Saturday, 7 November 2009

That's funny...

In light of the attack on Jimmy Carr for his apparently thoughtless joke regarding war veteran amputees, I wanted to say something about his (mis)treatment. I adore the media, whether it is the broadsheets or the red tops, Newsnight or Heat magazine. In fact, I think that in order to offer an opinion on the news today, it is very important to ascertain the widely different way that the same events can be reported. But what I detest is the hounding of individuals by a newspaper columnist or two under a misrepresentative umbrella of expousing the opinions of the moral majority. I have watched Jimmy Carr many a time. His brand of humour isn't particularly irreverent, its punchy and brutal, but his jokes are over in a flash. It is deliberately designed to give you an initital verbal winding but ending with guffaws of laughter at his witty cheek. But more importantly, Jimmy can approach serious issues in today's society and give his opinion to the masses in a palatable medium. His joke was not designed to offend the amputees but to topically commiserate with them through humour. If these kinds of quick-fire jokes were the stuff that would have broken his career, we would never have heard of him. I wholeheartedly support his approach.

That brings me to Frankie Boyle, a comedian of similar ilk who spends his entire time on stage or television thinking of how offensive he can be. I'm sure Boyle acknowledges an audience gasp as being on equal par with roaring laughter and applause. His comments regarding UK swimmer Rebecca Adlington were not very nice, but were they truly cruel? Probably not, its his shtick, but it was the media that drew unnecessary attention to the quote, not Frankie. Don't get me wrong, if I was Adlington I would have been mortified and good on her agent for making a point, but the real issue here is why do the media focus on the humour which is so inflammatory? Because we like it! Because it makes a good story! But don't think its because they care about reproaching Boyle. The running of stories regarding poor-taste jokes merely serves to further endorse the joke. I do not endorse Frankie's joke but I would rather have his humour than the condescending dissection of it offered up by others.

Some sections of society will be offended by risque jokes and other sections will misuse the humour for cruel and stupid reasons.  But the right or wrongness of freedom of speech should be determined by society as a whole, society made up of millions of people with differing opinions of what they find funny. Not just a few of us. You decide....

Posted via email from sarahlou-reviews's posterous

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