Thursday, 27 November 2014

Humour is irrelevant in a world of terror

Context is vital and humour is extremely subjective. That might sound so obvious as to not warrant further discussion, but I'm bored and a bit light-on for things to write, so I'm going to discuss it with myself anyway.

A case in point - this is a complete email conversation from a few months ago between me and two work colleagues:
This brief email exchange made me laugh. A lot.  But my childish sense of humour aside - in terms of context, anyone  who had not been privy to the conversation that preceded the email exchange would probably have thought we’re all:
  • Crackers
  • Bigots
  • Up to no good  
  • All of the above
And that may well be true, but Ron had recently returned from Germany - where he had taken a tour of a restored concentration camp. Having grown up on a cattle farm, the way the Nazis had designed the camp reminded him of a cattle slaughter yard in terms of operational efficiency. 

He didn't infer any humour in the comparison whatsoever, it was just an observation that struck him at the time of the tour. Ron is a man that can talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles, so the conversation he had to explain his rationale was lengthy, overly detailed and totally serious.

If I didn't know any better I'd suggest he was borderline autistic, but I think it's just a redneck farm boy thing. He's a lovely man when he's not boring me to tears.

I related Ron's story to Andrew and, given his dry sense of humour and hobby of messing with Ron’s head, that is what instigated the reply.

I’m aware that explaining a joke is almost always pointless, but it was the context thing that had me thinking about what would happen if our beloved national security authorities decided to do a random (or not-so-random) review of our emails on that day.

Humour is subjective at the best of times, but it is irrelevant to an authority hell bent on operating within the realm of ‘rules are rules and humour has no place in a world full of terrorists'.

That was what made me stop laughing.

Given that our laws are being changed quickly and without public debate, my deep-seated paranoia is growing more realistic by the day.

"Police will have greater powers to curb the movements of terrorism suspects without charge and overseas spies will more easily share intelligence with the military under new national security legislation."

Now for something actually funny to normal people:
More Modern World by Tom Tomorrow here


  1. It never ceases to amaze me the speed at which some laws can be changed but others seem to go on forever with discussion, debate, re-writes etc etc.

    It never ceases to amaze me that as long as there is some awful 'soap type' programme for the masses to watch nightly, then the majority do not bat an eyelid.

    Is this the way of the world now?

    Just a thought.......

    All the best Jan

    1. It certainly seems that way, Jan. At least for the majority.