Misinformed, angry, coffee-addled ranting.
The below was originally written for an upcoming BBC project. I was going to hold fire on publishing it, but then Father Jack died and I figured if I left it too long the celebrities I refer to in the piece might end up buggering off as well.
My original plan, when asked to submit a piece of ‘topical’ writing, was to peruse a few news sites, pick a light-hearted story or two and then proceed to spew forth some nonsense about it, preferably with a few puns and maybe a knob joke thrown in. Surely there would be rich pickings? The comedy gods have blessed us with the glorious bounty of Donald Trump, a *ahem* pig-headed Prime Minister, laughable trendies and other assorted satirical sitting ducks. Piece of gluten-free cake, right? Then I saw the news.
It’s perfectly understandable when there’s been some great tragedy that sifting through the torrent of grief to find a few shiny nuggets of sardonic gold gleaming atop the turd pile becomes a herculean endeavour. But when there’s no one specific major event to induce that feeling of dread, and yet the overall tone of every front page clangs with the funereal thunk of The Undertaker’s entrance theme, it makes it, if anything, even harder.
It takes an especially dedicated sort of lunatic to dedicate themselves to finding the funny when there’s nowt but misery, despair and Celebrity Big Brother to occupy our time. We scour the desolate wasteland of humanity in a desperate search for any precious canisters of Mocksygen lying about, scurrying back to our lairs in an attempt to achieve that vital alchemy of wordplay that manages to find the light in the darkness without being insensitive.
But that is what we do. We humans are well trained in the art of mirth-making. It’s what separates us from the apes, that and a mild sense of shame when we fling our poop around in front of gawping schoolchildren. So many of us take it upon ourselves to respond to disaster and doom with a giggle and a gag that there surely must be some evolutionary benefit to it. Perhaps it goes back to our cavemen ancestors, who could assuage the murderous intentions of a rival pillaging clan with a well-constructed routine about how cavewomen moan when you get your muddy feet on their nice clean sabretooth rug. Or maybe it’s a more recent adaptation, with only those who could entertain their starving families with a rude limerick or two able to keep up the morale necessary to make it through whatever famine or plague was…well…plaguing them at the time.
One can only hope this is the case, because a quick skim through the internet (or a newspaper, if you’re a hipster) at the moment offers little more than a deluge of dreariness, a cavalcade of corruption and a barrage of bigotry. Celebrities are dying left, right and centre, and drastic action is needed. David Attenborough will soon be locked away in a sanitary quarantine for his own protection. Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry will be hidden in an underground bunker. A new, probably slightly depressing series of Only Fools and Horses will be commissioned, just to make sure David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst can afford to keep their heating on through the next cold snap.
Alternatively, we can take it upon ourselves to make the world around us a wee bit cheerier. Next time Donald Trump goes on one of his bigoted tirades, we should pay someone to beatbox over it so at least we can pretend he’s a terrible rapper named D-Trizzle rather than a genuine political candidate. Whenever David Cameron or George Osbourne gives a speech justifying screwing over the poor and vulnerable to keep Westminster looking extra shiny, a 5 year old should blow a big raspberry in their faces. And of course, we should make sure we keep drawing cocks on things. That’s always funny.