Joke Police.

I was unfriended on Facebook the other day, by a lass I have known for over ten years, and all because of a joke I posted about Jimmy Savile.  Here is the joke in question –

“They have just found Jimmy Savile’s diary.

His last entry was about 10 years old.”

According to the lass who found this “appalling”, I am “laughing at child rape”.  And this from a girl who studied journalism and, presumably, knows a thing or two about the English language.  If you take the time to actually read the joke, you will notice the butt of the joke is the child abuser, not the victim.  I am guessing this nuance is lost on the professionally offended.  Still, never let the facts get in the way of ones self-righteousness, eh?
I find it kind of frightening really that people trained in, and preparing for a career in journalism are prepared to insist on censorship.  I find it unbelievable that the joke is more offensive than the decades of silence by mainstream journalists on the “open secret” that was Jimmy Savile’s alleged fondness for pre-pubescent girls.

In my humble opinion there should be no topics off-limits for comedy.  The topics that are deemed taboo, I suggest, are the very subjects that need broached the most.  Comedy has a long and noble tradition of tackling difficult subjects.  Take Bill Hicks on Iraq, or abortion for instance.   Near the knuckle jokes and comedians, at their best, help test and define boundaries, and consequently help progress or redefine the moral code of society.  It is also informative.  After all, who else, during the last ten or twenty years was informing people about the suspicions about Jimmy Savile?  It certainly wasn’t journalists who were too scared of Savile’s “fame and power” to report on it.  There is always a place for comedy, particularly when the media is such an embarrassing failure.

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Has Amnesty UK Lost It’s Mind?

I was absolutely stunned earlier today when I read this ‘Action Alert’ from Amnesty UK.    Just look at some of the language used –

As negotiations for the first ever Arms Trade Treaty draw to a close it has never been more important for the UK to demand human rights are enshrined at its heart.”

Does Amnesty UK actually believe that the UK is in any moral position to ‘demand’ anything from anyone in regards to human rights?   Amnesty UK have either forgotten, or have chosen to forget, that the UK is a serial human rights abuser.  The UK cannot be asked to ‘demand’ something it does not in fact practice.  The UK is arguably a rogue state.

As one of the most influential countries, the UK must make its voice heard.”

If the UK is “influential” it is not because it leads by example.  Far from it.  The UK’s influence comes from it’s military and nuclear power, which provides it a United Nations Security Council seat.  The UK has historically made it’s “voice heard” through ‘speaking softly while carrying a big stick’.

Minister Alistair Burt has made strong statements committing to a bulletproof Treaty but a small, vocal and determined minority of countries are putting the UK under pressure to compromise.”

One could be forgiven after reading this for thinking that the UK is the sole virtuous nation in the world, beset on all sides by those who wish us to “compromise” our noble principles.  Our intentions are purely benign.  Iraq did not happen.  Extraordinary rendition did not happen.  Assaults on civil liberties did not happen.  Arms shipments all over the globe did not, and do not happen.

In this Action Alert, Amnesty encourage us to write to William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, and Alistair Burt MP and ask them to “stand firm on human rights“.  Someone should point out to Amnesty that these are people who are not exactly renowned for their stance on human rights.  They are members of a party that regularly advocate the ripping up of the Human Rights Act for crying out loud.

Either Amnesty UK have lost their minds, or they have lost their souls, and are now nothing but handmaidens for imperialists.