Monday, April 14, 2008

Back to blog talkers

I've not done a blog talkers for far too long, though I always look over the questions I've not really engaged with them, but its time to get back into the swing of things, as I seem to be getting sorted generally at the moment!

So here is blog talkers number 68.

Time for another writing prompt. Please interpret this any way you wish. Here are some questions to help you get started:

Joke. What is a joke to you? What do you find funny? Do you appreciate a good practical joke, or do you think practical jokes are cruel? What is the best joke you’ve ever played on someone. What is the best joke you’ve ever heard?

Years ago I was the editor of the AOCM magazine, an annual magazine for Ordinands which someone takes on for one year and basically takes responsibility for compiling and producing the magazine and writing an editorial. I don't think I did a great job, the editor from the year before had arranged a number of excellent articles for me and I simply put them into a magazine and got it sent out to the Theological colleges. I really don't remember what I managed to arrange for the following year when I handed it on, but I am sure I didn't do half the job that my predecessor did. Anyway, enough confessional, on to the the blog talkers subject!

I did enjoy writing the editorial for the AOCM magazine that year, which took as its basis 'Does humour belong in religion?' - a play on Frank Zappa's immortal question 'does humor belong in music?'. The answer is obviously (to my mind) 'yes' - there should also be lots of room for truth, love, hope, faith, compassion, grace, peace, patience, gentleness, self-control and much more. Jesus himself was funny, he said things to make people laugh and think at the same time again, he exaggerated for effect in order to crack open our facades and self importance and 'propriety' and make people engage with the depth and breadth and height of the love of God, a love that is bigger than our minds and hearts could ever comprehend.

But I'm getting carried away. Yes I love jokes, I love humour, but I don't go for obscene humour (rude I can cope with, and it's not about prudishness, more that i just don't find extreme stuff very funny) nor do I go for humour which is spiteful or vicious - jokes about public figures are fine, celebs and politicians, but those which laugh at people for being different, or those who find themselves in the news through no fault of their own don't really do it for me. Likewise I loathe practical jokes, anything which makes someone look or feel bad just to make onesself feel superior or clever just seem like a weak attempt at self-satisfaction and smack of smuggery really.

Hmmm, the above paragraph does make me look like a humourless prig, but I promise I'm not like that. I love jokes which make us laugh at the craziness of the world, jokes which celebrate the absurdity of life, jokes which open our eyes, minds and hearts, jokes which celebrate life and diversity, jokes which make us laugh at ourselves, jokes which remind us of joy in our tragedies, jokes which break down pretentiousness, jokes which remind us we aren't as clever, or cool, as we think we are, jokes which are just funny.

I really love slightly odd humour, stuff which takes you in a direction you don't expect to go, my two favourite jokes are by a UK comedian called Milton Jones firstly a religious one which is very true:
'Why are churches and helicopters the same? - people avoid them as they don't want to get sucked in by the rotors!' You might need to say that out loud to get it! If you don't, then you haven't experience the joy of small rural churches....

Secondly, another Milton, 'My grandfather got ill so my grandmother greased his back with goose fat - after that he went downhill very quickly'


now i've just confirmed how sad i really am. Have a great day everyone, and remember to laugh!


Dr.John said...

A fairly good preacher I heared once said. First you get them laughing and then while they are laughing hit them with the truth.
At United we used to celebrate the Sunday after Easter as laugh at the Devil Sunday. People brought in religious jokes all year long. I put them all together and we had a great time. In the midst of it all the good news of God's love in Christ got preached.

Tomas Karkalas said...

... let me add you to my blogroll on
Thank you.

Naomi said...

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone", so the saying goes Alastair. Life's far too short to be miserable. I had a laugh last night watching Bremner, Bird and Fortune. It was so funny! It always makes me laugh!