Mudcat Café message #2586231 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #118593   Message #2586231
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
11-Mar-09 - 05:54 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
Subject: RE: BS: Jade Goody Jokes
This thread is dedicated to the gathering & sharing of folklore arising from topical circumstance. Such material as I called for in my OP is being generated within a narrative folkloric tradition (storytelling) & personally I see that as a phenomenon very worthy of our interest and investigation.

From what I have heard thus far, these jocular narratives are not about cancer per-se, rather about a celebrity figure who has chosen to endure her illness very publicly. The spontaneous generation of such narratives are a perfectly natural response to these somewhat bizarre and unprecedented circumstances. Thus, such considerations as decency and dignity have been well and truly jettisoned by the British press in the sure hope of the inevitable outcome of a nation mourns - much as we did for Princess Diana, and as we will, no doubt, for Poor Jade. She has thus become an icon of another level of suffering, especially to those who are suffering similarly at this time. As one old lady recently remarked to me, "At least I'm dying old - not like poor Jade."

Jokes (call them what you will) are a collective response to such an emotive topicality. They effect a societal catharsis whereby we each might experience (and to a degree exorcise) our subjective vulnerability in a context which is wholly, and ceremonially, objective. Ultimately however, we must all die alone; and that is the greatest horror in the face of which our only response is laughter, especially with the media (and Jade Goody) milking it, and us, for all it's worth.

So please - either delete this thread entirely, or else accord it the seriousness it deserves by restoring it to Folklore. By placing it in the BS section you are not only trivialising the life (and death) of another human being, but the depth of emotion we are bound to feel when confronted with such a tragic and untimely demise, however so mythologised and otherwise public that demise might be.