Friday, May 27, 2011

Truth through humour

Laughter is often born of tears, and those who are subjected to pain are often the ones who are most likely to create humour. We’ve seen that again and again with comedians who are Jewish, African American, Hispanic and GLBT, all of whom are over-represented, statistically speaking.

GLBT people, like any oppressed minority, have turned to humour not only to ease the pain of oppression, but also to fight the oppressor with what is sometimes the only the only tool at hand: Humour. The fact that our enemies are usually too thick to see the jokes only makes them all the funnier.

So when politicians attack GLBT people, as they do so often in the US, humorous rejoinders are inevitable.

In the state of Tennessee, lawmakers—mostly Republican, but with some “Democrats” as well—passed a bill making it illegal to talk about homosexuality in school classrooms. The bill, which even its supporters called the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”, was easily approved and signed by the state’s Republican Governor.

The video above mocks the idiotic idea these bigots have that simply not saying the word “gay” will make it all go away (that’s what these morons really said they thought would happen). In the video below, George Takei mocks them by offering an alternative: “It’s okay to be Takei”.

I can remember watching an interview many years ago in which a Jewish comedian worried that as minorities became more assimilated, and oppression eased, the quality of humour and number of good comedians would drop. That’s a price I’m willing to pay if it means ending oppression and hatred, and permanently retiring redneck, bigoted politicians. Ending hatred and bigotry, like that of the Tennessee legislators and Governor, would bring permanent smiles, after all.

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