Should we laugh? Part 1

Should we laugh? Part 1

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(MENAFN - The Post) A few years ago the late, great Pius Adesanmi, who wrote many scathing satirical sketches about his home country, observed: ''Nigeria is a joke with an unending capacity for self-regeneration as a joke. If you do not laugh at and about Nigeria while working for her renaissance, you will lose your sanity.''    But should we laugh? I mentioned that Pius was a satirist, and satire is a type of humour that mocks bad or foolish behaviour. Theoretically it leads to the correction of such behaviour by exposing it (note that in the quotation above Pius talks about working for the renaissance of his country). Not everyone agrees about the usefulness of satire; George Orwell, for example, was very sceptical about its corrective efficacy, although he used it brilliantly in Animal Farm. Some time�not now�I shall explore the issue in this column. Is there any subject-matter that is not suitable for jokes? Is it possible to extract humour from (for example) disability, murder, rape? This is a more complicated question than it sounds, because it involves questions such as intention and who or what is the target of the joke. It might be OK to make a joke about rape if the target of the joke were the rapist (though even so, I think that's a long shot). There is a phrase, ''gallows humour'', which is used to categorise humour about very dark subjects (such as execution by hanging on the gallows). Jokes about cannibalism are pretty dodgy in Lesotho, given the ghastly events of the lifacane. But the following made me laugh out loud, because it is so ridiculous (more sensitive readers might like to skip it). Jim:   One of my best friends is a cannibal. He was even dating my sister. Last week he took her to see a Russell Crowe movie. Pete: Gladiator? Jim: No! I shall really miss her. On a related topic, because I admire women so much I''m not a fan of blonde bimbo jokes, which are based on the bigoted idea that beautiful blonde young women don''t have much going on upstairs. (I mean, who would you rather ruled the world, Donald Trump or the wonderful New Zealand premier, Jocelyn Ardern?) But the following did make me laugh, because the end is so ingenious and unexpected. A beautiful young blonde boards a flight from Joburg to Sydney, a very long haul. Although she has an economy class ticket, she enters the first class cabin, plonks herself down and makes herself comfortable. A member of the crew checks her ticket and explains, very courteously, that she must vacate the cabin and find her legitimate seat, in economy class. The young woman replies: ''I''m blonde and I''m beautiful. I can do whatever I like.'' The crew member consults the chief steward, who approaches the blonde and delivers the same message, rather more firmly. He receives the same response. Frustrated, he goes into the cockpit and explains to the co-pilot that there's a problem with one of the passengers. ''Leave it to me,'' says the co-pilot, who heads into the first-class cabin and whispers into the ear of the blonde, who immediately grabs her hand-luggage and scuttles off into economy class. The chief steward is duly impressed and asks the co-pilot ''how ever did you manage that?'' ''Simple,'' says the co-pilot, ''I told her the first-class cabin doesn''t stop in Sydney.'' Next week, to make up for that, I''ll tell a joke in which the boot, so to speak, is on the other foot. It's called ''How Men Think.'' To be concluded Chris Dunton Like this:Like Loading...MENAFN16062021000229011070ID1102292659

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