.
Y’gotta laugh, eh?