How society views satire…or not…
‘Dinosaurs’, ‘Millennial Snowflakes’, ‘Liberal Lefties‘; all names associated with both sides of the ‘right to offend‘ argument which has grown and grown in recent years. We are increasingly fed stories of how offended someone is about a name or an identity which, in previous decades would have been widely accepted and rubber stamped as ‘the norm’. But how widespread is this given we live in the digital age in which Twitter is used as the yardstick above all others to gauge public opinion?
Personally I am not so sure the majority are as offended as some would have us believe, we all have our own sense of what is appropriate and what is not and in the interests of the preservation of free speech we must maintain some sense of level headed discourse.
Back in the sixties MAD magazine published cartoons and spoof adverts which came very close to the mark, the magazine appealed to all ages and much of its humour will have been lost on its younger audience but as I looked through some of my collection I found this particular ‘advert’.
So how, I wonder, would this fare today? For me it isn’t funny and it is in poor taste but I would not suggest banning the publication. I grew up with 1970s humour and workplaces which lacked any kind of offence filter so perhaps my tolerance of such things is somewhat higher and with that comes a sense of concern at how we approach satire in all of its forms.
The majority of new comedy I find distinctly unfunny, not in an offensive way, it just isn’t funny and so I avoid it. As media outlets became less troubled by broadcasting foul language so the use of it increased to, I presume, make the joke funnier. I am far from prudish but if a comedian has to consistently revert to swearing then that says more about the comedian than it does my tolerance and again, I steer clear of that comedian’s radar.
I believe it is the job of parents and teachers to set the moral code somewhere in the middle. There is an increasing risk of young people becoming too sensitive to too many situations and so the balance between good taste and being virtuously offended requires careful attention. So whilst the back of this magazine is something I do not agree with the point they make on the front cover is one in which I certainly do.
Categories: Retro Heaven