“If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior.”
― Robin Skynner
This clip from John Cleese really convicted me about the state of hyper sensitivity we can sometimes find our selves in when someone makes a jibe at our expense. I am the first one to get my back up if someone takes a jab. I’m a pretty feisty little Welshman (though mainly in my head).
It is quite the interesting tension to navigate though, as someone who is a fierce proponent of the rights of minorities and their right to not be objectified into stereotypes, but who equally believes humour to be the most effective tool to break down prejudice.
Most of my friends would point out that I am hyper sensitive to smut, racism, bigotry and any other wild painting of any one group with one brush. It’s interesting then that I find ‘Family Guy’, for example so flipping funny. Part of me thinks that it attacks every possible taboo, prejudice, ethnic group and minority to the point that it spins right round the appropriateness spectrum back to being okay.
If there is something that offends us does that mean we have to stop it? Surely activism, or any project to bring about change, by its very nature, is defined as successful by exactly how many feathers it gets to rustle? Obviously we shouldn’t use humour to mask our own fears or insecurities but, like any tool if your motives are pure, then it can be extremely powerful not only in bringing joy but in relieving hyper-tension and sensitivity. Nobody, my self included, wants to live their life as a coiled spring!
What do you think?
Excuse me while I take my self away and give my self a thorough laughing at….