Comedy

In a dictatorship it is normally a serious crime to ridicule a dictator. They take special offence at it. Often such a crime is punished by many years in a prison. Gaddafi’s prisons were full of people who had expressed mild disapproval of him. For others it has been worse. Dictators have statues of themselves erected.

Comedy is often a mild expression of shadenfreude. We are laughing at those less fortunate than ourselves maybe. Maybe we are laughing at ourselves. The poor, the helpless, the elderly, the mentally infirm. All these people have suffered ridicule at the hands of comedy. They are the butt of comedians. Comedy makes light of their suffering.

There has been a comedy about London buses, spies, holiday camps, office work, factory work, name it & someone has laughed at it. Are we laughing with the characters or against them? Are we ridiculing people or showing sympathy for them. Comedy relies on stereotypes; it doesn’t seek redemption.

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