Joke cycles. We’ve all come across or taken part in them throughout our lives. There are chicken jokes, knock-knock jokes and lightbulb jokes. Remember those awful dead baby jokes? The jokes that circulated when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff in 1986? Not long after email became a ‘thing’, it took just hours (some say minutes) for jokes about Princess Diana to circulate online after her death; quickly becoming one of the most widely known joke cycles of modern times.
There are mainstream jokes, sick jokes, dark humour jokes and jokes relating to celebrities or events. Then there are the kind of jokes that are visual (memes and cartoons for example). Pranks and practical jokes. Generally we associate ‘jokes’ with fun, lightheartedness and joviality.
…which is true of course, unless you’re the subject of the joke.
Jokes are also subversive; used to mock, demean, shame and perpetuate cultural and social myths that maintain a gaping hole between ‘us and them’. Jokes about women, feminists, men, Islam, Judaism, asylum seekers, the LGBTQI community, indigenous people, British people, fat people, skinny people, Catholics, the Irish, blonde jokes, greenie jokes, redhead and redneck jokes… and the list goes on. Continue reading