Nature of Humour

Changing Perceptions of Humour

Will and Guy are old enough to have actually lived through the evolution of stage, club and television comedy.  We have never liked obscene jokes, sick humour, or even gratuitous insults.  However, we think that the current trend for sanitizing content lest it offends someone, is beginning to stifle creativity in humour and comedy.  For example, should Walt Disney characters like Goofy be banned?  Are Tom and Gerry cartoons too violent to be shown on day-time TV? One reason that we include an email address at the bottom of our pages is that we welcome feedback.  The internet provides a new interaction between audience and joke teller.  In the physical world people offended people would ask for their money back, or boycott that particular gig.  However, the internet is free!  So all people can do is write in with their complaints. Readers' comments and the changing attitudes of society have caused us to question our choice of humour.  As a result we have phased out 'Blonde' jokes, but kept 'Irish Humour'.   We hope that the following points will explain our philosophy for publishing articles on this site. Down the ages attitudes of society change with time.  You can read in history books about the contrasts between slaves and senator in a Roman court; you can study the emancipation of women in England, Europe or America; you can examine the changing attitudes to Jewish persecution. Here are our points Although more than half of all jokes will offend a minority of international readers, one interesting effect is that the funnier the joke the fewer people it offends.   An almost opposite It has always seemed ok for American and British jokesters to tell anti-Hitler jokes, in fact the main reason Hitler jokes died out was because they no longer seemed funny, rather than they were no longer offensive to Germans in general, and relatives of Hitler in particular. The key question is at what point should the feelings of the minority spoil the fun of the majority?  Bear in mind that if a joke directed against say a Mr Bloggs of Thomasville was truly offensive, then the majority would squirm and not think it funny, hence rendering that joke unfunny. One of the best ways of regulating humour is simply not to laugh, thus why can't those offended just move on to another page or even another site? We realize that the mainstream suppression of humour is part of a bigger picture of more government control, CC TV, ever reduced speed limits, parking restrictions.  We also acknowledge that some of these controls are a good idea, car seat belts, public no smoking areas. Conclusion:  We want to collect, celebrate and present the best examples of humour.  We publish items that feature clever wordplay, yarns with unexpected twists, amusing pictures with clever compositions. If these offend 1% of the readers, then this is a price we are willing to pay so that 99% of our visitor can sample our amusing jokes and funny pictures.

Guy Th

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