Saturday, 15 September 2007

Bin Laden a Terrorist? - You Must be Joking

As you know, the funny thing about humour is the way it often contains a 'message' about the inner truth of a situation. Marina Hyde picked up on this in her recent article in Guardian Unlimited Don't Flatter Terrorists with po faced hush, mock them

Here's a snippet...

Why do wannabe terrorists bother scrambling on their tummies under all those rope nets in the shadow of the Hindu Kush? No disrespect, but all their eventual mission will involve is setting fire to their trainers in an aisle seat once the captain has switched the seat belts sign off and the crew have commenced their in-flight service. Seems an awful waste of a fortnight in Pakistan to have spent it practising for some Junior Action Man contest that will never happen.

The Brits have certainly got a reputation for creating jokes about even the most terrible of circumstances and this has been described as ranging from the outright insensitive to more profound psycho-analytical explanations of 'coping'

Something 'bad' only has to happen and seconds later the cell/mobile phone is buzzing with the latest wise crack and nothing is 'off limits'

This is nothing new - Hitler only had one ball, and the other is in the Albert Hall was sang to the tune of Colonel Bogey during WW2 and later

The reality is that 'labels' are powerful and they have a significant role to play in characterising the 'truth' of a situation. If you didn't know, this has even been given a name by folks interested in this sort thing of the Linguistic Turn inspired by the work of Wittgenstein in which the ideas is that names and labels create a social reality. Just think what comes to mind when you read... the French are great lovers, Redneck, Feminist, Star, Loser, etc. Of course, this can lead to the land of 'Political Correctness' and it's interesting that the PC brigade aren't up in arms (would they have the guts?) saying how awful it is describing OBL as a 'terrorist' as this is a disparaging social label...

The key point in this is to recognise that 'taking the mickey' is separate from any assessment of the specific consequences. This is necessary, in order for us to remember that the perpetrators are simply human beings doing bad things not some uncontrollable demon with meta-physical reach beyond our power.

So on that note...Osama is clearly the Joker in the Paki...and I bet he has only got one ball, the other is in a cave in Tora Bora...hmmm must try harder :)

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes you just gotta helps keep the tears away.