Mudcat Café message #2587830 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #118593   Message #2587830
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
13-Mar-09 - 05:36 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease
Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
It's OK, Goatfell, the guy has recognised his error and apologised very graciously. Let's leave it at that, and let this one drop out?

My only error in starting this thread was to suppose people would have the nous to approach the subject with dispassionate objectivity deserving of a genuine folkloric phenomenon. In this alone I was sorely mistaken, for which I have been accused of trolling, called an evil bastard, and condemned to hell. And there I was thinking I was in the company of rational human beings.

How many people can there be in the world today whose lives haven't been touched, or else torn apart, by cancer? I've lost count of the close relatives and good friends whom I've lost to the Big-C - which any one of us might get at any time in our lives. Cancer and death are no strangers to me - likewise Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Heart Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, and Knife Crime; all of which have taken family & loved ones from me.

I say again, the intention here was not to laugh at cancer nor at those suffering from it, rather to collect and study a phenomenon of oral folkloric narrative which is an inevitable response to the current media circus. Folklore is not just about the quaint things in life, like Cheese Rolling and Morris Dancing; it emerges from the real hopes and fears of real people living real lives by way of a very real & potent catharsis. These narratives - jokes if you will - function by way of a genuine collective confrontation in which the very things that afflict us are reduced, personified and dealt with by way of ritual drama, however so droll. The humour, however, is a veneer, and the laughter all too grim, belying as it does a deeper sense of kindred affinity which extends even unto the person in question, who by her celebrity life and dying has provided a sharper focus for those common fears than would have been the case otherwise.

As with Princess Diana, our collective hearts will inevitably be broken; and, manipulated or not, our grief for the tragic and untimely passing of Jade Goody will be no less real because of it.