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

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

Guy Th

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