There is an old adage about laughter being the best medicine. Indeed there are a number of positive effects on the body from laughing. Laughter lowers stress, lowers blood pressure and heart rate. It promotes the release of endorphins, which are our “happy hormones” and reduces production of adrenalin and cortisol, which are our stress hormones. Whilst we all know intuitively that it is good to laugh, science has caught up and there are an increasing number of studies showing the benefits.
Of course to laugh, we need to have something to laugh at! And people will have different opinions on what is funny, depending on their background, culture and their sense of humor. What is hilarious to one person may not be to another. Furthermore humor by its nature can be taken by some to be offensive.
One of the comedy classics of all time is Fawlty Towers. The tale of Basil Fawlty running a hotel with contempt for guests (and everyone else) can be watched over and over again. I have lost count of how many times I have watched it. Only 12 episodes were ever made. This is less than half a season of most TV shows.
So it is appalling that the high priests of political correctness at the BBC are now censoring it due to “racist” references. This is the episode about the Germans, references to them and WW II is not the problem. It is the lines where the senile Major uses the words ”niggers” and “wogs”. Quite aside from anything else, the joke is actually on the major as it is lampooning the stupidity and attitudes of the British upper class. Furthermore, whilst the script may be written differently today, it was written in the 1970’s when attitudes were different and hence reflects those times.
This is the same BBC, which for many years employed Jimmy Saville and did nothing about his alleged behaviors. Is there something wrong with their priorities?
Yet political correctness going mad is not confined to the UK. In Australia, Sunrise presenter David Koch was pilloried for expressing non-PC views on breast feeding. He was not against it but simple opined that in public it should be done discreetly. People can have their own opinions on this but the PC brigade carried on as if he is not entitled to an opinion unless it coincided with theirs.
He is and this is regardless of whether others agree or not!
There was some irony in the fact that a worker at the Big Day Out was sacked for posting a screen message encouraging women to flash their breasts. There was no need for anyone to do so. Any woman, who did so, acted of her own volition.
The person concerned did the wrong thing but a sacking offence?
The biggest threat to laughter comes from the Australian Attorney General who wants to pass a law, which makes any sort of speech an offence if someone takes offence. Taking offence is one of the easiest things in the world to do. When there is compensation money on offer for doing so there will be a stampede. And to cap it off the alleged offender will have to prove innocence!
To quote Voltaire “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
If passed, such laws would make comedy and humor almost impossible, as comedy will always offend someone. And the PC brigade will be out in force reminding “victims” to make sure to take offence and claim their right to compensation!
As Basil Fawlty tells the Germans who are not amused at his jokes; “Not funny? You are joking. You have absolutely no sense of humor do you.” In 2013 Australia, these same people could take offence and Basil would face prosecution and be deemed guilty till he can prove his innocence.
It is enough to make you want to cry! I am going to put Fawlty Towers in the DVD player and watch the uncut Germans episode. This will be both as an act of civil disobedience and something, which is good for my health.