Who's a funny boy?
At one point or another, you've probably had the pleasure of meeting one of those people who at a certain point during a funny conversation stops you in your tracks and says "sorry, but I find that offensive."
In most cases such people go on to explain that they are not offended for themselves but for someone else who is not even in the room – perhaps they're offended for all the blacks in the street, or for all the women in Afghanistan; perhaps they're offended for all the people who died in the war, or all the blondes in the world who get picked on so often - point is, they'll stop the laughter, they'll stop the fun and giggles, to inform you that they've just been offended for someone else.
I find this annoying, to say the least, because I take humour very seriously, in fact when I first started writing, back in 1995, I wanted to offer something different – 'a taste of funny with a pinch of witty' I thought to myself - and for a while I refused to write in any other style if not that.
I kept it up for a while, but believe me it wasn't easy. You see, as any comic writer will tell you, getting funny right is damn hard, and with one small slip of balance you could send out a whole different message to the one you intended. This is why I strongly believe that the ability to be funny indicates at least some level of intelligence, and this is also why I'm so surprised when our robotic politicians demonstrate some form of it.
What's interesting however, is that whilst politicians, especially in Malta, do not seem to have a humorous bone in their body and, prefer to clog up our already stifled courts with useless libel cases, political humour in our society is rife.
So whilst funny politicians are as rare a find as honest ones, given the height of our society's political humour, I'd be tempted to say that humourless politicians must be the funniest.
Unfortunately though, election time is also peak season for offence-takers.
During this time it's not just the editor or the publishing house who get to decide what can be published and what not, but also anyone who can claim to have had their feelings hurt.
But isn't it time that we noticed that there are some real crimes out there? Real crimes like murder, rape, domestic violence, and thefts? Aren't these better suited for police attention, than the insult victims who never grow up?
I'm regularly offended by ugly old men trying to chat me up, I'm also offended by foul smelling construction workers who don't keep their distance, I'm offended by sad sales people who act like they're doing me a favour by taking my money. Most of all I'm offended by public figures who act like over-sensitive gits and waste our police and court's time over frivolous libel and 'insult' cases. Should I get the state to punish them perhaps ?
So please dear politicians, do us all a favour, preferably before you start knocking on our doors pleading for votes, go out and get yourselves some thick skin and make sure to wear them before the race gets any rougher.