Hey, I’m just being honest…

Two days ago the “comedian”/professional arsehole Frankie Boyle sent out the following tweet:

My advice to people with depression is to keep it to yourself, maybe just fuck off on your own when you’re down, it’s a bit of a drag.

As someone who has suffered from depression, I’m not about to get all upset about this. I know there is genuine prejudice surrounding mental illness. However, I doubt many people will read Boyle’s tweet and think a) “hey, perhaps he’s got a point” or b) “ha ha, that’s hilarious”. If anything, I’d like to think Boyle might giving those who seek to raise awareness a helping hand. After all, “Frankie Boyle” is synonymous with “person who says shit things just to be offensive”.  Thus bullying the mentally ill can be placed alongside laughing at rape victims and mocking the disabled as something you only do if you’re a total bastard with a career that’s completely reliant on desperate, toddler-esque boundary-pushing. Continue reading

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Professor Green: Bulimia’s not funny, but then neither is looking like Michael Gove

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. Continue reading

Rape jokes: Just who exactly needs to shut the hell up?

When it comes to jokes I have always concurred with Schopenhauer in his belief that there’s nothing funnier than the sudden apprehension of an incongruity between a general concept and a heterogenous object which is subsumed thereunder, and hence between what is abstract and what is perceptive.
When that happens I piss myself.

More Crap Jokes, Viz

Censorship is bad, isn’t it? The only people who like censorship are evil dictators and the totally, terminally uncool. Oh, and the stupid, who don’t know what’s good for them. So they can shut the fuck up. Only not in a “let’s all censor the stupid” way. That would be evil and stupid and uncool. I mean in a “they ought to shut up because nothing they have to say is of any value” way. I wouldn’t actively intimidate them into being silent, or at least not until massive peer pressure was proving ineffective and I was at risk of looking stupid by association. Continue reading

There’s a reason why they’re called “jokes”

Well, I’m back, still posting about that sodding Observer article regarding men’s rights. But there was one thing I forgot to mention and I think it deserves a post all of its own (not just by way of recompense for having been forgotten; but issue, please forgive me).

Anyhow, it’s this bit:

Men are also increasingly the butt of jokes. In a recent article for Grazia magazine, one male writer took exception to comedian Jo Brand claiming that her favourite man was “a dead one” and an advertisement for oven cleaner with the tagline: “So easy, even a man can do it.”

Sigh. Do we really need to explain? One of these is Jo Brand parodying the stereotype of what a feminist is, and the other is a parody of a genuine advert for Oven Pride, except that originally it was “even a woman can do it” and it was meant seriously. Got that? Jesus, men, this has fuck all to do with what anyone thinks of you!

But so what if it did? If we do make jokes about men that we wouldn’t make about women, what does it actually mean about who holds the advantage? Ladies and gentlemen, I refer you to Marcelle D’Argy Smith, former editor of Cosmopolitan. I wouldn’t normally refer you to her, but she made a brilliant point about this on BBC Breakfast a few years ago. I can’t remember the exact wording but it was essentially that these jokes are like Tom and Jerry cartoons. Tom and Jerry are only funny (okay, not funny, but mildly diverting) because we know that in real life the cat would win. Just as we know that in real life it’s girls who are presumed better off dead and girls who get killed just for being girls, hence leaving some countries with a massive gender imbalance, of the sort we’ve not seen in the other direction since the end of World War Two. There’s nothing funny in stating the truth.

I refer you also to my partner, who made the same point in a different way, back when there was all the hoo-ha about David and Goliath’s rubbish “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” T-shirts. My partner merely muttered “nice to see everyone can get het up about these T-shirts, but not rape victims having real rocks thrown at them on the basis that they’re adulteresses and deserve to die”. So it’s probably just as well we don’t have T-shirts saying “Girls are stupid, throw rocks at them”. Chances are too many people would follow the suggestion.