Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease

Joe Offer 21 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Mar 09 - 01:29 PM
Phil Williams 10 Mar 09 - 01:38 PM
The Villan 10 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM
folkyshaun 10 Mar 09 - 01:47 PM
Bainbo 10 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM
Jean(eanjay) 10 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM
Nick 10 Mar 09 - 02:11 PM
Jack Campin 10 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
Georgiansilver 10 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM
SunrayFC 10 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM
MBSGeorge 10 Mar 09 - 02:58 PM
Joe Offer 10 Mar 09 - 08:03 PM
MartinRyan 10 Mar 09 - 08:08 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Mar 09 - 04:18 AM
The Villan 11 Mar 09 - 04:22 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Mar 09 - 04:58 AM
The Villan 11 Mar 09 - 05:06 AM
Fred McCormick 11 Mar 09 - 05:33 AM
Dave Hanson 11 Mar 09 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Elfcall 11 Mar 09 - 05:45 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Mar 09 - 05:54 AM
Acorn4 11 Mar 09 - 05:58 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM
Georgiansilver 11 Mar 09 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,peregrina at work 11 Mar 09 - 06:50 AM
meself 11 Mar 09 - 07:13 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM
Liz the Squeak 11 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Mar 09 - 08:15 AM
The Villan 11 Mar 09 - 08:59 AM
goatfell 11 Mar 09 - 09:04 AM
goatfell 11 Mar 09 - 09:05 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Mar 09 - 09:11 AM
Joe Offer 12 Mar 09 - 08:16 PM
frogprince 12 Mar 09 - 08:37 PM
katlaughing 12 Mar 09 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Mar 09 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Mar 09 - 01:03 AM
Joe Offer 13 Mar 09 - 01:29 AM
MartinRyan 13 Mar 09 - 03:41 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 04:39 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 09 - 04:45 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 05:36 AM
The Villan 13 Mar 09 - 05:58 AM
Bryn Pugh 13 Mar 09 - 06:01 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 09 - 06:48 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Mar 09 - 07:59 AM
Will Fly 13 Mar 09 - 08:47 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 09:16 AM
melodeonboy 13 Mar 09 - 09:58 AM
davyr 13 Mar 09 - 10:27 AM
Nick 13 Mar 09 - 10:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:03 AM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 11:08 AM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:42 AM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Mar 09 - 12:38 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Crowhugger sans cookie 13 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM
Nick 13 Mar 09 - 01:49 PM
John MacKenzie 13 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM
MartinRyan 13 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Jayto 13 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
Will Fly 13 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 02:50 PM
Paul Burke 13 Mar 09 - 02:56 PM
MartinRyan 13 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM
Joe Offer 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Giok 13 Mar 09 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,Ed 13 Mar 09 - 03:25 PM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 03:33 PM
The Villan 13 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM
Jayto 13 Mar 09 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Ed 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Mar 09 - 03:51 PM
Georgiansilver 13 Mar 09 - 04:01 PM
Big Mick 13 Mar 09 - 04:19 PM
Ed. 13 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Mar 09 - 04:27 PM
Big Mick 13 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM
Megan L 13 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM
Spleen Cringe 13 Mar 09 - 04:46 PM
jeffp 13 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM
meself 13 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Mar 09 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Giok 13 Mar 09 - 06:22 PM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM
Gervase 13 Mar 09 - 07:05 PM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 07:27 PM
meself 13 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 13 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 13 Mar 09 - 08:30 PM
Joe Offer 13 Mar 09 - 08:41 PM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 09:01 PM
Joe_F 13 Mar 09 - 09:11 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Mar 09 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 14 Mar 09 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,Ed 14 Mar 09 - 02:56 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 14 Mar 09 - 03:20 AM
Joe Offer 14 Mar 09 - 04:05 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Mar 09 - 05:02 AM
Georgiansilver 14 Mar 09 - 05:17 AM
Georgiansilver 14 Mar 09 - 05:18 AM
Georgiansilver 14 Mar 09 - 05:20 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Mar 09 - 05:33 AM
The Villan 14 Mar 09 - 05:52 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Mar 09 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Ed 14 Mar 09 - 08:12 AM
Georgiansilver 14 Mar 09 - 08:19 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Mar 09 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Ed 14 Mar 09 - 08:38 AM
katlaughing 14 Mar 09 - 12:34 PM
Joe Offer 14 Mar 09 - 08:33 PM
Joe_F 14 Mar 09 - 09:00 PM
katlaughing 15 Mar 09 - 12:20 AM
Joe Offer 15 Mar 09 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 02:15 AM
CamiSu 15 Mar 09 - 02:21 AM
Megan L 15 Mar 09 - 03:57 AM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Mar 09 - 04:03 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Mar 09 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 04:14 AM
The Villan 15 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,punkfolckrocker 15 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 04:51 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Mar 09 - 04:57 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Mar 09 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 05:09 AM
The Villan 15 Mar 09 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 05:32 AM
The Villan 15 Mar 09 - 05:33 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Mar 09 - 05:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM
The Villan 15 Mar 09 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 06:35 AM
The Villan 15 Mar 09 - 06:39 AM
Liz the Squeak 15 Mar 09 - 06:49 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Mar 09 - 07:00 AM
Georgiansilver 15 Mar 09 - 09:23 AM
punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 09:59 AM
punkfolkrocker 15 Mar 09 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 15 Mar 09 - 10:16 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Mar 09 - 10:50 AM
katlaughing 15 Mar 09 - 11:24 AM
Musket 15 Mar 09 - 07:05 PM
Joe Offer 15 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM
Sorcha 15 Mar 09 - 07:51 PM
maeve 15 Mar 09 - 08:34 PM
katlaughing 15 Mar 09 - 11:43 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 04:12 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Mar 09 - 05:14 AM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 06:33 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Jim P 16 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 08:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 11:49 AM
Megan L 16 Mar 09 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Giok 16 Mar 09 - 12:00 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 12:01 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 12:06 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 12:17 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 12:27 PM
Jean(eanjay) 16 Mar 09 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Giok 16 Mar 09 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Giok 16 Mar 09 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Giok 16 Mar 09 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,dulcimerjohn 16 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 04:33 PM
Jean(eanjay) 16 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Mar 09 - 05:18 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 05:19 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM
Jeri 16 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 06:03 PM
Jean(eanjay) 16 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 06:12 PM
Georgiansilver 16 Mar 09 - 06:20 PM
The Villan 16 Mar 09 - 06:24 PM
Emma B 16 Mar 09 - 08:06 PM
katlaughing 16 Mar 09 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Mar 09 - 02:03 AM
Liz the Squeak 17 Mar 09 - 02:46 AM
The Villan 17 Mar 09 - 03:30 AM
Gervase 17 Mar 09 - 03:50 AM
The Villan 17 Mar 09 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Giok 17 Mar 09 - 05:43 AM
melodeonboy 17 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Mar 09 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Giok 17 Mar 09 - 08:29 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Mar 09 - 10:06 AM
Dave Hanson 17 Mar 09 - 10:35 AM
Emma B 17 Mar 09 - 02:00 PM
Emma B 17 Mar 09 - 02:12 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM

Posted 12 March, 2009

At the risk of life and limb, I'm going to resurrect and reopen this thread and see if it can go in the direction the thread originator intended. At first, I didn't understand the thread originator's intention, but I think I do now. Before you protest, please read this message and the entire thread carefully.

Most of the taboos of society have disappeared in our modern world, but the taboo against the discussion of death, suffering, and disease seems to be stronger now than it ever was.

The thread originator did not make it completely clear in the next message, but his intention was to study the folklore and phenomenon of humor that arises in situations of death and disease and other dire misfortune - and I think that is a legitimate topic of study.

My personal observation is that some of the best humor comes from the victims of misfortune - and it can be a powerful weapon to help us overcome or at least deal with that misfortune. Some of that humor can be raw and crude, but it can be potent.

On the other hand, humor that is directed at the victims of misfortune from the outside, may seem at first to be despicably cruel - even in cases such as that of Jade Goody, where the target of the joke is notorious. Indeed, such humor often is cruel, but is it always so? Is it cruelty that motivates "gallows humor" directed at a celebrity who is facing death, or is it something else? I think that when people make jokes about a celebrity facing tragedy, they are actually considering what would happen if they had to go through such an ordeal themselves.

Many of us are over the age of fifty, and we face death and suffering every day. We have friends who have died, friends who are bald because of chemotherapy, beautiful friends who are no longer beautiful because of the ravages of disease or old age. Many of us and many of our friends are facing financial disaster. There's often nothing we can do about it, but perhaps the best thing we can do is to laugh in the face of death and despair, because laughing gives us courage and strength.

As I said before, most of the taboos of society are gone, and "anything goes" nowadays in many areas - sex and honesty and respectability are no longer sacred. Somehow, though, it is forbidden to speak publicly about suffering and death, especially in a humorous way.

Down below, you will see many expressions of that taboo, people who are absolutely appalled at the idea of discussing humor related to death and suffering.

Stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and consider all this with an open mind. I think you'll find that this can be a very worthwhile subject of discussion. Over the last two days, the thread was overwhelmed by a swarm of do-gooders who didn't even take the time to read the first post carefully and understand what the thread originator was trying to do. Too bad he got bullied into silence.

Like it or not, I'm going to reopen this thread to discussion and ask that we use a folkloric perspective to explore humor involving the topic of death and disease and other tragedy.
I hope you'll keep an open mind.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 01:29 PM

I heard my first last night from a hearty bunch of Lancashire folkies, much to the effect that Jade Goody's next TV project will be Celebrity Most Haunted.

A very public celebrity death, which raises all sorts of issues & provokes all sorts of responses, but the most immediate folkloric angle is the humour...

Any more???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Phil Williams
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 01:38 PM

Its bound to happen, its what we do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM

Sorry, I don't find anything funny about what has happened to her.

When you have had cancer, you know the anguish it causes to the person and the direct family. I am lucky enough to have survived for 10 years. I was devastated when I got it.
All she is doing, is making sure her children are financially stable.

I can still remember how aweful I felt, thinking that I may never see my children grow up.

She is a very brave lady and I feel so terribly sorry for her.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: folkyshaun
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 01:47 PM

No it's not remotely funny and your going straight to hell for even laughing...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Bainbo
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM

Ideally, nobody else will reply to this thread and it will sink without trace. Won't happen, though.


I hope no one who knows her ever comes across this via a google search or the like.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM

Jade Goody has done exactly what I would have done and concerned herself with the future of her two sons. She deserves someone to write a great song about her, not jokes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Nick
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 02:11 PM

My father had lung cancer when I was 10 and lived an extra 40 years on the remaining lung which was good going as his surgeon expected him to die within a year of his operation. Pretty small odds of him living as long as he did and he got to the stage where when he was in hospital occasionally in later life he'd get asked if students could oome in and look at him as he was something of a curiosity as he should not have been alive. Not enormously amusing but it was nice to have his company across the years. And he did have a cracking scar.

The only bizarrely amusing (?) or just plain weird thing I remember from those times was the following. The ward he was in at Brompton Hospital was filled with lots of people suffering from smoking related diseases - lungs out, chromic emphysema etc etc One of the things my dad found really bizarre was the sight of one of the guys - who had had one of his legs amputated due to circulatory problems - hopping his way to the balcony to have a fag.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

There is one interesting bit of folklore about this though.   Widely reported news story:

Jade was shocked when she saw an unknown woman holding a hammer in her hospital room.

Late at night on March 8, the London Metropolitan police arrested a 41-year-old French woman who entered Jade Goody's hospital room, The Sun reported.

The woman, probably a fan of Goody, used the opportunity when Jade's husband, Jack Tweed, went out of the room to get some tea and entered the room. At that moment Jade woke up and saw an unknown woman above her, mumbling something. She was shocked to see the woman holding a hammer and, scared, called the hospital staff for help.

- Who are you? What are you doing here? Jade screamed when she saw the woman in her room.

The doctors called the police who arrived within a very short period of time and arrested the French woman.

The police questioned her at the police station. They learnt the woman was 41 years old and that she was saying a prayer in Goody's room. Apparently she did not intend to use the hammer to hurt Jade. After questioning her, the police released the French woman from detention and will not conduct any further investigation against her.


There is a description in David Rorie's Folk Tradition and Folk Medicine in Scotland of a Breton practice, the "Hammer of Death", where a special stone was placed on the chest of a person dying in pain to hasten their end (magically - it wasn't big enough to have a physical effect). This was still current in the early 20th century. I wonder if this woman was doing the same thing, but with a modern hammer? (Well done the police for figuring out she was harmless so quickly).

So we seem to have the Sun reporting something that might have come out of The Golden Bough. You have to wonder how they'd have covered a wicker man burning.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM

To make any kind of joke about cancer victims is both thoughtless and insensitive. Everyone surely knows someone who has cancer or has died from cancer and it only harbours a particular kind of sadness for all concerned. Granted that many jokes have been made about disasters... which I think is insensitive anyway.. to all concerned.... but some are taken as at least acceptable and actually help people to come to terms by adding humour.
Sorry but cancer is not one of those disasters or occurrences which merits any kind of humour..... only sadness, pity, fear, hurt etc etc.
Best wishes, Mike.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: SunrayFC
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM

...so why aren't the administrators of this site stopping this before it begins?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes
From: MBSGeorge
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 02:58 PM

I agree this thread should go. Cancer is no laughing matter especially cervical. I myself had to go through the humiliation of tests for this and it was not funny.

I have absolutely no desire to read or recieve any jokes in this vein.

G


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 08:03 PM

This thread should have been "BS" to start with, but it was classed as "folklore." A volunteer moderator deleted the thread, but I see no justification for the deletion. I agree the topic is in bad taste, but we have had a tradition of bad taste in abundance at Mudcat. If you don't like the thread, don't post to it. Don't get all huffy about it.

We delete threads or messages to eliminate personal attacks, racism, spam, and general chaos - but not just because something is in bad taste. We also delete most non-music threads that were started by non-members.

-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 08:08 PM

And even if you do like it - don't call it folklore!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 04:18 AM

It seems to deal with our trait of responding to what could only otherwise be met with mute horror by humour. Surely that is close enough to folklore. It happens after many disasters and shocking events.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 04:22 AM

It just ain't funny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 04:58 AM

Two of my friends have cancer. They are bearing their burden with immense courage and quiet dignity. It's heartbreaking to see them suffer.

Cancer is not funny. Anyone who thinks it is is either stupid, an arsehole or, more likely, both.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 05:06 AM

And whats more, if this thread had been "our best wishes to Jane Goody" then I for one would have supported it. But Jane Goody Jokes!!!!!!!

Joe, I am shocked that you put this thread back up again. I can only take it that becuase you live in the USA, what goes on in Britain is not so important. Bad mistake to put it back on IMHO. 0 out of 10 this time Joe

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 05:33 AM

Sorry Joe, relocating this thread to BS just isn't good enough. I loathe Big Brother and I loathe the cult of celebrity. And I remember the racist spat that Jade Goody got into, doubtless egged on by the media moguls who fund the show. Truth to tell, if I ever knew her, I would probably loathe Jade Goody.

Most of all, I loathe the way that this one, admittedly appalling death, is being flogged unmercifully by every newspaper in the land in the name of profit. Forget Darfur. Forget the world economic depression. Forget the facts. Forget objective journalism. It's what sells newspapers that counts.

Cancer is an appalling disease. I know, both my parents died of it. So did a lot of my relatives and friends, and there was nothing remotely funny about the way that they exited this world. The folklore of sick jokes might be a suitable subject for an academic folklore conference. But jokes about people dying of cancer are not fit for a message board like this one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 05:38 AM

Michael Jackson saw a passing bandwagon and jumped on it whilst publicising his comeback in the UK, what an arse.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: GUEST,Elfcall
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 05:45 AM

Fred - eruditely put

Please stop the thread now.

Elfcall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 05:54 AM

This thread is dedicated to the gathering & sharing of folklore arising from topical circumstance. Such material as I called for in my OP is being generated within a narrative folkloric tradition (storytelling) & personally I see that as a phenomenon very worthy of our interest and investigation.

From what I have heard thus far, these jocular narratives are not about cancer per-se, rather about a celebrity figure who has chosen to endure her illness very publicly. The spontaneous generation of such narratives are a perfectly natural response to these somewhat bizarre and unprecedented circumstances. Thus, such considerations as decency and dignity have been well and truly jettisoned by the British press in the sure hope of the inevitable outcome of a nation mourns - much as we did for Princess Diana, and as we will, no doubt, for Poor Jade. She has thus become an icon of another level of suffering, especially to those who are suffering similarly at this time. As one old lady recently remarked to me, "At least I'm dying old - not like poor Jade."

Jokes (call them what you will) are a collective response to such an emotive topicality. They effect a societal catharsis whereby we each might experience (and to a degree exorcise) our subjective vulnerability in a context which is wholly, and ceremonially, objective. Ultimately however, we must all die alone; and that is the greatest horror in the face of which our only response is laughter, especially with the media (and Jade Goody) milking it, and us, for all it's worth.

So please - either delete this thread entirely, or else accord it the seriousness it deserves by restoring it to Folklore. By placing it in the BS section you are not only trivialising the life (and death) of another human being, but the depth of emotion we are bound to feel when confronted with such a tragic and untimely demise, however so mythologised and otherwise public that demise might be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Acorn4
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 05:58 AM

I would agree with stopping the thread because of the sensitivity of the subject. I've got several comments I might make but won't on this one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM

"Thus, such considerations as decency and dignity have been well and truly jettisoned by the British press in the sure hope of the inevitable outcome of a nation mourns - much as we did for Princess Diana"

I don't give a FF what the British press do. They might abandon their decency and dignity, I categorically refuse to abandon mine.

Can this crock of shit Joe, PLEASE.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 06:41 AM

With simple humility I ask that this thread be removed as it is causing many people upset. It matters not whether it is just considered by some to be in bad taste.. it is an attack on many people who have suffered loss and yet another attack on someone who is dying.. please please remove it.
Best wishes, Mike.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: GUEST,peregrina at work
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 06:50 AM

Likewise. Please can this thread be removed. None here would like to see such a thread about a person close to them--and it shouldn't be tolerated about any human being. This is not a case of preserving free speech it's a case of respecting human dignity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: meself
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 07:13 AM

While this thread is at the top - add my vote to the "delete it" faction.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM

The whole Jade Goody circus, is disgusting, obscene, prurient, and flies in the face of our claim to be a civilised society.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM

Sinister, I can see where you are coming from but I feel that maybe you should have titled the thread a little differently. Had it been 'Folklore: Gallows Humour' or something similar, it might have had a better reception. The title as it is now, and your original post, would suggest that you are trolling for "jokes" about Jade Goody. By naming her in the title, you've made it about her and that is what makes it inelligible for 'above the line', whilst opening yourself up for harsh criticism that might not be justified.

Now personally, I can't stand the woman, all that she represents, or the programmes and magazines that made her what she is. However, I can sympathise with her condition, having watched my father die of cancer. Even with the privacy afforded him by his anonymity and the local hospice, his death was not dignified. Jade's is not likely to be any different. It is her choice to make this public an end, she has stated her reasons for doing so, just as it is my choice not to read the articles or watch the TV programmes.

I'd like to see this thread closed, but if you really are interested in the sort of black 'gallows' humour your second post indicates, then maybe a more sensitive thread title with a less inflammatory and reasoned original post might be a start.

Of course, if your sole idea is to get more sick jokes about the death of a public figure to pass on to your mates, then it deserves to be sunk without trace.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 08:15 AM

I have asked Joe to delete the thread. A bad idea. Apologies for any offence I have however so unwittingly caused.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 08:59 AM

SS It would seem that you genuinly didn't mean for your thread to be confrontational and you have made an apology and I personally accept that.

May I suggest with respect, that you follow Liz's advice and start a new thread with a better title that will not create issues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: goatfell
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 09:04 AM

the person and the people that find it funny to make jokes about a sick woman is just evil bastards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: goatfell
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 09:05 AM

I just hope that none of your family or friends has cancer but then you can make jokes up about them can't you


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 09:11 AM

It's OK, Goatfell, the guy has recognised his error and apologised very graciously. Let's leave it at that, and let this one drop out?
    OK, under protest, I will allow the thread to remain closed because of the chaos it has caused - but it will not be deleted. The forces of prudery win today, and the noble tabloid queen's virtue is protected.
    Sorry, but I thought Mudcatters could react to a thread like this in a more mature fashion - like ignoring it, if they didn't like it. Do you folks get all bent out of shape like this when you see tabloid "scandal sheet" newspapers in the supermarket?
    Your demand that we deal with this issue by suppression is absolutely disgusting to me. Don't consider the closure of this thread to be a precedent.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 08:16 PM

I have reopened this thread as a folklore thread, as the thread originator (Sinister Supporter) intended. I have added a message of caution and explanation at the beginning of the thread.
Before you post, I ask you to read ALL of the messages in this thread, and then say what you think.

I got to know a couple, Gary and Claudia, about two years ago, when they were in the process of joining the Catholic Church. Shortly after I met the couple, Claudia was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy. She lost her hair, and was bald most of last year. Now she's recovering, and she has most of her hair back and went back to work.

But Claudia and Gary laughed a lot through their crisis, and I think it helped them make it through it all. They were honest and open about their suffering, despite all the taboos against such honest talk - and they laughed at their predicament and about themselves, and about the taboos against discussion of such things. I think that their humor helped them make it though; and that humor has always helped us make it through the toughest of times - even though that humor may seem irreverent.

So, what about the humor about Jade Goody and her cancer? What do you think of it? Has humor helped you through similarly dire situations?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: frogprince
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 08:37 PM

The single instance of gallows humor that most impressed itelf on me was from years ago when I worked in a methadone clinic (treatment for heroin addicts) briefly years ago. The bathrooms in back were labled "The Lenny Bruce Memorial Washroom" and "The Janice Joplin Memorial Washroom".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 11:52 PM

Down below, you will see many expressions of that taboo, people who are absolutely appalled at the idea of discussing humor related to death and suffering.

I think we have had plenty of instances here of Mudcatters using humour in very dire, sometimes life-threatening situations and I know we have almost all of us recommended humour as a coping mechanism. We've also had plenty of discussions about death, playing and singing in hospices full of dying people, etc.

Having said that, I would thank you, Joe, not to denigrate the rest of us for perhaps not understanding the initial post's intent. You admitted to this yourself, but the rest of us aren't allowed?

The new title and further explanation help. I hope we can leave Ms. Goody out of it. According to the wiki article to which you posted a link, she has withdrawn from the public life to die and has said her goodbyes to family even. Surely we can discuss Gallows Humour without slagging off on a young woman who is dying as we type. I don't think this needs to be a personal discussion about people who are still alive but may be dying.

One more thing, I know I have posted, somewhere, about a young woman who found out she had terminal cancer. She withdrew from everything but funny, slapstick funny old movies. I can't remember how long she filled her life with them, a few months I think; anyway, she was cancer free when her "Humour Treatment" was done. We're always saying something like "I laugh to keep from crying." Good medicine in just about any situation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 12:57 AM

I am glad that you have opened the thread

As a "civil family of friends" bound with more than a decade of community perhaps we can share together.

I am more than happy to explain, "why death be not proud" and the "moldering worm is not the triumph of the grave" - for the first time in a decade - there is a "kindred brother within the threads" who appears willing to share.

Some terms post above "coping mechanism" - (It is NOT coping - nor is it a mechanism)if you think "hospices are full of dying" (then you do not understand hospice) - "denigrate the rest of us" - (No One can denigrate You unless You permit them - regarding "us" - ya got a mouse in your pocket - who be "us") "discussion about people who are still alive but may be dying" - (doesn't that pretty much discribe EVERYONE currently bound by our current mortal state?) "funny, slapstick funny old movies" (wasn't that what cured and led Alan Ladd to create "Candid Camrera?"

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Always delighted to laugh with the above poster - (not AT .... I wrote WITH)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:03 AM

If you close the thread - OK.

But keep it in the archive....and searchable...the other threads made no-sense when referring to "Jade" when this was quarantened.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Joe - you Rock of Gibralter - you seem more than a little "on edge" during 2009. Go back to the Fed for 18 months - they need you and the break from retirement will do you (and the 401K) good.

Yeah, Garg, you'd get on edge, too, if you were in my spot. The thread damn well better NOT be closed again. -Joe-

Mick here. I am right there with you, Joe. I was reading through it, came to the closure and was about to PM and ask why. Glad you reopened it, and it should stay open. All mod's need to leave this alone. -Mick-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:29 AM

Back to the topic of discussion....

Googling "Jade Goody" jokes brings up 576,000 entries today. I looked through some of them, and they made me cringe. No, I guess I can't see much value in these jokes - or any defense for them. But gee, there sure are a lot of them. I wonder what those people are thinking.

On the other hand, if you Google death jokes or cancer jokes, you'll get a different perspective. For the most part, the jokes I found about cancer, serve to help people deal with it. I found a very good article titled Does Cancer Have a Sense of Humor?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:41 AM

Tom Munnelly, foremost Irish song collector and folklorist, faced approaching death with great humanist courage – and no little humour. Shortly before he died (of cancer, as it happens), I was privileged to attend a kind of "anticipatory wake" in Tom's home. He apologised for the absence of the (wicker) coffin in the corner of the room by announcing "It's on order – but it hasn't arrived yet!"

Regards

p.s. Any guesses as to what I sang on the night?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:39 AM

It is curious, but although "sick jokes" in general can be very funny, a rummage on Sickipedia finds much crudity but little wit arising from Jage Goody's cancer. That may be contrasted with the death of Diana Windsor.

My initial supposition is that the engine room for funny gallows humour is a affection for the subject matter.

I do not, however, understand why Gargoyle says that jokes about death are not a "coping mechanism".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:45 AM

I'm with Joe on re-opening this fascinating subject.
Our song repertoire is full of songs which cock a snook at death; there is a whole genre of them, sometimes referred to as goodnight ballads; true confessions sold at the foot of the gallows at public hangings.
It was once claimed by Bert Lloyd that the name appeared in one of Daniel Defoe's works; 'A Tour Through The Whole Island of Great Britain (??? - I've never been able to find the reference) and referred to the practice of the crowd watching a hanging shouting 'Goodnight' as the noose tightened round the subject's neck.

MacColl and Charles Parker, when they were recording actuality for The Radio Ballad (just typed 'radion ballad' - Freudan slip?), The Big Hewer' commented on the number of stories and jokes referring to death in what was the extremely dangerous mining industry.
Some examples; the first from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library cassette of traditional storytelling '.....and That's My Story'

THREE OLD MINERS
Dick Beamish, Pontypridd (?), Glamorgan, Wales

Well, you see the miner's life is a mixture, like it is in every other phase of life, a mixture of tragedy and humour; and I don't think you'll find anywhere where humour is richer in character than it is in our industry. Here's a story of the three old miners who had retired. One was well over seventy, the other one was eighty some odd and the oldest was ninety-six. And they were in the eventide of their life; summertime, sitting on the council seat enjoying the sunshine, watching the traffic going back and fore, and they suddenly discussed how they'd like to die.
The youngest, now, of the trio was well over seventy. He said, "Well boys bach," he said, "I've been watching these red sport cars," he said, "that these youngsters have got, travelling back and fore," he said. "I don't know nothing about cars," he said, "but I'd like to get into one of those," he said, "rev up," he said, "that's what I think they call it; sixty, seventy, eighty miles an hour, bang into a lamp post, everything at an end," he said. "That's the way I'd like to die."
"What about you, John?" he said, now, the one who was over eighty, now, the second oldest of the trio.
"Well, boys," he said, "I'm a bit more modern than you are," he said. "I've been reading about these sputniks. I would like to volunteer to go into one of those sputniks," he said. "They tell me they go up into the sky, thousands of miles," he said. "I'd like to be up there," he said, "ten thousand miles up, something go wrong with the works, explosion, everything finished; that's the way I would like to go out," he said.
Now the oldest of the trio of these old miners, he was ninety-six. So they said to him, "You're silent, Robert; haven't you got some suggestion how you would like to die?"
"Ha, boys," he said, "I've been listening to you two here. Do you know the way I'd like to go out?" he said.
"No, Robert, which way would you like to die?"
"Well, boys, bach, to tell you the truth," he said, "I'd like to be shot by a jealous husband!"

Recorded by Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker, 1961

The second, from memory, also recorded in 1961, probably from a member of the Elliot Family of Birtly, Co Durham.

A miner called at his mate's house one Sunday morning to see if he would go down to the pub.
His mate's wife answered the door and he said; "Is Fred coming for a pint".
The lady replied, "I'm afraid Fred died suddenly last night".
Stunned, he said, "What happened missus?"
"Well, he was in the garden pulling a head of cabbage for the dinner when he had a heart attack and died".
"That's terrible hinny, what did you do?"
"What could I do; I had to open a tin of peas".

There were several stories of Bevan Boys (unemployed youths assigned to the mines by the Labour Exchange, therefore extremely inexperienced at and uncommitted to the work).
It was the practice following a death in the mine, that the whole pit should be closed down for a day as a mark of respect. Following a pit fall, two Bevan boys were sent into the mine to search for bodies.
On finding two corpses, one said to the other; "Let's take one up to the surface and save the other one for another day".

Ewan and Charles said they recorded dozens of stories like this, mostly about either death or 'black lung' (pneumoconiosis)
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 05:36 AM

It's OK, Goatfell, the guy has recognised his error and apologised very graciously. Let's leave it at that, and let this one drop out?

My only error in starting this thread was to suppose people would have the nous to approach the subject with dispassionate objectivity deserving of a genuine folkloric phenomenon. In this alone I was sorely mistaken, for which I have been accused of trolling, called an evil bastard, and condemned to hell. And there I was thinking I was in the company of rational human beings.

How many people can there be in the world today whose lives haven't been touched, or else torn apart, by cancer? I've lost count of the close relatives and good friends whom I've lost to the Big-C - which any one of us might get at any time in our lives. Cancer and death are no strangers to me - likewise Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Heart Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, and Knife Crime; all of which have taken family & loved ones from me.

I say again, the intention here was not to laugh at cancer nor at those suffering from it, rather to collect and study a phenomenon of oral folkloric narrative which is an inevitable response to the current media circus. Folklore is not just about the quaint things in life, like Cheese Rolling and Morris Dancing; it emerges from the real hopes and fears of real people living real lives by way of a very real & potent catharsis. These narratives - jokes if you will - function by way of a genuine collective confrontation in which the very things that afflict us are reduced, personified and dealt with by way of ritual drama, however so droll. The humour, however, is a veneer, and the laughter all too grim, belying as it does a deeper sense of kindred affinity which extends even unto the person in question, who by her celebrity life and dying has provided a sharper focus for those common fears than would have been the case otherwise.

As with Princess Diana, our collective hearts will inevitably be broken; and, manipulated or not, our grief for the tragic and untimely passing of Jade Goody will be no less real because of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 05:58 AM

>>Sex and honesty and respectability are no longer sacred<<

Speak for yourself Joe.

>> Over the last two days, the thread was overwhelmed by a swarm of do-gooders <<

What do you mean by that Joe?
I am anti religion, but believe strongly in morality and have brought my daughters up in the same way. They are well behaved and polite at the age of 13 and 17. They have not been christened or go to church.

I am totally against political correctness, and am certainly not a do gooder. Certainly not in the eyes of Christians.

I object to a certain lady having the piss taken out of her, who you have mentioned on numerous occasions who is dying and should be left alone.

I happen to find the way that you are handling this as a forum moderator, totally unacceptable.

Sorry Joe, I have always had great respect for you in the past, but am left wondering, if we as members were to do what you have just done, we would get blocked or banned.

Are we now allowed to post whatever we like that is not politically correct or insulting. I think not.

I will get my devils costume.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:01 AM

Like Mr McCormick above, I too would probably despise Jade Goody if I knew her.

I have never watched Big Brother. I abominate any attempt to belittle basic human dignity, which is why I watched Noel Bloody Edmunds' House Party once. Seeing people get covered with gunge,

and hearing other people pissing themselves laughing at it, disgusted me.

I have similar distaste for the press and Ms Goody. If she is going to croak - and we are left in no doubt that she is - why can't she do it quietly ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:48 AM

Whoops - what have I landed in the middle of.
Sorry for interrupting the flow
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:54 AM

We are wandering again here. Many felt heartbroken when Diana Windsor died. Not I. But the point is that that collective (if mawkish) affection and grief spawned some shocking and therefore funny jokes.

Jade Goody seems to attract no similar collective affection (and if so I'm with the majority in that regard) - so the tartness of comment is replaced by mere vulgarity and the humour is lost (although some of the Jack Tweedy ones are a little more piquant).

As for either deserving to die with dignity - they chose to live their lives in the glare of publicity (both became very rich on it) and it seems to me can hardly complain if dying as they have lived. It goes with the turf, in the cult of celebrity.   Goody indeed has chosen for money reasons to die a public spectacle.   Her choice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:59 AM

I had never heard of this Jade Goody phenominum before - it ia a total non-issue to me - even though my dear friend told me yesterday she is going in for a hysterectomy - the biopsy was cancer - its just a fact of life.

This Goody thing appears to be similar to the "Challenger Explosion" (for you Brits it was a space shuttle that exploaded with a teacher along for the ride) and the "Christi McAluff" (sic?)dozens of jokes that made the rounds. Telling them to some friends in the course of a discussion - a younger one bacame quite incensed - at the "lack of respect for an American hero." I thought he was joking - he was "dead serious."

For example: "What color were Christi McAluff's eyes?
A: Blue - One Blew to the left and the other Blew to the right.

"What where Christi McAluff's last words to her husband?"
A: You feed the dog - I'll feed the fish.

What were Christa McAuliffe's last words?
A: What's this button for?

ETC...

They are sort of like the quadruplegic jokes.

Now there are some things you do not laugh about....for example....I never heard a single joke ever about the terrorist attack and killing of 11 Jewish athletes by the PLO in the Munich XX Olympics of summer 1972.

I imagine there must be some 9/11 jokes - but I do not recall hearing one.

I have read some holocaust "jokes" - but I would never repeat them.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I will check some of my old vaudville books and see what they have on death.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 08:47 AM

Joe - I think you were right to re-open the thread, under its altered title. We should be able to discuss the phenomenon of humour - black, sick, gallows, call it what you will - humour which is sparked by misfortune, in a rational way. This type of folk humour has always arisen spontaneously after tragedy, and the existence of the internet has made the spread of jokes arising from tragedy even greater. It's impossible to stop it and, though we might deprecate it and disapprove of it, the phenomenon itself is worthy of discussion.

Our attitude to death and our ways of coping with death and tragedy are still very Victorian in some respects. In medieval belief, for example, the whole of life was seen as a preparation for death, and the ambition was to die in the full knowledge of one's death and what - as they thought - was to come after it.The "memento mori" in paintings, for example, was a statement, a reminder, that death was ever-present, impossible to avoid, inevitable and timely. So, in many ways, people in those times had a much plainer and healthier (no pun intended) outlook on, and attitude to death. Furthermore, mortality rates were higher, and life was shorter.

I believe we're less able to cope with death by comparison. Modern medicine is dedicated to keeping us alive as long as possible, and our life expectation is longer. We seem to be unable to discuss death and the inevitability of death in all its forms and in all its aspects openly. Tragedy, death and loss need catharsis. That's why a wake after a funeral is often a joyous and life-reinforcing affair. That's why some of the most macabre humour of all comes from the medical profession. And - to take it one step further - that's why gallows humour arises spontaneously.

The question, for many of us, is where is the line of taboo drawn? Whether we like it or not, there is nothing in this world that can't be laughed at, or made the subject of a joke and, of course, whether we choose to do so, depends entirely on us as individuals. I choose not to, personally, but I hope I'm perfectly capable of discussing the subject in a reasonable way if asked to. There are 65 pages of Jade Goody jokes on the Sickipedia web site and, whether you approve of that kind of behaviour or not, the phenomenon, as a social phenomenon, exists and will always continue to do so. And therefore can be discussed, surely, by the sane and sensible in a sane and sensible way.

We often have a complex reaction to sick humour that we can't always hide. One side of us may overtly be shocked or embarrassed by black jokes - while the other side, if we care to admit it, is covertly sniggering. We're simultaneously shocked and titillated as only complex human beings can be. My parents live on the Morecambe Bay coast in the north-west of England - the scene, some years ago, of Chinese immigrant workers being drowned by the treacherous tides while collecting cockles (cockling) at night. The very next day, the joke going the rounds was in the order of:

First shark: "Fancy some fish and chips?" Second shark: "No, let's have a Chinese" (takeaway).

Yes - the very sickest of humour and, knowing the environment in which they had died very well indeed, not one that made me laugh. But the humour existed - it had arisen - and I believe, underneath the sickness was saying, perhaps, "there but for the grace of...". Why shouldn't we discuss that phenomenon?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 09:16 AM

Does the phenomenon differ between cultures and religions?

Gargoyle above evidences that it is found in the USA as well as the UK.

Is it found in Jewish communities?

Is it found in other languages? My limited experience is that virtually all French humour is about cuckolding (or the indignities of sex), and virtually all German about lavatories.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: melodeonboy
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 09:58 AM

"As for either deserving to die with dignity - they chose to live their lives in the glare of publicity (both became very rich on it) and it seems to me can hardly complain if dying as they have lived. It goes with the turf, in the cult of celebrity.   Goody indeed has chosen for money reasons to die a public spectacle.   Her choice."

Quite right, Mr. Bridge. I've no sympathy either. If you stick your head up when you're in the trenches, you get it shot off!

However, I confess to not really knowing who Ms. Goody is or what she is supposed to have done/achieved for her to be considered a figure of public interest and to be foisted upon me by the media at every opportunity. My assumption is that she's a talentless publicity seeker who's out to make a bit of money.

I therefore confess my ignorance about Ms. Goody and stand to be both corrected and/or informed. One thing that I'm sure about, however, is that if you choose, for personal gain, to subject yourself to constant media scrutiny, you have to take everything that goes with it, including the possibility of ridicule and humiliation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: davyr
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 10:27 AM

Surprised nobody's mentioned this song up to now:

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=7179


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Nick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 10:56 AM

The first instance of humour of this sort that really stands in my mind was the Aberfan disaster in 1966. If you consider that 144 people were killed (116 of them children) when the coal tip engulfed the school it was not one of the more amusing things that have happened in life.

Within days (hours?) of the disaster there were loads, and I mean, loads of jokes ("What's so good about the Aberfan coal service?" "It delivers right to the door" etc Sorry if it offends anyone it is an example).

Perhaps it is just in the nature of things of how humans deal with such enormous emotions.

Biafra, Irish hunger strikers, Space shuttle, murdered politicians - hard to find any area where such humour does not exist.

Before 9/11 happened there was a webcam on one of the Twin Towers which had some text associated with it something along the lines of 'Watch aeroplanes fly towards you' which I guess is fairly tasteless in retrospect but has a hint of gallows humour about it. I only know this as I tried to access it when the disaster happen just in case it was still working and have a screenshot of it somewhere.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:03 AM

And the classic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYlA4q1IcB0

Look at the coffin - bloomin' great handles...

Now there's a thought; last thing I ever want to end up in is a conventional coffin. We passed a shop in North Shields recently called Way To Go which offers a range of alt-caskets, one a very fetching wickerwork structure which would grace any modern home, until the time came, of course, which it must for us all...

My own funeral wish; a secular cremation, no fuss, no prayers, no priest - one record: McGintie's Meal an' Ale sung by Davie Stewart. After which, I want my ashes reburned (just to make sure) at the furthest ebb of a low tide in a fire of oak, ash and thorn; and when the tide turns, it'll wash the lot away. Preferably up in Northumberland, in Howick Haven, but Fleetwood would do nicely.

How about you???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:08 AM

As for either deserving to die with dignity - they chose to live their lives in the glare of publicity (both became very rich on it) and it seems to me can hardly complain if dying as they have lived. It goes with the turf, in the cult of celebrity.   Goody indeed has chosen for money reasons to die a public spectacle.   Her choice.

Just because someone chose to live that way does NOT mean we have to jump on the bandwagon to put them down etc. when they are in dire straits. As I said before, referencing the article in wiki with Joe posted the link to, she has withdrawn from public life. Leave her alone.

Your statement reminds me of the chauvinstic "she asked for it" when referring to a rape victim. It is some kind of sick justification for slagging off on someone less fortunate than oneself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM

One of those "death is not taboo" threads from 2001: What Song do you want for your funeral


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:14 AM

These are better:

The Barmy Brothers : Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead - Part 1

The Barmy Brothers : Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead - Part 2

*

Hey, Joe - about giving humour an English spelling??
    Oops! I meant to. Sorry 'bout that. It's fixed now.
    -Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM

Just because someone chose to live that way does NOT mean we have to jump on the bandwagon to put them down etc. when they are in dire straits. As I said before, referencing the article in wiki with Joe posted the link to, she has withdrawn from public life. Leave her alone.

I agree completely, but the intention of this thread was never to laugh at Jade Goody rather to report on the folkloric phenomenon arising from her very public death. For the record, I am deeply alarmed by some of the comments that have made about Jade on this & other threads; personally, I think she's an absolute star (she won my heart by providing some canny foil for Avid Merion on the often inspired Bo Selecta* many years ago) and of course, all too human. If we do see the wayside shrines appearing after her passing, as they did after the death of Diana, I will be lighting a candle, as I did to Diana too.

Is this just a working-class thing I wonder? Our hearts getting the better of our heads? I dare say most of the jokes are working-class too; but the ones who are laughing will also be the ones weeping when the time comes. Respect.

* For those who don't know,and entirely in keeping with the thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXILMn7fk7g


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM

Katlaughing - "She has withdrawn from public life" - you are having a laugh, no? This is your Jade Goody joke?

Melodeonboy -
She came to "fame" by exposing her vagina to the cameras in "Big Brother" with immortal words "Oops, I just got out me kebab". I forget exactly how but she confirmed the impression given by displaying spectacular ignorance about matters of fact politics and geography (and indeed, every time she opened he mouth, speech habits).

She reinforced the impression on a later "Big Brother" by referring to Silpa Sheti (not sure I have the name quite right) as "Silpa Poppadom" and a remark to the effect of "You may be the Queen of Sheba where you come from..."

For some reason (I cannot imagine what) the press seemed fascinated with her, and without any merit or virtue she managed to remain in the public eye and become undeservedly rich on the proceeds.

How different from the home life of our own dear Queen (NB that is a quote). In comparison Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies and Pamella Bordes were models of propriety (and a lot more decorative).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:42 AM

She came to "fame" by exposing her vagina to the cameras in "Big Brother" with immortal words "Oops, I just got out me kebab". I forget exactly how but she confirmed the impression given by displaying spectacular ignorance about matters of fact politics and geography (and indeed, every time she opened he mouth, speech habits).

All of which just serves to make her more endearing. Jade's the ultimate girl-next-door, certainly for estate-born louts like myself who've known dozens like her - bawdy, boozy, flawed, yet possessed of a brilliant life-force rarely found elsewhere. How sad it is that that life-force will soon be no longer with us; it'll be a darker world without her for sure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 12:38 PM

How I'd like to go...?

A shroud, and buried beneath an apple tree sapling.

I'd like a piece of rough hewn stone sunk beside it. Because one of the things I love about graveyards is the symbiosis that occurs between plants and trees and old graves - where they 'grow' together and subtly shift and 'lean' over time. The apple, the yew and the willow are my favourite trees, but I love the apple best. Plus anyone who years later, might visit the 'grave' would have their lunch sorted...

As for the rest, an outdoors wake. Hopefully with plenty of 'sex and drugs and rock and roll', weather permitting of course...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:25 PM

Well, it seems I was wrong. Someone did like Jade Goody. In that case I don't understand why the mordant edge that makes death jokes funny is missing. Maybe it's me, in that I think she had no redeeming feature whatsoever, which is why no insult to her death has any "Oh No!" factor for me, hence no need to avoid the pain hence no laugh. Whereas Diana the Martyr I also disliked intensely, but I know that many unaccountably idolised her. So I reacted to their shock as I inferred it to be .

As for my own death, it seems to me that my corpse would be rather a nuisance (even more than I am in life), so I'd rather it was got rid of as cheaply as possible. No sense in wasting money. I have no major lifetime accomplishments to commemorate (I nearly had, but that was another story). Wakes and so on are for the living.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Crowhugger sans cookie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM

This is the first thread in years that has really piqued my interest; it's so long since I felt inclined to post I can't even recall my password. (Yes, I'll go track it down thru' proper channels.) But for now:

My favourite gallows humour these days is Les Barker's "Have You Got Any News of the Iceberg?"

Time is a good shock absorber; I'm sure that 80 years ago it wouldn't have been so easy to laugh and cry at the same time about the Titanic.

The best-received song in one particular retirement home gig was "Please Don't Bury Me." Go figure.

ch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Nick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:49 PM

Richard I find myself agreeing with you much too much

Diana's death I found bizarre. A public outpouring of emotion that was so far out of line with the importance of the person or the meaning. A bit too Bambi for me. On the morning she died I remember waking up and hearing the news on the radio. The radio was totally taken over for about three days where nothing else could be discussed seemingly. People yearned to race to London or wherever to place flowers and be (seen to be?) a part of this public outpouring of grief. Very unbritish, dammit. And it seemed to be like a sin to not be a part of it...

Pretty much the ooposite of dealing with it by joking about it.

I feel sorry for the manner of Jade Goody's passing as I do about all the other people that I know who are currently dying of cancer. Very few of them choose to share their death with the world - apart from for political reasons or for some sort of cause. Doing it for money seems remarkably shabby somehow and is bound to cause some raised eyebrows and comments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM

So, because trhere have been previous examples of jokes in execrable taste, it's OK to make more?

NO IT'S NOT, it's still in bad taste.

I am not surprised to see this pop up under a different title, there is nothing Joe likes less than being proved wrong, even in the face of multiple objections.
It doesn't seem to matter how many people find it disgusting tasteless, and downright shite, if Joe doesn't think it's shite, then it stays.
I thought we all helped to keep Mudcat on the road with our contributions, financially and otherwise. Seems it don't matter a fuck.
If things stay like this, then I shan't raise another fucking penny for Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM

It doesn't seem to matter how many people find it disgusting tasteless, and downright shite, if Joe doesn't think it's shite, then it stays.
I thought we all helped to keep Mudcat on the road with our contributions, financially and otherwise. Seems it don't matter a fuck.
If things stay like this, then I shan't raise another fucking penny for Mudcat.


C'mon, John! That sounds like "When it comes to bad taste - if you can't beat 'em, fuck 'em"!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Jayto
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

I vote to leave the thread up Joe. If someone doesn't like the content voice your opinion or don't read it. If you dont like it explain why it bothers you and how you disagree. Stand your ground about how you feel. Don't shut your eyes and scream "Make it go away!" the thread may disappear but the topic won't. If Joe deletes it the topic will pop back up in another thread worded differently but the same subject. Stand up and voice your feelings but don't tell Joe to pull the cover over your eyes so the Boogie thread (like boogie man) will go away. Keep it up Joe that's my vote.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM

Jayto - my sentiments exactly - there is nothing on this earth that can't be discussed rationally and without sensation - if we're sensible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:50 PM

Bad taste? Nothing in bad taste shall be the subject of comment, publication, or humour - is that your view John? Without jokes in bad taste there would be no humour, and taste has never been a proper ground for censorship.

The point about the habit (semingly found in the USA and UK, but my other probings about langage and religion have not drawn comment) of joking about dire adversity is that it relieves or masks the pain. The frequency or local distribution of it is something we may well study to learn about the human condition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:56 PM

We're going to die- I'm going to die, you're going to die. For some it will be sudden and unlooked for, for others a tedious drag through pain and degradation. Others still are lucky enough for a dignified end. It's a 100% certainty that it will happen though.

So why not laugh at it, as about every other aspect of human existence? I bet there were jokes in the gulags and Nazi death camps- not the horrible playground ones that we all heard as kids, but ones expressing the ultimate futility of all human aspiration, and reconciling oneself to it, and thus ennobling it in a small and local way.

In English folk song, the John o'Greenfield song that McColl bastardised as the four loom weaver- a song looking death by starvation in the face and laughing. McPherson's hanging. Even the hurrah for the next man that dies.

Laugh at death, laugh at cancer, laugh at cholera. Even laugh at English cricket if you must. That's not the same as laughing at the victims.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM

True gallows humour, of course, is "The Night before Larry was stretched".

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM

"bawdy, boozy, flawed, yet possessed of a brilliant life-force"

Amen to that! It gets on my tits when working class women especially, are despised for being nothing other than the creatures that they are. In an age where a girl is supposed to be skinny, smart, savvy and all the rest in order to be deemed 'worthy' - and worthy of what exactly? To be studied, examined and judged by those very same leeches who make their living off of others backs.

I like pragmatic working class women, who determindly choose to eschew 'nice' societies fucking hypocrytical bullshit. 'Die in decency' my arse! She should bleed the media of every penny that her short life has thus far been prostituted to (for good or ill) in order to gratify others prurient voyouristic peccadillos.

I raise a friday night pints salutation to bawdy common girls, bad taste and kebabs...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM

OK, I confess. I have a son who leads a punk rock band, and is a devout follower of the Sex Pistols and the Dead Kennedys. He's been writing shocking lyrics for twenty years, and people have often demanded to know why I allow him to write such lyrics - he never asked my permission. In the early years, I was the primary person he was trying to shock. He got tired of trying to shock me after a while, because I assumed a catatonic posture in the presence of his music. But there must be something in the essence of shock in entertainment, because there has always been a fringe element in entertainment whose primary purpose was to shock. Rap and hip-hop lyrics also work hard to maintain a high shock value.

Back in the 1970's, there was a rash of "dead baby head" jokes, talking about using pitchforks to move them around or using them as bowling balls.

Then there was the stink about the art exhibition that featured a crucifix in a glass full of urine.

The Berlin cabarets of the 1920's were known for their shocking performances.

So, the Jade Goody jokes are nothing new - they're just the latest iteration of something that seems to have gone on forever. I read a hundred of them last night. Most were just crude, and very few were clever or had any intellectual appeal. The Celebrity Most Haunted joke at the beginning of this thread, was the one that seemed closest to cleverness.

So, just what is this phenomenon, and what is the logic behind it?

-Joe-

As somebody once said, "I may hate what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:13 PM

Oh goody


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:25 PM

Common shortly after John Lennon died:

How do you fit the Beatles and George Martin into a mini?
Two in the front, two in the back and Lennon in the ashtray!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:33 PM

No, Richard, as I am sure you know, it was not a fucking joke:

On 5 March 2009, Jade Goody requested to be christened from her bed at the Royal Marsden Hospital;[104] on 7 March she and her sons were christened.[105] Clifford confirmed that this would be Goody's last public appearance, and that she had already said her goodbyes to her family. He stated, "We're hoping and praying that Jade pulls through, but the fact of the matter is that she now only has a short time to live."[104] He also confirmed that doctors had said the next 24 hours were crucial to assessing how long it will be before she dies, but that she had only a very short time left regardless. Her husband Jack Tweed was allowed to extend his curfew so he could spend a final night with his wife before she said her final goodbyes to her family.

She is done with her public life, leave her alone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM

hear hear Kat.

Maybe some of you hard hearted bastards want to say some lovely jokes about my Autistic daughter who is inconsolable at the moment because her Mom is in Holland at the moment. She can't handle it. Something that i can laugh about.

Go on you bastards have a go, including you Joe.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jayto
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:46 PM

If someone chooses to make thier private life public they are opening thier self to ridicule as much as praise. All of these reality stars show everything about thier life just to get fame or infamy. Whoring thier lives and families life out to the public for a paycheck and fame. I feel for her family and hate it that she came down with cancer. She made herself public though so good or bad people can say what they want to say about her or any public reality type they want. I don't want to sound harsh but c'mon they spend their lives screaming "Look at me Look at me!" Well they did and are still looking. I am not familiar with this woman. I have never even heard of her until today. Death is sad and I believe in showing respect to the family. I wonder though did she show respect for the families privacy? Do any of the reality stars?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM

Kat,

I'm sorry but with all due respect, living on the other side of the Atlantic, you don't quite appreciate what's going on.

Jade chose to live by the media and die by the media, all for personal financial gain. Why should she be left alone?

I have no interest in her story and and am fed up with seeing her on the news stand. I've almost got to a place where I hope she dies so I won't have to endure any more headlines....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM

I must say that I am disapointed in those old stalwarts that cannot see that is a quintessiential Mudcat thread. Over the years one of the hallmarks of the Mudcat is that it would pick the scabs, and allow a snapshot of the human condition in all its glory, all of its irreverance,and all of its underbelly, as well. Relax, oldtimers. This is nothing more than another look at a leaf in the book.

The Irish have long made jokes, music, customs, and commentary that others would consider morbid, or not in good taste. I have heard it said by elders that this had to do with the fact that life was so tenuous for them, that things like wakes, jokes, and songs that might be considered poor form by some, was simply a way to laugh in the face of the only certainty we know of...... that we will die, and often at the choosing of things out of our control.

There should not even be a discussion of closing this thread. Joe is exactly correct to leave it open. And to those that would choose to reject Mudcat, or raising funds for it, I would say it has been a pleasure to know you, and a shame that you cannot see a little above the horizon.

Leave it alone, partner Joe, and don't defend your choice. There is no need.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:51 PM

I once worked as a fireman, while just out of college. My first exposure to "gallows humor" was my station mates' response to having found a body in a house fire - smoking in bed was the cause. The reference was to something very popular on backdoor patios, if you get my drift.

Another time, I saw a cartoon posted on the bulletin board of a hospital pathology department. Long and short, it depicted a patient with a horror-struck look on his face having just overheard the consulting physician say, "I'm sure an exploratory procedure would be helpful, but an autopsy would be more conclusive."

People in professions that deal with death and dying on a regular basis use dark humor as a coping skill. I don't believe it is ever used to mock or demean the departed, though it may seem insensitive to outsiders.

However, for those who think of death or human suffering as a prime source of sophomoric humor, I recommend they look in the mirror and realize that, as Clint Eastwood said in "Unforgiven," "We ALL have it coming, kid."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:01 PM

It seems to me now that the 'Cat' has a profusion of sick individuals who, when many of the members are unhappy or upset about the subject of sickness and death.. seem to thrive on trying to justify their unnecessary and uncalled for comments......
Joe Offer, I am surprised at you resurrecting this thread in some feeble attempt to get folk 'onside' with you over this whole issue. You have disappointed many people over the Jade Goody issue.... I am so glad that I now have some semblance of understanding as to who the sensitive/ caring and concerned individuals are here. The rest can try to justify themselves all they like but will never win me or many others over with their manipulation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:19 PM

Georgiansilver, you have been a very good mudcatter for a long time. But I completely disagree with your comments about the democratic nature of Mudcat. It has never been a democratic thing. We have often had threads that many did not like. But the rule is simple. If you do not like the discussion, don't be a part of it. But Max has always maintained a "hands off" on discussion topics as long as they were not a personal attack, or some sort of stalking situation, and recently we have the rule that BS topics are not allowed to be started by GUESTS.

Sorry, my friend. I have respect for you, and others who don't like this. But we are not going to allow pressure to determine the legitimacy of a thread, whether we find it distasteful or not. If Joe and I allow that now, what happens when you start a thread that many don't like, and which really doesn't violate the rules? If "they" can get this, then "they" can get you.

I find it interesting that many howl about censorship/moderators actions at the deletion of a personal attack or nasty behaviour, but think a subject they don't personally like should be deleted.

Sorry, but we aren't going there.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Ed.
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM

I just hope you don't have special needs kids or soembody who is seriously ill

I think you are really missing the point, Les.

This thread is about dealing with grief by using humour. There is no intention to trivialize grief or hurt.

It's about how we deal with the worst life can throw at us. That's my understanding anyway...

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:27 PM

Those who were/are offended by the origonal post (I was somewhat confused myself initially, until further elaboration was provided), really should read the origonal posters (Sinister Supporter) other comments on this thread, which are most certainly not in any way or shape a 'wriggling', but simply elucidation.

If there was any error as such, then IMO it lay in a possible failure to provide sufficient initial context for some of us, which if it had have been included in the initial posting, may have completely eliminated all this reaction.

For those initially offended by misunderstanding the context of the discussion, it would be very worthwhile attempting to recontextualise the issues presented in this thread, in light of further far more explanitory postings by Sinister on the matter.

Context is all...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM

A voice of reason, Rosie.....

And there is always the option to just not come back to this thread if you are just uncomfortable.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Megan L
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM

From what ive seen the best thing Max could do is get rid of moderators all together then people could say what ever they wanted whenever they wanted It would be more consistant than what we have now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:46 PM

Listen to Mick, people. He's summed it up beautifully.

Is it me or is there a couple of contingents who are stubbornly displaying an obtuse refusal to 'get' what this thread is about? Firstly, the contingent who think its about having a pop at St Jade and think that's a good thing (and in the process revealing more about their own snobbery than about anything else). Secondly there is a sizeable contingent who are under the illusion that the OP has declared open season on St Jade in particular, and by inference, all people who have cancer and now all people who suffer from any illness or disability.

Is it not abundantly clear that the thread is about neither of these things but instead an examination of the human impulse to make jokes in the face of sorrow and calamity? As someone working in health and social care, I can tell you that its the mordant humour that gets us through the working day half the time: if we couldn't laugh at life's horrors we probably couldn't do the job.

I tell you, it's emotional correctness gone mad round here sometimes!

Is now the time to note that there is some corner of some foreign field that is forever East Angular?...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: jeffp
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM

I have lost two wives to cancer. Both of them dealt with it with a great deal of humor. It's about the only way you can.

My first wife, Melanie, had brain cancer. She had a large semicircular scar just above her right ear. Her hair fell out from the radiation treatments, so it was quite exposed. She would put people at ease with lines, such as, "I need this like I need a hole in the head." Or, "Anyone with half a brain can see ....." With a prognosis of 18-24 months, she lived for 7 years and was (and still is) greatly missed.

I can't remember any specific things my second wife Bonnie did, but she rose to the occasion as well. She is also greatly missed.

By the way, there is a surprising amount of laughter in bereavement groups, even among the newly widowed. It doesn't indicate a lack of loss.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: meself
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM

Okay, so can we all agree that humour is used as a way of dealing with misery and death? If we're all agreed, then those of us who are not particularly taken with the jokes themselves can go away, and leave the others to their amusements ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:17 PM

Take another listen to "Rosin the Beau" some time. Here's a fellow facing death with a grin and a challenge to "That old tyrant." I hold with the proposition that we all face times when all that's left to us is to laugh - or sing. It may be the greatest gift. I've known quite a few in my life, now gone, who followed that lead.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:22 PM

Laugh away


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM

A lot of folks thought the first post and title of the thread were mostly about Jade. Once it was explained, it helped, BUT Joe didn't let it go, even taking his tirade over to another thread. As someone else just said, if this had been taken care of right away, with a title change and/or more explanation, it wouldn't have escalated so much, imo.

And, now...did you hear about the woman who was dying of lung cancer from second-hand smoke? She was mad at her husband, the smoker. She left explicit instructions for the funeral parlour. They were to cremate her body, put some of the ashes in a tobacco pouch and send it to her husband with a handwritten card from her which read,
"Put this in your pipe and smoke it!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Gervase
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:05 PM

Perhaps those who are shouting for the thread to be closed are those for whom death and dying really are a taboo. Even Christinaity seems to have changed in recent years - in my days brought up as a Catholic, it was seen as a natural event, and just a step on the road to (hopefully) heaven. Modern born-agains and plastic jesus huggers seem less comfortable with death per se; they certainly seem to mention it less, and there's less of a ritual surrounding it.
A shame really. because everyone posting here, even the Villan and Georgian Silver, is going to die. How sad if that death s covered up and not mentioned. If it's cancer, how sad if people can't even bring themselves to talk about it, prefering cop-outs like"The Big C" and other weasel words.
Black humour is a great safety valve. I've found it very helpful in dealing with situations where otherwise it would have been a sure-fire PTSD situation, and it's found everywhere where people have to deal with the worst - the Forces, the police, medics, coastguards, undertakers. It's what helps keep them sane and actually makes them better human beings.
So please stop being so precious.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:27 PM

I haven't seen any taboos about death and dying in general. Some were upset about the specific piss-taking of Jade's unfortunate situation. There is a difference, you know?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: meself
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM

Let's start a new thread entitled: "Pompous Lectures About How Humour Helps blah, blah, blah" ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM

Kat, in the newsgent's next door to me is a magazine, I forget its name, with the cover date the 17th March - with an exclusive interview with Jade Goody. Private my Royle Family. Or don't you get them either?

Going to go back and read the rest of the posts that have something to say apart from sanctimonious drivel now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 08:10 PM

Rosie "despised for being nothing other than the creatures that they are". Some creatures are despicable.

Nothing wrong with being working class. It does not make you despicable.

Nothing wrong with being bawdy. Generations of music-hall actresses managed it. Come to Lower Stoke and see our good friend [name redacted] doing it. At Morris practice last week the (acting) dance mistress pointed out that in a particular dance the bars while crossing were by ears, but when processing were in front of tits - at which point the entire women's side gesticulated about the levels to which they thought their tits had fallen. It does not make you despicable.

Nothing wrong with women having their own sex-lives, as they choose. I will die in the trenches on that.

But could you look at, watch, or listen to Jade Goody without cringing?


Why does her death not produce the dark but piquant humour that so many others do? I think that is the reason.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM

My wife, a highly educated qualifed worker in a caring profession,
watched the 2 hour "Living Channel - Jade Wedding Special Exclusive" documentary last night..

..and sobbed her eyes out because it was "soooo sad"

Then, out of curiosity, she read a selection of Jade jokes on sickipedia
just to calm down a bit before she went to bed..

Some jokes made her cringe uncomfortably.. some made her gasp for breath in laughter..

lifes all about balance
and being able to distinguish inteligently and sensitively
between the real and the abstract
in our personal relationship
with the 'fictions & constructs' of popular culture...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 08:30 PM

and many sincere thanks Joe and Mick
for not capitulating to the loud irrational demands for deletion of this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 08:41 PM

Being the father of an (aging) punk rocker, I've thought a lot about this over almost twenty years (he's now 36). This thread is helping me understand. Maybe shocking jokes and lyrics and art are meant as a challenge against shallowness and smarminess.

The people who shriek in protest against Jesus in urine or the Virgin Mary buried in dung - how many of them really care, and how many protest out of some sort of shallow righteousness? Does faith really mean anything to these people, or are they just trying to maintain the respectability of their religious practices?

The cabaret songs and acts of 1920s Berlin were very shocking - and very interesting. One of their main purpose was to spit in the face of the prudish self-righteousness of the NSDAP - the Nazis.

And what about dead baby jokes and now Jade Goody jokes? Could it be that these jokes are meant to question the smarminess and shallow sympathy of people who really don't know Jade Goody and really don't care about her?

I have to say I am shocked by all of these forms of "art" - but still, they make me think, make me question myself and my values. I get no joy out of this sort of humor or art - but I see a purpose in it, distasteful though it may be. These shocking expressions are a direct challenge to our own self-righteousness - and we all suffer from a heavy dose of self-righteousness.

-Joe-


P.S. I go to my son's concerts about once every two years - that's about all I can stand. And it really pisses me off when I have to pay to see my own kid perform...
(I sometimes get comp tickets - depends on the promoter)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 09:01 PM

Richard, perhaps because she is not dead, yet? Who knows?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 09:11 PM

An army was retreating in a great hurry, and a soldier was running & heard a man on the ground yell "Hey, buddy, can you help me? My leg has been shot off." So he picked him up & ran as best he could, but then a cannon ball came by and knocked off the wounded man's head. Soon another soldier exclaimed "What the hell are you doing carrying that headless corpse?" He looked down & said "I'll be damned -- he said it was his leg."

*

Death is nature's way of telling us to slow down.

*

God came down to earth twice: The first time, He brought death, and the second time, seeing His mistake, He brought Hell.

*

One death is a tragedy; a hundred deaths are a disaster; a million deaths are a statistic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 10:10 PM

About my OP.

Call me naive but I thought it best to keep it brief without labouring the point - that only became necessary when people missed it so completely. Personally I don't think it gets any clearer than A very public celebrity death, which raises all sorts of issues & provokes all sorts of responses, but the most immediate folkloric angle is the humour... - covers the ground quite nicely and in no way does this account for the ensuing righteous hysteria, which is worthy of a paper in itself.

The key, I guess, was FOLKLORE.

Nice to see the Cow East the Piper threads - a fine piece of truly gruesome gallows humour, and a lovely song / story to boot.

Brian O' Linn met the devil one day,
Who showed him a girl lying dead in the hay;
with her he did sport 'til the night it crept in -
There's no chance of child, said Brian O'Linn!

Brian O'Linn he did fuck an old horse
But he got himself stuck and to make matters worse
the horse it ran into the market square then -
Still, they can't see me dick, says Brian O'Linn!

And Brian O'Linn in his coffin did lie;
Dressed up in his best with clean boots and a tie;
Six foot underground and the grave all filled in -
Ah, they can't hear me knocking, says Brian O'Linn!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 10:48 PM

For Joe F - above - those are good - thank you for posting - and please bring more when you find them.

For those posting EXAMPLES - it would be helpful for future researchers if you could note the approximate contact you had with the material :
Location (England - Wales, Eastern USA, Church Camp in Illinois
Year (late 1950's, my father heard it in the war)
Situation (telling jokes with friends)
Or source (book - webpage - uncle - playground kid)

OK - Looks like it is time for the special filter to be activated by the clone on the throne.

Obviously, some of us are mature adults. Some of us have "issues" and require tissues.

For myself - I will gladly share the Austic/Ausberger/Special-Ed/Dislexic/Retard jokes I heard at a 2009 Super Bowl party.. ( Brit's the "Super Bowl" is a celebration of the best in American toilet cleanser advertising - next to Germany - America is the biggest consumer of "Supper Bowels.")

I would love to rise to the gauntlet tossed by Villan - but I will wait until the clones enact the special filter. I am on good behavior.

I suggest that those of a more "sensitive nature" kindly bow aside - if you cannot - then the special filter should be enacted. (They have used it on me - and I KNOW it works - you are seeing a kinder, gentler, G....consider it a "cyber-straight-jacket"...one other poster in this thread has had it applied...or been very sick ... or been traveling.)

If people are a "little uncomfortable" ....then they make jokes....if a situation is horrific they do not....if the person has been raised to ICON status....jokes will follow....blasting ICONs is a Western tradition - Religious Leaders, Politicians, Death, - every one that rises above the rest will - like the Korean (ain't that an oxymoron source) saying - The nail that stands out .... will be hammered.

In the genre of similar morbid-folk-humor - are the Helen Keller ones...there is NO CONNECTION TO REALITY .... they are "jokes" based on an absurd premise - we ALL (most of us) KNOW that the situation presented is fanciful....You almost want to laugh at the "set up line" - who could imagine "Helen Keller's parents" wanting to "punish" her? - It IS part of humor.

There are dozens of these:

Q: How did Helen Keller burn her hands?
A: Trying to read the waffle- iron.

Q: How did Helen Keller parents punish her?
A: They moved the furniture.

Q: How did Helen Keller break her wrists?
A: Screaming for help when she fell down the well.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

RE: "cope" and "mechanism" that were questioned above - I do not believe that "cope" is a good usage - if you are "coping" you are not realistic - drinking to drunkenness is a temporary coping process - humor is not coping it is acceptance of the irony with the situation (and most western humor is ironic - situational, dramatic, or verbal)..............regarding "mechanism" this is mechanical - we are human we are not machines. For over a decade I have shared an opposite view to one specific poster in this thread. We agree to disagree


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 02:22 AM

ahhh.. what a nice sweeeeeet song..



its maybe not the most shocking post-punk anti-authoritarian death oriented protest song ...

but i like it and doubt if its ever been sung better..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K1BdDVvV9Q


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 02:56 AM

Jade Goody has stated that she is "ready to go to heaven".

Looks like cancer isn't going to be the last bad news she hears.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 03:20 AM

..just gone 7.00 am and finishing up the last drop of my last bottle of 50'th Birthday nice quality malt..

..all night mellow session listening to good music..

and now by complete coincedence on my Flac random jukebox

.. Lou Reed's "Magic and Loss" CD

recorded when he was the same age I am now..

and the songs are all about cancer and death...


g'night....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 04:05 AM

Little Willie is a wickedly funny little song - from the 1890's, the DT says.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:02 AM

Gallows Humour? Fine, after the subject is dead. I have no quarrel whatsoever with the concept of laughing at death, it's a normal reaction in human beings to make fun of the things they fear (or even just don't fancy) and, like most people, I've done my share. Sadly, the OP title, and some of the content, didn't make it clear that the thread was intended to be about Gallows Humour in general, it appeared to be an attack on one, still living, individual - and there were many others who, like me, 'didn't get it'. Mea Culpa, wuppy-do!

Taking the piss out of another individual human being, irrespective of their public persona, who is at this very moment enduring her long and painful death? Completely unacceptable to any decent, civilised, compassionate person. It's not a question of "She's a gobby ignorant twat who made millions from suckers, so she deserves it" - anyone who believes that kind of false rationalisation truly is ignorant. And to direct that kind of hate on to someone who is dying must be one of the basest of human instincts and behaviours.

And, for the record Joe, to be labelled, amongst other things, a 'prude' and be harangued by a Moderator for having the temerity to say what I've just said - a Moderator, incidentally, who goes on to rub the noses of the moderate in the shit by re-opening the thread under a different title and inviting the 'Goody-Haters' to carry on with their abuse - really does beggar belief. IMH-Fuckin'-O.

So Joe - in order to clarify, and for the sake of the uncivilised ones on here who think taking the piss out of an individual who is dying is OK, you have made a clear satement, publically and in our personal messages, that Bad Taste is absolutely and permanently 'On The Mudcat Menu', and posters of material which is in Bad Taste will have your full and unequivocal support. I assume, therefore, that it's absolutely fine for me to post jokes in Bad Taste about Pakis, Towel Heads, Niggers, Dykes, Fudge-Ferrets, Spazzes, Hunch-backs, abducted and possibly murdered 3-year-old children, Dopey Yank soldiers blowing their own side away in Eye-Rack, 9/11 victims, school-shootings in the USA, and anybody else whose race, religion, abnormality or misfortune I personally find amusing at any given moment, and that you will give me your full and unequivocal support when the usual shower of Prudish, Politically-Correct, Tree-Hugging, God-Denying, Namby-Pamby, Moral-High-Ground-taking, Holier-Than-Thou Nincompoops start squealing at me like stuck pigs?

Don't worry folks, it will never happen, just a simple lad from the Backwoods making a point about something that the Mudcat Intelligentsia seem not to be able to take in - that abuse takes many forms, but it's still abuse. But I have standards, and I have self-respect, and I don't debase myself that way. And I won't debase myself by getting kicks from abusing the dying, no matter who they are.

Have your fun, kick the lass to death, shoot off in your pants as she draws her last breath, but don't expect me, or others who see this issue the way I do, to watch and giggle as you do it. Whatever will you lot get up to next? Happy-Slapping filmed on your mobile phones? Snuff-Movies?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:17 AM

Guest ED you stated >>>>>>>>>Jade Goody has stated that she is "ready to go to heaven".

Looks like cancer isn't going to be the last bad news she hears.<<<<<<<<<<<<

You see fit to even ridicule her beliefs as they do not correspond with your own.... well I am off to Heaven when I die too... perhaps you should make it clear that what you are saying is 'in your opinion' and not behave as though you know all the answers.... In my honest opinion I think you are way off beam but you are entitled to be!

Thank you Backwoodsman... I could not have put that better myself... however those who choose to perpetuate the farce are above any comments we make... it is so easy to manipulate the 'self opinionated' into joining the merry throng of 'not so well' wishers.
It heartily saddens me that someone dying, whoever they are, can be treated in this manner.
Best wishes, Mike.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:18 AM

Furthermore Joe, why is this in the Music section and not BS where it should be? Is it of that much importance to you that it has this kind of prominence?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:20 AM

Before you answer... But it is Folklore..... it is out and out BS!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:33 AM

Backwoodsman - it is not the death that Goody has earned, but the publicity.

It is my thesis that gallows humour (as good a name for it as any other, I suppose) works only if the subject is generally well thought of - which I say that Goody is not.

So most Jade Goody jokes are not funny.

Your examples of types of unacceptable jokes is flawed in that it concentrates on those that give comfort to bigotry. Jade Goody jokes in general seem to be based not on bigotry (save perhaps for the bigotry of society against the ugly, which is well documented over substantial periods) but on condemnation of her choices.

An interesting contradiction that she poses is that based on normal social criteria one would assume her to be stupid (another class of people against whom society is bigoted) whereas since her first Big Brother series she has proven able to continue to capitalise, to her profit, on her notoriety, better than others who might be thought to be of more intelligence - for example Jodie Marsh - who has (AFAIK) done well in money terms but not as well. The same would be true of Katie Price (Jordan) - who appears consciously to play to the lowest common denominator.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:52 AM

Well said BWM

The original thread was about taking the piss out of Jane Goody.who in reality is on her death bed.

So quite a few people are quite rightly upset about that adn complain.

Quite rightly, a moderator removes the thread.

Only for Joe (the insensitive, I am going to be in charge of this and will make bloody sure it cariies on) Offer, steps in and resurects the thread, but then goes on and makes comments about the people who complained. That was not necessary Joe, and only started the issue further. That IMHO is very piss poor moderating. Joe you are condoning the use of gutter jokes and as a moderator that doesn't sit well with me.

Tell jokes by all means, I don't mind, but stop being such insensitive bastards and leave Jane Goody alone to die in peace.

Then this thread might settle down.

>>I would love to rise to the gauntlet tossed by Villan - but I will wait until the clones enact the special filter. I am on good behavior.

<<

Gargoyle, up yours as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 06:21 AM

The original thread was about taking the piss out of Jane Goody.who in reality is on her death bed. So quite a few people are quite rightly upset about that adn complain.

The Villan (and others) - please note that the original thread was NOT about taking the piss out of anyone, rather, as stated in the OP : A very public celebrity death, which raises all sorts of issues & provokes all sorts of responses, but the most immediate folkloric angle is the humour.

People got upset quite wrongly, because they missed the point entirely, going off on a collective hissyfit as their hysterical complaints make abundantly clear. Please read my other posts in this respect.

And talking of respect, at least get her name right.

*

And Brian O'Linn found a lump in his balls,
So he picks up the phone and the doctor he calls;
That was three months ago, now he's bald and he's thin -
Sure I fit me old clothes, said Brian O'Linn!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 08:12 AM

Georgiansilver: well I am off to Heaven when I die too

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but doesn't 'God' decide if you're 'good enough' to get into heaven? I didn't think that you can decide that hell sounds rubbish and choose heaven instead!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 08:19 AM

With respect Guest Ed. I don't intend to get into discussion about my Faith or Gods will but I am off to Heaven when I die... I live on Gods promises.
Best wishes, Mike.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 08:33 AM

I'm not scared of dying,
And I don't really care.
If it's peace you find in dying,
Well then let the time be near.
If it's peace you find in dying,
And if dying time is here,
Just bundle up my coffin
'Cause it's cold way down there.
I hear that its cold way down their.
Yeah, crazy cold way down their.

And when I die, and when I'm gone,
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on,
to carry on.

Now troubles are many, they're as deep as a well.
I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell.
Swear there ain't no heaven and I pray there ain't no hell,
But I'll never know by living, only my dying will tell.
Yes only my dying will tell.
Yeah, only my dying will tell.

Give me my freedom for as long as I be.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me,
And all I ask of dying is to go naturally.
Oh I want to go naturally.

and when I die,
When I'm dead, dead and gone,
There'll be one child born in our world to carry on,
To carry on.


Laura Nyro (1947 - 1997)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 08:38 AM

I live on Gods promises

Fair enough, Mike. Allow me to consider it a fairly flakey belief system though.

All thye best to you too.

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 12:34 PM

The original title did indicate an attack on Jade goody specifically. Let's not rewrite history ala the shrub.

Backwoods - well put!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 08:33 PM

Oh, I suppose we could limit our folklore discussions to things that happened over a hundred years ago, and people would feel a lot safer. The Jade Goody phenomenon is folklore happening right now. These crude jokes (mostly) aren't coming from television gag writers - they're coming from real people. And yeah, I suppose I have to admit that one purpose of such jokes is just plain cruelty - just like racist jokes and sexist jokes and many ethnic jokes. But it seems to me that this particular type of joke is meant more to shock than to be cruel - and you can see from many of the messages above that even the thought of such jokes shocks many of us and brings our taboos to the forefront.

So, what's the point?

I think it's questioning the values of our society. We can pour out sympathy to a celebrity or an unknown and distant stranger; but we often can't look a homeless person in the eye, and most of us would certainly hesitate to touch a homeless person or shake his or her hand. How about the grouchy old guy next door, who's mean because he's suffering from Parkinson's? We humans like to be sympathetic - but we tend to prefer safe, long-distance sympathy, shared over the Internet instead of requiring us to touch and listen and give and tolerate. Maybe that's what these Jade Goody jokes are poking a stick at. For some of us, that stick of shock makes us nervous - I know it makes me nervous.

Maybe that's what my kid's shocking punk lyrics are about - provoking a display of the dishonesty of many of the so-called "values" of our society.

C'mon, all you people! How many of you really, honestly care about Jade Goody - and if you do, why? Now, tell me how you responded to the last homeless person who asked you for a handout. Did you show that person at least as much respect as you think Jade Goody deserves? Even if you didn't give anything, did you look that person in the eye and say something pleasant? I'm sure some of you did respond in a positive way to that homeless person - but I have to say that I'm not proud of the brush-off I gave to the last homeless person who asked me for money. I even had trouble talking to people in a convalescent home after I sang for them yesterday - somebody had to remind me that I should do that.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe_F
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 09:00 PM

There was a tradition of nasty rhymes in the 19th century, e.g.:

Little Willy from the mirror
Licked the mercury right off,
Thinking, in his childish error,
It would cure the whooping cough.
At the funeral, his mother
Smartly said to Mrs Brown,
"'Twas a chilly day for Willy
When the mercury went down."

Willy, in one of his bright new sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes.
Soon the room grew rather chilly,
But no one cared to poke poor Willy.

Mother heard her children scream,
So she threw them in the stream,
Saying, as she drowned the third,
"Children should be seen, not heard."

There were also, in the early 20th century, the Little Audrey jokes, some of which made fun of death:

Little Audrey played with matches and set fire to the house. As it burned, her mother said "You just wait till your father comes home; then you'll catch it." Little Audrey just laughed and laughed, because she knew that her father had come home early and was taking a nap upstairs.

For some literal gallows humor, see "The Night before Larry Was Stretched" in the DigiTrad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 12:20 AM

Joe, you are making a lot of assumptions about the rest of us there. Also, I didn't hear anyone say anything about "respect" when it came to Jade Goody, just showing some compassion toward a fellow human bean who is literally dying as we speak. What is so wrong about that?

I happen to be very comfortable with people who are dying, in hospice, at home, and/or folks in convalescence homes. I've had some tell me they want me there, with my dulcimer, when they die..they want me to "play them over" and I am honoured. I also am someone to whom they can speak of all manner of things, the hard things which they may be reluctant to burden their families with. There is a place for humour with them, when appropriate, but I would not make jokes of people I don't know who are dying.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 01:49 AM

Yes, I am making the assumption that most people are like me, and they find it easier to express sympathy and compassion long-distance rather than up-close. Sometimes, I'm really good when I deal directly with people in need - but I fail an awful lot.

Today, Google shows 556,000 pages on "Jade Goody jokes." Why? What's the reason behind the phenomenon? I will completely agree that the jokes are nasty and mean and disgusting and shocking and disrespectful, but this is a folklore discussion, not a discussion of morals - tell me why it's happening, and what is it attempting to express or accomplish?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 02:15 AM

I am certain the Cultural/Social Studies Departments of most UK Universities and Higher Education Colleges
will definitely be examining this 'phenomenon' with very serious objective
dispassionate interest.
That's why I am surprised and dismayed
at the irrational
and quite hostile response displayed here.


..guess its always easier to jump to pre-configured conclusions and condemn than try to understand...???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: CamiSu
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 02:21 AM

Villan--

Follow this for some humor and a blog about living with a severely autistic child. The cartoonist's son is a middle teen and on the far side of the scale. Her comic family has an autistic son as well, and the humor can be biting or gentle, but is also funny in the "If I don't laugh I will probably go crazy" vein.

And isn't this what all of it is? My husband also died of cancer a bit more than a year ago. We had plenty of humor around the house, and in the last year and a half, a fair amount of gallows humor. If we don't laugh, we cry, and crying all the time is also a sure way to the loony bin.

As Joe commented somewhere up there, we laugh WITH, not AT...

and without the love there is no need for the laughter, because we simply don't care.

CamiSu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Megan L
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 03:57 AM

If you are living in the situation you are laughing with if you are outside the situation no matter what fancy terms you use to try and justify yourself you are laughin at.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 04:03 AM

Joe: "How many of you really, honestly care about Jade Goody"

I think what is so surprising about her, is the degree of marmite factor she seems to generate. And it's that *personality* along with some major initial telly exposure, and of course Max Cliffords know how, that have made her so famous.

Honestly, I don't 'care' overmuch about Jade Goody. Certainly no more than I would anyone in a troubling situation. And it amazes me that she provokes such strong emotional reactions in people, either of love or of loathing!

I don't care, in as much as I neither think she's brilliant, nor dreadful. She's just another girl, albeit with a strong personality, a lot of publicity, and of course cancer. I wonder what it is about certain individuals (whatever their 'talents' or indeed absence of same) is capable of catalysing our collective obsession, and mass projection of such powerful emotions?

Yes I always give a few quid to a homeless person. I bought one guy who was sitting outside a shop, a bottle of cider a while back - 'cos I only had plastic on me. I also find the idea that homeless people should make one feel uncomfortable, strange. I wonder why those who live 'outside' of societies norms, rattle peoples cages to such an extent that they would prefer to 'not see' them at all? Another most strange phenomena.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 04:14 AM

Joe and his cronies - why don't you - no, make that won't you - get it? It's not about Jade Goody. It's not about humour in and around the subject of death, which I certainly don't object to - I regard it as natural, even desirable that we should face the subject of death with frankness and an ability to see a funny side.

What I, and others, are objecting to is the underlying nastiness and unacceptability of asking for jokes about an individual who is going through the process of dying right now, as we bat this crock of shit around. Instead of Jade Goody, why don't Joe and SS tell us of someone in their family or close circle of friends (assuming they've got any friends) who is dying a painful, lingering death? Give us all the gory details, then we can all take the piss out of them and their suffering, and express our delight at the dreadfulness of their plight

You and SS can wriggle and distort in a vain attempt to justify yourselves until you're blue in the face, but this thread started out as a request for jokes about someone who is dying but still alive, and it prompted vile and disgusting comments about her as a person from people who, AFAIK, have never met her and know only of the persona that the media promote.

You presume that the stance taken by me and others is because we're scared of dying and too chicken to face it or talk about it. Not true, certainly in my own case - I don't want to die (who does?) but I'm not afraid of dying, it's a natural process that we all must face. And I don't give a fuck about Jade Goody The Movie, or Saint Jade, or whatever other stupid names people make themselves feel better by calling her - what she is, what she's done, all are insignificant. What I care about is having the good spirit and compassion to show respect for a human being who is dying - in this case someone who happens to be called Jade Goody and who I'll never know. What the fuck's wrong with that?

Oh, and there's no need to apologise for your appalling behaviour Joe. You won't anyway, it takes grace and courage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 04:14 AM

lifes hard enough..

i'll never understand how so many apparently intelligent people
can constantly find so much spare energy
to waste on being forever on the lookout for new adveraries
to be offended by and to retaliate first to attack..??????????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM

I tell you one thing she has helped, and that is the awareness of Cervical Cancer. Like her or not, that can only be good.

You never know, it could be your wife, your daughter next (I hope not)

Joe Offer
You are avoiding the main issue here, and thats your support for taking the piss out of JG who is dying and then trying to call us "do gooders" from wanting to complain about your bad taste. Also going against one of the mods and resurrecting the issue/thread.

You have lost the trust and respect from quite a few mudcatters, including myself.

The issue is not about Gallow Humour, and you seem to think it is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolckrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM

and if anybody out ther cares..

in the last couple of years..

apart from my own health problems that lost me too much time
away from the wonderful world of work and day to day petty combat..

one close family member taken by cancer
one close family member taken by shotgun suicide
one close family member car crash broken back
one close family member hospitalized & institutionalized..

i can't be bothered continuing this list..

if anyone has bitter reason to be self rightious and castigating..

then f@ck it you nasty b@stards.. not me !!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 04:51 AM

jade love.. screw as much ££$ as you can out of the right wing corporate media for your kids future..

sorry, you know we might take the piss out of the way those self interested c@*$s report your demise..

but i'm sure you'd do the same if it was someone else marginaly famous
who irritates the smarmy middle classes..
because so many of us were probably grown up on the same kind of council estates..



..and before I'm about to start verging on the wrong side of civility..

[Kat.. we might not agree entirely.. but I respect you..
so please dont think what i'm about to say includes you..]

3 people posting here are complete beligerent wrongheaded self rightious ***********s..


g'night and nice and relaxed eternity away from all this b@llox jade..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 04:57 AM

PFR, I can't be bothered to read your posts, too many daft line breaks in stupid places. A poet you certainly are not.

And what a perverted view you must have of the world, when you castigate those of us who ask others respect for the dying as "you nasty b@stards".

Talk about people in greenhouses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 05:02 AM

PFR, you may see me as a "beligerent wrongheaded self rightious ***********s..", but guess what - I don't care. It says far more about you (and those who take your view) than it does about me.

Now Foxtrot Oscar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 05:09 AM

Backwoodsman

you condemn yourself with your own supercilious words..

.."give 'em enough rope"...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 05:18 AM

What a nasty person you are Folkpunkrocker


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 05:31 AM

oh no I'm not..

oh yes you are..

oh noooo I'm not..

whats that clever definition for instances like this
when poncy better educated people than me
try to discredit 'myself' and what I have to say..


errm... "Ad Hominem fallacy"..

thats the bugger..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 05:32 AM

2 out of 3..

1 more to 'out' himself..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 05:33 AM

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 05:56 AM

There's no hope...........
Goodbye Cruel Mudcat World. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM

Can we please stick to the subject without the righteous trying to illuminate the shadows by sticking their sun-shining arseholes in? I could do without the sort of posts we've seen from The Villan and Backwoodsman (etc), who, having both missed the point by several aforementioned light years, now proceed to labour that missed point at every available opportunity. By all means open up another thread about how much better than the rest of us you are, but for the sake of common decency keep your sanctimonious trolling to yourselves.

As for Jade Goody I have every respect for the girl. To repeat my early post on the matter: Jade's the ultimate girl-next-door, certainly for estate-born louts like myself who've known dozens like her - bawdy, boozy, flawed, yet possessed of a brilliant life-force rarely found elsewhere. How sad it is that that life-force will soon be no longer with us; it'll be a darker world without her for sure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 06:14 AM

Well SS if you hadn't started the original thread, then none of this would have happened.
I accepted you apology and I openly said that.

What i don't accept is the moderation on this thread by Joe and his comments and overruling another mod.

I have already stated that I have no problem with the title of this thread, and I don't. Had Joe have just allowed you to start this new thread without any mention of the said lady and kept his own opinions to himself, you would have had a lovely thread.

Anyway. its a sunny day, and life is too short.

I need a breath of fresh air.

Enjoy your day.

Peace to one and all :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 06:35 AM

hi SS.

last few years a tragic negligent accedent happened in my family that was reported in the tabloid areswipes..

I'm being very objective now..

if a member of my family serves time for poor judgement
and bad driving
then serves him right.

a lot of what middle England blogged about that story..
I actually agreed with..

so i think I've earned the right to say that mouthy coarse girls like Jade
who have vevr done no real harm to anyone ever
are our kind of ok good people..


..and those smug shallow self rightious nimbys who recently suddenly discovererd her existance & illness in the sunday broadshhet lifestyle paper magerzines
just really probably dont understand genuine robust
transgresive working class humour !!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 06:39 AM

Happy 50th Punkfolkrocker :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 06:49 AM

"I'd like to see this thread closed, but if you really are interested in the sort of black 'gallows' humour your second post indicates, then maybe a more sensitive thread title with a less inflammatory and reasoned original post might be a start."


Sometimes I don't know why I bother....

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 07:00 AM

Well SS if you hadn't started the original thread, then none of this would have happened.
I accepted you apology and I openly said that.


People will misunderstand - deliberately, I fear, in this case. Hence the sanctimonious trolling. As for my apology, as I was in the process of posting when the thread was closed: My only error in starting this thread was to suppose people would have the nous to approach the subject with dispassionate objectivity deserving of a genuine folkloric phenomenon. In this alone I was sorely mistaken, for which I have been accused of trolling, called an evil bastard, and condemned to hell. And there I was thinking I was in the company of rational human beings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 09:23 AM

Please folks... read back the original..perhaps... first twenty posts on the thread and see what people in general were suggesting/saying. Most asked for the thread to be removed as it was offensive to someone in the process of losing her life.... That should have been enough but no... it has grown into something which presents as a battle between the caring of the world and those who don't give a hoot!!!! What sort of people are you???
Can I suggest that those who care enough about the dignity of the dying... abstain from the thread and let the nasties gloat over hard earned their victory.
PLEASE...... If you care enough!!! LET THIS THREAD GO!!!
Best wishes to those who show true heart.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 09:59 AM

hi george..

I am usualy not so direct to people I don'nt know
.. I find it uncomfortable..

But sorry... you are wrong..

I don't know what upset you or who or what you are at odds with.

but this thread honestly is not about what you are complaining about..

This is an objective inquiry into an accademic field of study..

you are not being a kind person..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 10:11 AM

I show true heart..
and certainly care about a youg woman
about to lose her only once given precious special life

that concenrns me..
that saddens me
as it is distessing for all good caring people.
I think you are possibly a nasty person who needs
to pick fights with imagionary enemies
because you thrive on the power
you think you gain from negative unneccessary conflict..
please critiscise my spelling
because like Jade I am not so well
educated as yourself


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 10:16 AM

Re Ms Goody, my take on it all is that it's not the poor girl that's the problem here - it's the circus which exploits her. Some of the bastards who create these programmes claim that the people who appear on them are "empowered" - no doubt the guys in charge of the Colosseum told that to the poor sods who had to appear in the arena.

As far as I can see the whole thing is a bit like slowing down on the motorway to eyeball a collision in the opposite lanes. We all do it, but it's not anything to be proud of.

On a positive note about gallows humour - last night we went to see the wonderful Dave Swarbrick - a Lazarus if ever there was one. For those who don't know, years of smoking legal and illegal substances resulted in a successful double lung transplant (or as one local rag had it, a double heart transplant). By this time we must all have heard Swarb's remark after his obituary was published in the Torygraph - "It's not the first time I've died in Coventry!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 10:50 AM

There seems to be some sort of curious double standard, adopted by the lace-curtain brigade here.

They shout such a lot that they say that democratic principles (which, we are often told, do not apply here) indicate that the thread (which is because of but not about Jade Goody) should be deleted.

But there are hundreds of thousands of pages of Jade Goody jokes out there. Does that not indicate that the lace curtainers are in the minority (if that matters)?

Incidentally, JG was all over the front of the Sun yesterday, and it has been put to me that at least at some point she has said that she wants her cancer to be disussed, as it may save the lives of others.

Academics discuss the use of humour as a defence mechanism during the holocaust. http://web.macam98.ac.il/~ochayo/absractn.html

Why then shoud it be taboo to dicuss the humour (or attempted humour) that arises about Jade Goody's cancer and death?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 11:24 AM

Some of you need to take the blinders off and at least try to understand what we others are saying. And, drop the name-calling, i.e. prudes, lace curtain, etc.

...folklore discussion, not a discussion of morals.

Frankly, I find that absurd. There are so many stories involving morality...to make them exclusive of one another seems amoral to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Musket
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 07:05 PM

Two things to point out, hopefully explaining my views here;

1. Humour is always at somebody's expense. It is the root of humour. Jokes about dogs and penguins only become funny when we give them human traits that we can recognise. Trying to find a funny angle to any current situation is human nature. For some people. the taboo nature makes it more daring, risqué and leads to a double joke, as the sense of outrage will add to some people's perception of being funny.

Example - I find blue comics boorish, yet I admit that after a few pints, some of the jokes begin to get slightly better or appear to, yet I would never laugh when sober.

2. I find it weird that so many people are asking for this thread to be shut down because it is offensive. Yet when I mentioned that as an ex miner, I find the song "Blackleg Miner" deeply offensive, everybody on that thread rattled on about having the right to sing it, has a folklore angle etc etc.   Yes, offence is a relative not absolute condition.

I think that exploring gallows humour is an excellent thread topic. I suppose with 20/20 hindsight, bringing a real live situation ie., Ms Goody into it hasn't helped the purpose of the thread, but hey ho.

Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM

You know, Kat (and others) -

We seem to be divided about 50-50. Is fifty percent agreement enough to justify silencing the other half?

There are people who want to discuss this from a folkloric perspective. It's very clear that you don't like it, but isn't it their right to discuss what they want to discuss? Isn't that the principle of free discussion that we've lived by for the last twelve years - that people should be able to discuss things without harassment?

And those of you who seem to think we are so unholy for wanting to discuss these jokes - how do you know our reasons, when we claim our reasons are otherwise? You all sound like my ex-wife, who for 20 years found pure evil in my motive for every thing I did and every word I spoke....and now she likes me, because it turns out I was a hell of a lot better than husband #2 and husband #3.

Actually, I have no interest in the jokes myself. I get grossed out by most stand-up comics, and I leave the room when jokes get cruel or gross or degrading - but if people want to discuss such jokes, then I think they should be able to do so without harassment.

So, I dunno. I wish I knew what to say or do. I think it's my duty to defend the right of people to say what I would never say myself....

-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 07:51 PM

And I say again, publicly, thank you Joe. What do you suppose Mary Hamiltons family felt????????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: maeve
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 08:34 PM

Hi there, Joe.

For what it's worth, I'd say y'all have way too many tricky issues muddying the water, tangled up with actions and words that fit my understanding of the nature of disrespect, name-calling, and bullying. It can't be solved by shouting more loudly than others or by leaving the discussion.

I can deal quite easily with an exploration of how we complex creatures use humour/humor to deal with illness, death, discomfort, pain, fear, and grief. I can understand that some of the folks here will differ dramatically in their handling and perceptions of the issues that are likely to arise in comparing your ideas on the subject with mine, say. I can choose to respectfully agree or disagree with what I encounter in such a discourse. I can even leave the discussion and decide whether or not to take it up again when someone's views upset me. I can choose to respond rather than react.

However, I take issue with any discussion that is used to tear down named individuals whether in the public eye or not. I object even more strongly to seeing a Mudcat discussion used by both members and Moderators to verbally slam and play power games with members and Moderators due to differing points of view, prior negative history between individuals, nationality, or any other cause. It is not productive. It causes harm. It is what has given Max's wonderful creation a bad smell.

The subject matter is important. The way it is approached makes a difference. Everyone posting here is deserving of respect. Everyone posting here is capable of using PMs to resolve personal issues and to offer clarification where there has been misunderstanding. Some would do well to cool down and make peace.

The 50/50 split you mention doesn't include those who can't believe spring fever has choked out common sense. Time to calm down and re-evaluate.

Respectfully,

maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 11:43 PM

Joe, since you renamed and restarted this thread, several of us who did not like the Jade Goody title have offered some of our own insights and humour re' death and dis-ease, yet you keep harping on us...I don't think anyone has asked for the thread, as it now stands, to be deleted. If they did, I've missed it. What we always objected to and what none of you seem to be hearing was the thread being specifically about Goody. I don't know how to put that in any plainer fashion.

maeve, my apologies. You have spoken well and have my respect, so I won't belabour the point any further.

As for attribution, the joke I posted was a spontaneous posting from some "muse."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 04:12 AM

You don't seem to get it Joe.

You publically overuled one of the moderators. You then condoned the Jade Goody jokes by opening a new thread and then you publically had a go at some of us as well as including all the previous posts from the thread that was deleted. I don't think that was smart

You should have let SS start a new thread with the title it now has and things would have been fine.

There was no reason to have done what you did. You lit the fire again.

I have no issue with the posters or the thread. I do have an issue about using Jade Goody as the basis for having the thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:14 AM

I don't get it either, then, because I think Joe was exactly right in that the power of gallows humour lies in the ability to pique, and without the current referent the thread is deprived of immediacy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:33 AM

Well I can't help you there Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM

Can we have more of the humour please? If the sanctimonious amongst you want a discussion to prove how much better they are than the rest of us then please open up another thread entitled A Battle Between the Caring of the World and Those Who Don't Give a Hoot.

I think I feel another verse for Brian O'Linn coming on:

And Brian O'Linn he shot an old dog
And inside it's belly he found an frog
And inside the frog he found a gold ring -
That's the third time this week, said Brian O'Linn!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM

Well, I've waded through the entire thread, and find that, unlike the OP's intent and that of Joe in re-opening the thread, no one seems to be discussing the issue. Things seem to have degenerated into name-calling and attacks/defenses of Ms. Goody. So, can we move on from that and discuss the issue?

Carla Ulbrich, a wonderful and funny folkie, was stricken with a debilitating illness not long ago, which caused her, among other things, to have to completely re-learn how to play guitar. One of her coping mechanisms was to put out a whole CD called "Sick Humor," full of songs about her experiences. I have to say some of it was funny, and some just hard to listen to, but it obviously was a great coping mechanism for HER. Of course, when I first heard it, it was shortly after my own wife died (breast cancer), and I wasn't really in much of a mood for the longest time for anything of the sort. Clearly, that coping mechanism didn't work for ME.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 08:06 AM

I wouldn't have thought of humour as a coping mechanism for the bereaved. It comes more from the objective / collective sense (hence Folklore) of experience - and whilst, in this case at least, it would at least appear to have a subjective focus, what we actually see is a mythologised celebrity figure many times removed from the corporeal. Indeed, I noticed in passing that the Daily Star headline on Saturday referred to her as Dying Jade Goody - just to remind us, no doubt. Thus our feelings are part of the common hysteria, lacking the intimate focus of actual bereavement, rather like the mass outpourings we saw after the death of Princess Diana when the nation grieved as one; I swear I saw life-long anarchists weeping. In many ways it comes down to the old life goes on thing, the evident conundrum of which we find at the heart of Auden's Funeral Blues. For whom exactly does life go on? Certainly not for the bereaved, and yet, sure enough, there it is; life going on, inevitably, with death stalking us at every turn, and at whatever remove.

There are times in our lives we might laugh at such things; there are most certainly times when we won't. We've all been there; we all will be there too. It's impossible to to a imagine life - any life - without it; a life with love at its heart becomes all the more precious. Anything vile will attract humour; from cancer to paedophilia - neither of which are laughing matters in and of themselves. The humour is by way of both containment and diminishment, much as the comics made humorous figures of Hitler and Goebbels during the war; much as folk tales do with the personification of Evil & Death into entities which we might then confront, and even defeat, although in Duncan Williamson's Death and the Nut, there is the natural order to consider!

Thus is life once more realigned; are lives are enriched by love, destroyed by loss; though we might emerge to live, and love, again. But once we're gone that's it. You're a long time dead, as they say. I wonder - maybe for those of us with no religion perhaps these things take on a slightly different hue...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:49 AM

Taste my friend, is like style, you either have it, or you don't. This thread is without doubt, by it's inception, the most tasteless thread in many a long year.

In a word: Bullshit. Please, Guest, take the time to read what this thread was initially and is actually about before contributing any more sanctimonious crap like this; God knows we're wading through enough of it here as it is. No one is glorifying in anything, least of the pain and suffering of another human being. Rather, we are pondering the mechanism that might throw up such material in circumstances as adverse (and unprecedented) as those we are experiencing with respect of Jade Goody's celebrity demise. It is there; it is current; it is folklore - in its pertinence it tells us a lot about how we deal with these things. This is what we're attempting to discuss here - as I said my opening post, in the originally tiled Folklore: Jade Goody Jokes - A very public celebrity death, which raises all sorts of issues & provokes all sorts of responses, but the most immediate folkloric angle is the humour...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Megan L
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:54 AM

It is good to see that the rule about no personal attacks is being so well enforced
    I'm still in the process of wondering what to do about it and still preserve the thread. Yes, it is specified in our policy that personal attacks are not allowed. The way of dealing with personal attacks is not specified.
    At this juncture, I would like to remind everyone that personal attacks are still not allowed, and neither are anonymous posts.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:00 PM

That was my post SS, and I'm sure that as this thread is above the line, GUEST posts are allowed.
I suppose if you don't agree with the poster of course. Then you can delete it anyway.
You can go to whatever length you like SS, you can scream and shout and jump up and down. The thread as originally titled was in poor taste, even ghoulish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:01 PM

Damn, they done deleted the post to which I was responding!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:06 PM

LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:17 PM

That was my post SS, and I'm sure that as this thread is above the line, GUEST posts are allowed.
I suppose if you don't agree with the poster of course. Then you can delete it anyway.
You can go to whatever length you like SS, you can scream and shout and jump up and down. The thread as originally titled was in poor taste, even ghoulish.


I don't have the power to delete posts, Giok - that's Mudcat policy regardless, but I'll quote you complete here just in case that gets deleted too, which I doubt it will now that you've identified yourself.

Otherwise, I'm not screaming, shouting or indeed jumping up and down; nor, indeed, am I wriggling. The thread was not in poor taste, nor even ghoulish - rather it was jumped on by an unthinking mob of the Emotionally Correct who let their caring hearts overrule their heads, seeing only what they wanted to see; but such is the way of the righteous. We, as a society, respond collectively and spontaneously to such matters, although it wasn't until last Monday night that I heard my first Jade Goody Joke, in a very folky context I might add, and told by one of my favourite ever storytellers. See my OP for the gist of it, which stuck me as warmly affectionate with an element of the believable in there too, underlying the imminence of a very tragic loss. We're in the middle of something quite unique here, and I find that as genuinely fascinating as I do deeply moving.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:27 PM

>>The thread as originally titled was in poor taste, even ghoulish.
<<

Agreed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 01:19 PM

We're in the middle of something quite unique here

We were in the middle of something quite unique after Madeleine McCann went missing and people were sacked for making jokes about her.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 01:49 PM

I'm not saying you deleted it SS. Perhaps I could have phrased my post better, but I would have hoped the punctuation would have been clear enough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 01:52 PM

As I said before though, Guest posts are allowed above the line, we have been told that several times. So if the over eager clone had left it alone, after checking who posted it really [which they can do] then the misunderstanding would not have arisen. :)

GUEST, Giok, that is a mistatement of the policy, as you know. Even above the line, anonymous posts from "GUESTS" should have a consistent identity. The use of double ID's is not allowed, which is what was done in this case. There are exceptions to this rule, in which reasonable latitude is allowed. For example if using one's real identity would cause them real jeopardy or embarassment. That is not the same as saying you can just do it anytime you want. The other exception would be where it is very clear that a music/information request is from someone who obviously has surfed in and made a request, unknowing of the rules.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:19 PM

oops, I'm sooooooooo sorry, I forgot to put my name in the little box.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: GUEST,dulcimerjohn
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM

sees this subject and thinks of last scene of 'Meaning of Life'...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 04:33 PM

Always look on the bright side of life
di dum di dum di dum di dum


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM

LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:18 PM

Personally, I have never hear or read a Goody Joke - I have no intention of ever doing so...however, I really like this thread.

It would be interesting to look into enlisted men's songs in the field from the Gulf region's last twenty years. There should be some classics floating around.

Found in war songs - (a rock-climber's version is somewhere)

GORY GORY - Several versions are in the DT

Gory gory. what a terrible way to die
And he ain't gonna jump no more

He jumped without a parachute from forty thousand feet (3X)
But he ain't gonna jump no more.

They scraped him off the tarmac like a dollop of strawberry jam (3X)
And he ain't...

They spread him on a postcard and hey sent him home to Mum (3X)
'Cause he ain't...

BELLS OF HELL - in the DT WWI song

The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you and not for me;
For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling
Death has no threats for me.

Oh death where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling
Oh grave, thy victory?
The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you and not for me.

The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me:
And the little devils how they sing-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:19 PM

Spirit-My Heart Will Go On


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM

Somme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM

Anonymous GUEST posts above the line are left alone unless the poster's being argumentative.

On the subject of gallows humor, I once had to read someone a comment that had been deleted, which I had noted before it had been zapped. It was Rick Fielding, and someone was snarking about his imminent demise (which wasn't all that imminent at the time). I knew he liked that sort of humor, and he really didn't understand why the comment got deleted. I figure it was more for the sensitive souls who weren't Rick and who would have been terribly offended on his behalf.

I guess something can be not such a big deal to the subject and offend the crap out of other people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:03 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPW9siuSfoU


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM

Villan, I really enjoyed that video when you linked it on the other thread. I'm listening to it now and then I'm going to favourite it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:12 PM

Glad you like it eanjay. Such a lovely sad song. By one of the best songwriters who sadly is no longer with us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:20 PM

Our Cyril wrote some cracking songs.... RIP good man!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:24 PM

Cyril Tawney was my main Icon in the late 60's together with Martyn Wyndham-Read.
I never (sadly) got him up here to Lincolnshire, but learn't my lesson and got MWR up here and will do again in November.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Emma B
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 08:06 PM

A friend inadvertantly sang Keith Marsden's wonderful 'The Funeral song' when I had just returned from my father's funeral

What lovely 'therapy' amongst grief


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:01 PM

Thanks for the link, EmmaB.

Villan, that is a beautiful song and video. Wow...tears. Thank you!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 02:03 AM

Don't know what happened but I guess I like to lie below some Mudcatters twice.

Iconoblast - from the past

Isn't Marde-Gra the same sort of thing - and the Mexican "Day of the Dead?" Today's USANewsweek Magazine March 16, 2009 had two separate articles ... one on death and Goody, the other on dying and American Funeral practices.

If anyone cares to check - Shakespeare has wonderful ironic humor on death...from Mercutio (very very funny fellow) in Romeo and Juliet to of course Hamlet where everyone dies...to King Lear ....and then branch over to Mr. Gay and the "Begger Opera" ... any country that digs up their dead to hang them for public display on the Tryburn Tree...has to have a sense of morbidity. I am beginning to believe it is only the Yank's senses that have been offended. Newsweek commented that they doubt the Goody video show will cross the pond.

I was looking for the "rock climber's song" which has a line "send you home in a body bag" and stumbled upon this DT gem that thumb's its nose at Hollywood's John Wayne movie hit about Vietnam Heroes.

Sorry that Mudcat does not connect into internal posting at the moment - so look under "send you home" for the full detail.

SPECIAL FORCES SONG

Bird shit falling from the sky,
These are men who jump and cry.
One hundred men will shit today,
And wipe their ass with a green beret.

Singing this song in 1969 at Texas A&M - could you imagine the reaction?

Still looking for "Body Bag" done to the tune of Camptown Races

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 02:46 AM

Bugger... pipped at the post.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 03:30 AM

Kat
Glad you enjoyed that one. Has been one of my favourites for ages.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/dis
From: Gervase
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 03:50 AM

Sick?
If you look back over his contributions to a lot of threads, he is genuinely interested in the folklore of the macabre, and has a lot to offer on the subject.
To dismiss him with a veiled 'fuck off' is the equivalent of the Victorian habit of pretending that sex and prostitution didn't exist and censuring those who dared mention it. You can't just put your fingers in your ears and go 'la la la' and expect something will go away.
I think the first macabre joke I heard was when the heiress Lesley Whittle was kidnapped and murdered back in the Seventies; along the lines of "What's green and hangs down drains."
Of course it goes back further than that. Heard the phrase "Sweet Fanny Adams"? That was a sailor's joke about their tinned beef, referring to a young girl who was murdered and butchered in the 19th century. And I'm sure there are plenty of earlier examples.
Had the internet existed in Victorian times, there would doubtless have been people furiously posting their protests at the horrible disrespect shown to Fanny's family by those horrible brutes who dared mock her grisly end!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 04:21 AM

OK
Like some others, I will bow out from here to stop any further issues.
Enjoy yourselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 05:43 AM

The lion has been sated
The vultures have ripped and torn, yet still they hover
The jackals have, as is their wont, run in had a nip and tear, then gone to hide.
Leaving only the bare bones and rotting pieces of flesh.
Time for the maggots to appear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: melodeonboy
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM

The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out etc..........!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 06:58 AM

A real piece of Gallows Humour concerns Michael Curry, who, in September 1739, was hung in Newcastle for the murder of the landlord of The Three Horse Shoes in Northumberland. His body was then gibbeted at the coast within sight of his crime at a place known to this day as Curry's Point. A blue plaque records the events - (see Here).

A local folktale records that two travellers were making their way from Blyth to Shields by an intermittent moonlight one stormy night later that same autumn. As the road takes them near the place where the rotting corpse hangs, their talk, quite naturally, turns to Curry.
'A bad night even for a corpse,' says one.
'And I don't suppose he'll be getting much by the company,' said the other.
'Unless you go and ask him how he's doing,' says one.
'I'll do it for a guinea,' says the other.
So off the goes, taking the long road round as indicated by his friend, who, being a local man, takes the shorter route across the moor, where he shins up the gallows and waits for his companion, all the while trying not to be overly concerned by the presence of the stinking corpse swinging beneath him.
After a while, up comes the other.
'How are doing there, Curry?' he asks, holding up his lanthorn to illuminate the grisly scene.
And, to his horror, back comes the reply: 'Fine, lad, fine - though it's gey cowld hingin here wi thi storm comin on. You wadn't be gi'en us a len' o yer clout wad ye?'
Needless to say the hapless traveller took to his heels and didn't stop running until he reached their lodging in Shields, where, of course, he was surprised to find his companion, who'd arrived some time before him, equally as white as a winding sheet, fortifying body and soul with a drop of the finest the house had to offer.

In some versions of the story the supernatural element is removed, but, as a kid I always preferred this one.

For another element to this see:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=52123&messages=37#2244288


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 08:29 AM

That is a ghost story, or a folk tale, and not gallows humour.
A gibbet was used for the display of dead bodies, not a gallows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 10:06 AM

That is a ghost story, or a folk tale, and not gallows humour.
A gibbet was used for the display of dead bodies, not a gallows.


Gallows Humour is defined as humour that makes unpleasant things, such as death, seem funny - I don't suppose a gallows is in any way mandatory, though in the example I give it is about a man who was hung (from a gallows) for murder on the Town Moor in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and his body later displayed in an iron gibbet, which was then hung, I believe, from, at the very least, a gallows-like structure and very often an actual gallows, though according to the OED, a gibbet was originally synonymous with gallows, but in later use signifying an upright post with projecting arm from which the bodies of criminals were hung in chains or irons after execution.

In any case, it's a grisly tale arising from an immediate and entirely historical circumstance. I'm told it was noted by antiquarians at the time and may well have been considered as being in poor taste by the more refined and caring members of 18th century society. Plus ça change.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 10:35 AM

The Gibbet in Halifax [ still here ] was similar to the French guillotine, most people know it through the old saying ' from Hull, Hell and Halifax, good lord deliver us '

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Emma B
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 02:00 PM

A link to the Halifax gibbet

A Daleman's Litany

It's hard when fowks can't finnd their wark
Wheer they've bin bred an' born;
When I were young I awlus thowt
I'd bide 'mong t' roots an' corn.
But I've bin forced to work i' towns,
So here's my litany:
Frae Hull, an' Halifax, an' Hell,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

When I were courtin' Mary Ann,
T' owd squire, he says one day:
"I've got no bield(1) for wedded fowks;
Choose, wilt ta wed or stay?"
I couldn't gie up t' lass I loved,
To t' town we had to flee:
Frae Hull, an' Halifax, an' Hell,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

I've wrowt i' Leeds an' Huthersfel',
An' addled(2) honest brass;
I' Bradforth, Keighley, Rotherham,
I've kept my barns an' lass.
I've travelled all three Ridin's round,
And once I went to sea:
Frae forges, mills, an' coalin' boats,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

I've walked at neet through Sheffield loans,(3)
'T were same as bein' i' Hell:
Furnaces thrast out tongues o' fire,
An' roared like t' wind on t' fell.
I've sammed up coals i' Barnsley pits,
Wi' muck up to my knee:
Frae Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

I've seen grey fog creep ower Leeds Brig
As thick as bastile(4) soup;
I've lived wheer fowks were stowed away
Like rabbits in a coop.
I've watched snow float down Bradforth Beck
As black as ebiny:
Frae Hunslet, Holbeck, Wibsey Slack,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

But now, when all wer childer's fligged,(5)
To t' coontry we've coom back.
There's fotty mile o' heathery moor
Twix' us an' t' coal-pit slack.
And when I sit ower t' fire at neet,
I laugh an' shout wi' glee:
Frae Bradforth, Leeds, an Huthersfel',
Frae Hull, an' Halifax, an' Hell,
T' gooid Lord's delivered me!

you tube link


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
From: Emma B
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 02:12 PM

forgot to add - A Daleman's Litany is attributed to Frederic William Moorman (1872 - 1919) a professor of English at Leeds University and printed in "Songs of the Ridings"

He compiled several books of traditional Yorkshire stories and poems, some in the Yorkshire dialect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 June 6:05 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.