Right now, twitter feels a dangerous place upon which to be making jokes and random quips. Sure, the twitter joke trial is over, Guy Adams has had his account reinstated and the Tom Daley troll has not, as far as I know, been tarred and feathered on the nearest village green.* Even so, I wouldn’t want to push my luck. Not with corporate lawyers on one side and the righteous twitter mob on the other.
Thus I am not going to make a huge fuss about rap star Professor Green tweeting crap “jokes” about bulimia. I have no desire to kick a man when he’s down and I’d imagine that, if you’re a rapper, having Private Eye point out that you look like Michael Gove would be making you feel pretty down to begin with:
So yeah, Professor – real name Stephen – I have no desire to mock you, in the manner in which one might mock sufferers of a potentially fatal yet nevertheless hugely embarrassing and much misunderstood illness. I can see that, once you made your lighthearted quip about bulimia being “quite an intelligent eating disorder”, you already knew what kind of mindless bullying might lie ahead. “Queue all the people who start telling me how insensitive I am and how bulimia jokes aren’t funny yadda yadda yadda”, you tweeted, displaying the media-savvy self-awareness of a true professional. Good for you. Don’t let the hypothetical bastards get you down.
I’m not one of the people who’d claim that “bulimia jokes aren’t funny”, at least not in principle. I mean, I’ve never heard any that have made me laugh, but there’s always a first time. After all, bulimia’s horrible, but it can also lead to all sorts of hilarious mishaps. I once swallowed a toothbrush whole while trying to use it to make myself vomit; a friend of mine went through a car wash with the windows open because she was bingeing at the wheel and couldn’t stop. I’m sure there’s bags of comedy mileage in all this. I’ve just never taken the time to work it all up into some decent material – fancy having a go? You could even make a rap about it.
In the meantime, some basic facts about bulimia (which should help to show you why your “joke” doesn’t actually work, since it seeks to make light of something which isn’t in any case true):
- Most bulimics (and indeed most people with eating disorders) are not thin.
- Self-induced vomiting is not entirely effective in removing calories consumed during a binge, and can in fact lead to further binge urges.
- While not a way of getting “to eat what you want and stay skinny”, as you merrily tweeted, bulimia is a way of losing all your teeth, rupturing your stomach or esophagus, shitting yourself in a public place or dying of a heart attack over the toilet. All of which, I’m sure of it, can be made to sound absolutely fucking hilarious by someone as talented as your good self.
Well, there ends the lesson. By the way – love the Gillian McKeith-style “Professor” title.
Ms Glosswitch (real title: Dr)
* To be honest, until two days ago I thought the twitter joke trial was a Kafkaesque virtual art performance being conducted in real time over twitter, and not an actual trial. Needless to say, I am disappointed this isn’t the case. Although not, I imagine, as disappointed as Paul Chambers.