What is a joke?

EirenistEirenist Shipmate
A UKIP candidate in the EU elections here is in trouble for saying he 'wouldn't even rape' a named woman politician. He says the remark was a joke.
I always thought a joke was supposed to be funny. In what way is this humorous?

Comments

  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    It may qualify as a joke, given that humour is subjective and some people may well be amused by his comment. However, if I may take this on a tangent, what calling something a joke does not do is detract from or lessen in degree any other qualities a statement might have.

    The Police have certainly failed to see the funny side of his comments.
  • Are we talking about humour and why it works, or this guy's comment?

    (You might conclude from that, that in my view the two things are pretty orthogonal).
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Most "jokes" like this are veiled threats. I see no humor at all in it.
  • Kick him out.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    I think that there should be a lot of leeway in what counts as a joke -- if you are a comedian. Stand-up is a high wire act, where one often falls flat when attempting a risky bit of humor that just plain fails to be humorous. The audience has tacitly bought into the risk of the comedian failing and being nothing but offensive when they bought their tickets. Or so ISTM.
    However, on this side of the pond, our POTUS is prone to making appeals to the prejudices of his supporters and often gets caught on camera being overtly racist/sexist/{your favorite "ist" here}, then claiming that he was making a joke.
    First, his hatred was clearly not a joke in the first place. And second, even if he were attempting to be witty, there is no free pass for hate speech outside a comedy venue.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    tclune wrote: »
    there is no free pass for hate speech outside a comedy venue.

    :notworthy:
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    or inside a comedy venue either. I agree that standup is tough stuff, but there is a line in most of our countries, and it is a legal one.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    That statement is just like putting hateful comments on Facebook followed by a winking emoticon. No the winking face, or saying it was a joke actually makes the hate worse.

    However, it is a UKIP candidate, so I am not surprised.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Jokes have two components: the structure (there aren’t many structures) and the content. This remark had the structure of a joke but none of the content: it made an offensive comment in a sexist context, which is just about as low as you can get.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    balaam wrote: »
    ... However, it is a UKIP candidate, so I am not surprised.
    Quite so.

    ISTM that if the police are (rightly) taking it seriously, shouldn't his candidature be suspended while they investigate? And if he's convicted of a crime, will he still be eligible to stand?
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Presuming there are women in UKIP, have any of them spoken out about this man's comment?
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    sionisais wrote: »
    Jokes have two components: the structure (there aren’t many structures) and the content. This remark had the structure of a joke but none of the content: it made an offensive comment in a sexist context, which is just about as low as you can get.
    There's also something about punching down vs punching up in there.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Surely there has to be some element of wit?
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