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Comedy Is Nothing To Laugh About.

Thanks to a sensation running down the outside of my left thigh from hip to knee which I can only describe as a numb-ish, burning-ish, icy-ish kind of pain-ish thing I have not been able to sleep.  I received two steroid injections for this pain a few days ago and they, together with some pills that seem to have aggravated my smokers cough whilst relaxing my shoulder muscles, appeared to be making this indescribable pain ease up.  Not tonight, however, and I have thrown out the leaflet that came with the pills but I’m sure it said I can take up to two a day.  I took a second one anyway because I trust my memory then I picked up a book to read my troubles away.

The book was one I got in a sale.  Ten books for thirty dollars.  Means the book only cost me three dollars but I still think it was overpriced.  I read it all, of course, I hate wasting money even if it was only three dollars.

I shan’t name the book, or the author, he’s Australian and who knows what trouble I could get into.  According to my statistics I have at least two snooper-bots named relevantnoise and moreover keeping tabs on me ready to report me to any of their subscribers if I say nasty things about them.

I suspect it was my entries about Safeway-Woolworths profiting from gambling losses that brought me to the attention of these snooper-bots so the name of the author I am about to disparage shall remain my secret.

(I have mentioned Safeway-Woolworths, of course, in the hope the aforementioned snooper-bots will come running here then go and dob on me to Woolworths-Safeway and they will be annoyed that I have not shut up about them profiting from the destruction of people’s lives hehehe.)

Actually, it’s more cowardice than any desire to spare the author my scorn that keeps me from saying his name.  He’s got more poison dripping from his pen than I could hope to survive.

The book is, supposedly, a funny one but I found it tedious.  It was overstocked with long words and bad puns and a lot of underlying contempt for a lot of things.  It left me with nothing but a desire to write a blog entry about humour.

I can almost hear the author now.

What on earth would a celibate, almost 50 year old, paranoid, pessimistic, religious freak psychologist with a numb-ish, burning-ish, icy-ish pain in her left thigh find funny?  Apart from herself.

Not much.  Not in todays world.

This is a world with unutterably LAZY comedians!  Their jokes belong back in high school with pimply faced adolescents behind the bike sheds snickering over rude words they write on the back of the shed.

Why do they take the easy way out and opt for humour based on malice, sleaze or profanity?  Anyone can get a laugh, a snicker, or at least a smirk from the use of these things.  Anyone.

There is more shit than wit in jokes these days.  Literally.

Did you smile?  Point proven.  If not, well, perhaps you have my sense of humour hehehe.

I am not amused by so much of what passes for humour.  I loathe those shows where people fall or make fools of themselves at their wedding.  I can’t ignore the empathy I am trained to feel for people long enough to laugh at what was clearly a painful experience.

I also hate jokes that perpetrate myths and dangerous beliefs or contribute to the contempt people feel for those who are different.  I have seen and heard the anguish the people who are the subjects, the victims, of those jokes have to live through.

I despise sit-coms depicting men as lilly-livered doormats and women as unreasonable tyrants. They offer a picture of the place of men and women in society that is every bit as distorted and unrealistic as the much maligned old sit-coms where women cooked and men ruled.

Every day of our lives we have to live with abusive, cruel, stupid, thoughtless, nasty, cold, mean, snide, vicious, heartless, sex-obsessed, money-obsessed, manner-less behaviour in the people we meet or are unfortunate enough to know.

Why glorify them in sit-coms?

The author of this book laced it, heavily, with what I imagine he considered was wit.  The puns, the plays on words, all designed to make people feel stupid.  His book sold for three dollars so I don’t imagine I was the only one who didn’t get a lot of the puns.  I have a big vocabulary, I understood most of the words, I felt he was trying too hard to make them funny.

When did it happen?  When did comedy sink to the level of schoolboy humour and “at your expense” laughs?  Is our society really so self-conscious we can’t laugh unless someone is being hurt, made a fool of, makes a fool of themselves without knowing it or is in some way put-down and made to seem inferior?

Where did all the jokes that were funny go?  The ones that were funny without having to have a victim of some kind?  The silly, harmless, witty, clever jokes have become smutty, hurtful, shitty, calculating, and all too often cruel stabs at humanity.

Is that because we, as a society, are too sophisticated to laugh at innocence unless it is being taken advantage of somehow?  Are we too clever, now, to laugh at harmless unless there is unexpected harm in the punchline?

Or are the people who are supposed to entertain us simply taking the easy option to avoid the risk their jokes will fall flat?  Trigger our insecurities, our mob mentality, heaven forbid we be the only one not laughing at the bum joke and they go on thinking they are good at their job.

Bum jokes and mean jokes have always made humanity laugh but they used to be considered bad taste so comedians had to come up with jokes that were not guaranteed to get a laugh.  They had to work hard to be funny.  Nobody works at being funny these days and I am not amused.

It is my job to comfort people who have been hurt, to build up the self-esteem of those who feel they are just a joke, to build people up when life has torn them down and I hate anything that works in the opposite direction.  Much of today’s so called humour does just that.  It scorns those who love, who trust, who care, who believe there is more to life than sex and money.  It teaches our children to scorn such things too.

Our prison system is trying to teach offenders how to feel empathy for their victims.  To think about how they made their victim feel and ask themselves if they would like someone to make them feel that way.  The more empathy a criminal learns to feel the less likely they are to commit more crimes.

So why does our society support humour that says someone else’s pain or humiliation is funny?

Can someone start a movement please?  Lobby the people who write the comedies and tell the jokes?  I’m no comedienne but maybe the movement could use my pathetic joke.  The joke would then be on me of course given my aversion to bum jokes but how does this sound for a slogan?

“Comedy: Give us wit not shit.”

It doesn’t amuse me so it must be funny.

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