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Folklore: Gallows Humour-laughing at death/disease

Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 09:16 AM
melodeonboy 13 Mar 09 - 09:58 AM
davyr 13 Mar 09 - 10:27 AM
Nick 13 Mar 09 - 10:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:03 AM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 11:08 AM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Mar 09 - 11:42 AM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Mar 09 - 12:38 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Crowhugger sans cookie 13 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM
Nick 13 Mar 09 - 01:49 PM
John MacKenzie 13 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM
MartinRyan 13 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Jayto 13 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
Will Fly 13 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 02:50 PM
Paul Burke 13 Mar 09 - 02:56 PM
MartinRyan 13 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM
Joe Offer 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Giok 13 Mar 09 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,Ed 13 Mar 09 - 03:25 PM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 03:33 PM
The Villan 13 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM
Jayto 13 Mar 09 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Ed 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Mar 09 - 03:51 PM
Georgiansilver 13 Mar 09 - 04:01 PM
Big Mick 13 Mar 09 - 04:19 PM
Ed. 13 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Mar 09 - 04:27 PM
Big Mick 13 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM
Megan L 13 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM
Spleen Cringe 13 Mar 09 - 04:46 PM
jeffp 13 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM
meself 13 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Mar 09 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Giok 13 Mar 09 - 06:22 PM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM
Gervase 13 Mar 09 - 07:05 PM
katlaughing 13 Mar 09 - 07:27 PM
meself 13 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 09 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 13 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 09:16 AM

Does the phenomenon differ between cultures and religions?

Gargoyle above evidences that it is found in the USA as well as the UK.

Is it found in Jewish communities?

Is it found in other languages? My limited experience is that virtually all French humour is about cuckolding (or the indignities of sex), and virtually all German about lavatories.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: melodeonboy
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 09:58 AM

"As for either deserving to die with dignity - they chose to live their lives in the glare of publicity (both became very rich on it) and it seems to me can hardly complain if dying as they have lived. It goes with the turf, in the cult of celebrity.   Goody indeed has chosen for money reasons to die a public spectacle.   Her choice."

Quite right, Mr. Bridge. I've no sympathy either. If you stick your head up when you're in the trenches, you get it shot off!

However, I confess to not really knowing who Ms. Goody is or what she is supposed to have done/achieved for her to be considered a figure of public interest and to be foisted upon me by the media at every opportunity. My assumption is that she's a talentless publicity seeker who's out to make a bit of money.

I therefore confess my ignorance about Ms. Goody and stand to be both corrected and/or informed. One thing that I'm sure about, however, is that if you choose, for personal gain, to subject yourself to constant media scrutiny, you have to take everything that goes with it, including the possibility of ridicule and humiliation.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: davyr
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 10:27 AM

Surprised nobody's mentioned this song up to now:

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=7179


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Nick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 10:56 AM

The first instance of humour of this sort that really stands in my mind was the Aberfan disaster in 1966. If you consider that 144 people were killed (116 of them children) when the coal tip engulfed the school it was not one of the more amusing things that have happened in life.

Within days (hours?) of the disaster there were loads, and I mean, loads of jokes ("What's so good about the Aberfan coal service?" "It delivers right to the door" etc Sorry if it offends anyone it is an example).

Perhaps it is just in the nature of things of how humans deal with such enormous emotions.

Biafra, Irish hunger strikers, Space shuttle, murdered politicians - hard to find any area where such humour does not exist.

Before 9/11 happened there was a webcam on one of the Twin Towers which had some text associated with it something along the lines of 'Watch aeroplanes fly towards you' which I guess is fairly tasteless in retrospect but has a hint of gallows humour about it. I only know this as I tried to access it when the disaster happen just in case it was still working and have a screenshot of it somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:03 AM

And the classic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYlA4q1IcB0

Look at the coffin - bloomin' great handles...

Now there's a thought; last thing I ever want to end up in is a conventional coffin. We passed a shop in North Shields recently called Way To Go which offers a range of alt-caskets, one a very fetching wickerwork structure which would grace any modern home, until the time came, of course, which it must for us all...

My own funeral wish; a secular cremation, no fuss, no prayers, no priest - one record: McGintie's Meal an' Ale sung by Davie Stewart. After which, I want my ashes reburned (just to make sure) at the furthest ebb of a low tide in a fire of oak, ash and thorn; and when the tide turns, it'll wash the lot away. Preferably up in Northumberland, in Howick Haven, but Fleetwood would do nicely.

How about you???


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:08 AM

As for either deserving to die with dignity - they chose to live their lives in the glare of publicity (both became very rich on it) and it seems to me can hardly complain if dying as they have lived. It goes with the turf, in the cult of celebrity.   Goody indeed has chosen for money reasons to die a public spectacle.   Her choice.

Just because someone chose to live that way does NOT mean we have to jump on the bandwagon to put them down etc. when they are in dire straits. As I said before, referencing the article in wiki with Joe posted the link to, she has withdrawn from public life. Leave her alone.

Your statement reminds me of the chauvinstic "she asked for it" when referring to a rape victim. It is some kind of sick justification for slagging off on someone less fortunate than oneself.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM

One of those "death is not taboo" threads from 2001: What Song do you want for your funeral


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:14 AM

These are better:

The Barmy Brothers : Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead - Part 1

The Barmy Brothers : Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead - Part 2

*

Hey, Joe - about giving humour an English spelling??
    Oops! I meant to. Sorry 'bout that. It's fixed now.
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM

Just because someone chose to live that way does NOT mean we have to jump on the bandwagon to put them down etc. when they are in dire straits. As I said before, referencing the article in wiki with Joe posted the link to, she has withdrawn from public life. Leave her alone.

I agree completely, but the intention of this thread was never to laugh at Jade Goody rather to report on the folkloric phenomenon arising from her very public death. For the record, I am deeply alarmed by some of the comments that have made about Jade on this & other threads; personally, I think she's an absolute star (she won my heart by providing some canny foil for Avid Merion on the often inspired Bo Selecta* many years ago) and of course, all too human. If we do see the wayside shrines appearing after her passing, as they did after the death of Diana, I will be lighting a candle, as I did to Diana too.

Is this just a working-class thing I wonder? Our hearts getting the better of our heads? I dare say most of the jokes are working-class too; but the ones who are laughing will also be the ones weeping when the time comes. Respect.

* For those who don't know,and entirely in keeping with the thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXILMn7fk7g


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM

Katlaughing - "She has withdrawn from public life" - you are having a laugh, no? This is your Jade Goody joke?

Melodeonboy -
She came to "fame" by exposing her vagina to the cameras in "Big Brother" with immortal words "Oops, I just got out me kebab". I forget exactly how but she confirmed the impression given by displaying spectacular ignorance about matters of fact politics and geography (and indeed, every time she opened he mouth, speech habits).

She reinforced the impression on a later "Big Brother" by referring to Silpa Sheti (not sure I have the name quite right) as "Silpa Poppadom" and a remark to the effect of "You may be the Queen of Sheba where you come from..."

For some reason (I cannot imagine what) the press seemed fascinated with her, and without any merit or virtue she managed to remain in the public eye and become undeservedly rich on the proceeds.

How different from the home life of our own dear Queen (NB that is a quote). In comparison Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies and Pamella Bordes were models of propriety (and a lot more decorative).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:42 AM

She came to "fame" by exposing her vagina to the cameras in "Big Brother" with immortal words "Oops, I just got out me kebab". I forget exactly how but she confirmed the impression given by displaying spectacular ignorance about matters of fact politics and geography (and indeed, every time she opened he mouth, speech habits).

All of which just serves to make her more endearing. Jade's the ultimate girl-next-door, certainly for estate-born louts like myself who've known dozens like her - bawdy, boozy, flawed, yet possessed of a brilliant life-force rarely found elsewhere. How sad it is that that life-force will soon be no longer with us; it'll be a darker world without her for sure.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 12:38 PM

How I'd like to go...?

A shroud, and buried beneath an apple tree sapling.

I'd like a piece of rough hewn stone sunk beside it. Because one of the things I love about graveyards is the symbiosis that occurs between plants and trees and old graves - where they 'grow' together and subtly shift and 'lean' over time. The apple, the yew and the willow are my favourite trees, but I love the apple best. Plus anyone who years later, might visit the 'grave' would have their lunch sorted...

As for the rest, an outdoors wake. Hopefully with plenty of 'sex and drugs and rock and roll', weather permitting of course...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:25 PM

Well, it seems I was wrong. Someone did like Jade Goody. In that case I don't understand why the mordant edge that makes death jokes funny is missing. Maybe it's me, in that I think she had no redeeming feature whatsoever, which is why no insult to her death has any "Oh No!" factor for me, hence no need to avoid the pain hence no laugh. Whereas Diana the Martyr I also disliked intensely, but I know that many unaccountably idolised her. So I reacted to their shock as I inferred it to be .

As for my own death, it seems to me that my corpse would be rather a nuisance (even more than I am in life), so I'd rather it was got rid of as cheaply as possible. No sense in wasting money. I have no major lifetime accomplishments to commemorate (I nearly had, but that was another story). Wakes and so on are for the living.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Crowhugger sans cookie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM

This is the first thread in years that has really piqued my interest; it's so long since I felt inclined to post I can't even recall my password. (Yes, I'll go track it down thru' proper channels.) But for now:

My favourite gallows humour these days is Les Barker's "Have You Got Any News of the Iceberg?"

Time is a good shock absorber; I'm sure that 80 years ago it wouldn't have been so easy to laugh and cry at the same time about the Titanic.

The best-received song in one particular retirement home gig was "Please Don't Bury Me." Go figure.

ch.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Nick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:49 PM

Richard I find myself agreeing with you much too much

Diana's death I found bizarre. A public outpouring of emotion that was so far out of line with the importance of the person or the meaning. A bit too Bambi for me. On the morning she died I remember waking up and hearing the news on the radio. The radio was totally taken over for about three days where nothing else could be discussed seemingly. People yearned to race to London or wherever to place flowers and be (seen to be?) a part of this public outpouring of grief. Very unbritish, dammit. And it seemed to be like a sin to not be a part of it...

Pretty much the ooposite of dealing with it by joking about it.

I feel sorry for the manner of Jade Goody's passing as I do about all the other people that I know who are currently dying of cancer. Very few of them choose to share their death with the world - apart from for political reasons or for some sort of cause. Doing it for money seems remarkably shabby somehow and is bound to cause some raised eyebrows and comments.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM

So, because trhere have been previous examples of jokes in execrable taste, it's OK to make more?

NO IT'S NOT, it's still in bad taste.

I am not surprised to see this pop up under a different title, there is nothing Joe likes less than being proved wrong, even in the face of multiple objections.
It doesn't seem to matter how many people find it disgusting tasteless, and downright shite, if Joe doesn't think it's shite, then it stays.
I thought we all helped to keep Mudcat on the road with our contributions, financially and otherwise. Seems it don't matter a fuck.
If things stay like this, then I shan't raise another fucking penny for Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM

It doesn't seem to matter how many people find it disgusting tasteless, and downright shite, if Joe doesn't think it's shite, then it stays.
I thought we all helped to keep Mudcat on the road with our contributions, financially and otherwise. Seems it don't matter a fuck.
If things stay like this, then I shan't raise another fucking penny for Mudcat.


C'mon, John! That sounds like "When it comes to bad taste - if you can't beat 'em, fuck 'em"!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Jayto
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

I vote to leave the thread up Joe. If someone doesn't like the content voice your opinion or don't read it. If you dont like it explain why it bothers you and how you disagree. Stand your ground about how you feel. Don't shut your eyes and scream "Make it go away!" the thread may disappear but the topic won't. If Joe deletes it the topic will pop back up in another thread worded differently but the same subject. Stand up and voice your feelings but don't tell Joe to pull the cover over your eyes so the Boogie thread (like boogie man) will go away. Keep it up Joe that's my vote.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM

Jayto - my sentiments exactly - there is nothing on this earth that can't be discussed rationally and without sensation - if we're sensible.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:50 PM

Bad taste? Nothing in bad taste shall be the subject of comment, publication, or humour - is that your view John? Without jokes in bad taste there would be no humour, and taste has never been a proper ground for censorship.

The point about the habit (semingly found in the USA and UK, but my other probings about langage and religion have not drawn comment) of joking about dire adversity is that it relieves or masks the pain. The frequency or local distribution of it is something we may well study to learn about the human condition.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:56 PM

We're going to die- I'm going to die, you're going to die. For some it will be sudden and unlooked for, for others a tedious drag through pain and degradation. Others still are lucky enough for a dignified end. It's a 100% certainty that it will happen though.

So why not laugh at it, as about every other aspect of human existence? I bet there were jokes in the gulags and Nazi death camps- not the horrible playground ones that we all heard as kids, but ones expressing the ultimate futility of all human aspiration, and reconciling oneself to it, and thus ennobling it in a small and local way.

In English folk song, the John o'Greenfield song that McColl bastardised as the four loom weaver- a song looking death by starvation in the face and laughing. McPherson's hanging. Even the hurrah for the next man that dies.

Laugh at death, laugh at cancer, laugh at cholera. Even laugh at English cricket if you must. That's not the same as laughing at the victims.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM

True gallows humour, of course, is "The Night before Larry was stretched".

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM

"bawdy, boozy, flawed, yet possessed of a brilliant life-force"

Amen to that! It gets on my tits when working class women especially, are despised for being nothing other than the creatures that they are. In an age where a girl is supposed to be skinny, smart, savvy and all the rest in order to be deemed 'worthy' - and worthy of what exactly? To be studied, examined and judged by those very same leeches who make their living off of others backs.

I like pragmatic working class women, who determindly choose to eschew 'nice' societies fucking hypocrytical bullshit. 'Die in decency' my arse! She should bleed the media of every penny that her short life has thus far been prostituted to (for good or ill) in order to gratify others prurient voyouristic peccadillos.

I raise a friday night pints salutation to bawdy common girls, bad taste and kebabs...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM

OK, I confess. I have a son who leads a punk rock band, and is a devout follower of the Sex Pistols and the Dead Kennedys. He's been writing shocking lyrics for twenty years, and people have often demanded to know why I allow him to write such lyrics - he never asked my permission. In the early years, I was the primary person he was trying to shock. He got tired of trying to shock me after a while, because I assumed a catatonic posture in the presence of his music. But there must be something in the essence of shock in entertainment, because there has always been a fringe element in entertainment whose primary purpose was to shock. Rap and hip-hop lyrics also work hard to maintain a high shock value.

Back in the 1970's, there was a rash of "dead baby head" jokes, talking about using pitchforks to move them around or using them as bowling balls.

Then there was the stink about the art exhibition that featured a crucifix in a glass full of urine.

The Berlin cabarets of the 1920's were known for their shocking performances.

So, the Jade Goody jokes are nothing new - they're just the latest iteration of something that seems to have gone on forever. I read a hundred of them last night. Most were just crude, and very few were clever or had any intellectual appeal. The Celebrity Most Haunted joke at the beginning of this thread, was the one that seemed closest to cleverness.

So, just what is this phenomenon, and what is the logic behind it?

-Joe-

As somebody once said, "I may hate what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:13 PM

Oh goody


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:25 PM

Common shortly after John Lennon died:

How do you fit the Beatles and George Martin into a mini?
Two in the front, two in the back and Lennon in the ashtray!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:33 PM

No, Richard, as I am sure you know, it was not a fucking joke:

On 5 March 2009, Jade Goody requested to be christened from her bed at the Royal Marsden Hospital;[104] on 7 March she and her sons were christened.[105] Clifford confirmed that this would be Goody's last public appearance, and that she had already said her goodbyes to her family. He stated, "We're hoping and praying that Jade pulls through, but the fact of the matter is that she now only has a short time to live."[104] He also confirmed that doctors had said the next 24 hours were crucial to assessing how long it will be before she dies, but that she had only a very short time left regardless. Her husband Jack Tweed was allowed to extend his curfew so he could spend a final night with his wife before she said her final goodbyes to her family.

She is done with her public life, leave her alone.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: The Villan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM

hear hear Kat.

Maybe some of you hard hearted bastards want to say some lovely jokes about my Autistic daughter who is inconsolable at the moment because her Mom is in Holland at the moment. She can't handle it. Something that i can laugh about.

Go on you bastards have a go, including you Joe.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Jayto
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:46 PM

If someone chooses to make thier private life public they are opening thier self to ridicule as much as praise. All of these reality stars show everything about thier life just to get fame or infamy. Whoring thier lives and families life out to the public for a paycheck and fame. I feel for her family and hate it that she came down with cancer. She made herself public though so good or bad people can say what they want to say about her or any public reality type they want. I don't want to sound harsh but c'mon they spend their lives screaming "Look at me Look at me!" Well they did and are still looking. I am not familiar with this woman. I have never even heard of her until today. Death is sad and I believe in showing respect to the family. I wonder though did she show respect for the families privacy? Do any of the reality stars?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM

Kat,

I'm sorry but with all due respect, living on the other side of the Atlantic, you don't quite appreciate what's going on.

Jade chose to live by the media and die by the media, all for personal financial gain. Why should she be left alone?

I have no interest in her story and and am fed up with seeing her on the news stand. I've almost got to a place where I hope she dies so I won't have to endure any more headlines....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM

I must say that I am disapointed in those old stalwarts that cannot see that is a quintessiential Mudcat thread. Over the years one of the hallmarks of the Mudcat is that it would pick the scabs, and allow a snapshot of the human condition in all its glory, all of its irreverance,and all of its underbelly, as well. Relax, oldtimers. This is nothing more than another look at a leaf in the book.

The Irish have long made jokes, music, customs, and commentary that others would consider morbid, or not in good taste. I have heard it said by elders that this had to do with the fact that life was so tenuous for them, that things like wakes, jokes, and songs that might be considered poor form by some, was simply a way to laugh in the face of the only certainty we know of...... that we will die, and often at the choosing of things out of our control.

There should not even be a discussion of closing this thread. Joe is exactly correct to leave it open. And to those that would choose to reject Mudcat, or raising funds for it, I would say it has been a pleasure to know you, and a shame that you cannot see a little above the horizon.

Leave it alone, partner Joe, and don't defend your choice. There is no need.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 03:51 PM

I once worked as a fireman, while just out of college. My first exposure to "gallows humor" was my station mates' response to having found a body in a house fire - smoking in bed was the cause. The reference was to something very popular on backdoor patios, if you get my drift.

Another time, I saw a cartoon posted on the bulletin board of a hospital pathology department. Long and short, it depicted a patient with a horror-struck look on his face having just overheard the consulting physician say, "I'm sure an exploratory procedure would be helpful, but an autopsy would be more conclusive."

People in professions that deal with death and dying on a regular basis use dark humor as a coping skill. I don't believe it is ever used to mock or demean the departed, though it may seem insensitive to outsiders.

However, for those who think of death or human suffering as a prime source of sophomoric humor, I recommend they look in the mirror and realize that, as Clint Eastwood said in "Unforgiven," "We ALL have it coming, kid."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:01 PM

It seems to me now that the 'Cat' has a profusion of sick individuals who, when many of the members are unhappy or upset about the subject of sickness and death.. seem to thrive on trying to justify their unnecessary and uncalled for comments......
Joe Offer, I am surprised at you resurrecting this thread in some feeble attempt to get folk 'onside' with you over this whole issue. You have disappointed many people over the Jade Goody issue.... I am so glad that I now have some semblance of understanding as to who the sensitive/ caring and concerned individuals are here. The rest can try to justify themselves all they like but will never win me or many others over with their manipulation.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:19 PM

Georgiansilver, you have been a very good mudcatter for a long time. But I completely disagree with your comments about the democratic nature of Mudcat. It has never been a democratic thing. We have often had threads that many did not like. But the rule is simple. If you do not like the discussion, don't be a part of it. But Max has always maintained a "hands off" on discussion topics as long as they were not a personal attack, or some sort of stalking situation, and recently we have the rule that BS topics are not allowed to be started by GUESTS.

Sorry, my friend. I have respect for you, and others who don't like this. But we are not going to allow pressure to determine the legitimacy of a thread, whether we find it distasteful or not. If Joe and I allow that now, what happens when you start a thread that many don't like, and which really doesn't violate the rules? If "they" can get this, then "they" can get you.

I find it interesting that many howl about censorship/moderators actions at the deletion of a personal attack or nasty behaviour, but think a subject they don't personally like should be deleted.

Sorry, but we aren't going there.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Ed.
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM

I just hope you don't have special needs kids or soembody who is seriously ill

I think you are really missing the point, Les.

This thread is about dealing with grief by using humour. There is no intention to trivialize grief or hurt.

It's about how we deal with the worst life can throw at us. That's my understanding anyway...

Ed


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:27 PM

Those who were/are offended by the origonal post (I was somewhat confused myself initially, until further elaboration was provided), really should read the origonal posters (Sinister Supporter) other comments on this thread, which are most certainly not in any way or shape a 'wriggling', but simply elucidation.

If there was any error as such, then IMO it lay in a possible failure to provide sufficient initial context for some of us, which if it had have been included in the initial posting, may have completely eliminated all this reaction.

For those initially offended by misunderstanding the context of the discussion, it would be very worthwhile attempting to recontextualise the issues presented in this thread, in light of further far more explanitory postings by Sinister on the matter.

Context is all...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM

A voice of reason, Rosie.....

And there is always the option to just not come back to this thread if you are just uncomfortable.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Megan L
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM

From what ive seen the best thing Max could do is get rid of moderators all together then people could say what ever they wanted whenever they wanted It would be more consistant than what we have now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:46 PM

Listen to Mick, people. He's summed it up beautifully.

Is it me or is there a couple of contingents who are stubbornly displaying an obtuse refusal to 'get' what this thread is about? Firstly, the contingent who think its about having a pop at St Jade and think that's a good thing (and in the process revealing more about their own snobbery than about anything else). Secondly there is a sizeable contingent who are under the illusion that the OP has declared open season on St Jade in particular, and by inference, all people who have cancer and now all people who suffer from any illness or disability.

Is it not abundantly clear that the thread is about neither of these things but instead an examination of the human impulse to make jokes in the face of sorrow and calamity? As someone working in health and social care, I can tell you that its the mordant humour that gets us through the working day half the time: if we couldn't laugh at life's horrors we probably couldn't do the job.

I tell you, it's emotional correctness gone mad round here sometimes!

Is now the time to note that there is some corner of some foreign field that is forever East Angular?...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: jeffp
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM

I have lost two wives to cancer. Both of them dealt with it with a great deal of humor. It's about the only way you can.

My first wife, Melanie, had brain cancer. She had a large semicircular scar just above her right ear. Her hair fell out from the radiation treatments, so it was quite exposed. She would put people at ease with lines, such as, "I need this like I need a hole in the head." Or, "Anyone with half a brain can see ....." With a prognosis of 18-24 months, she lived for 7 years and was (and still is) greatly missed.

I can't remember any specific things my second wife Bonnie did, but she rose to the occasion as well. She is also greatly missed.

By the way, there is a surprising amount of laughter in bereavement groups, even among the newly widowed. It doesn't indicate a lack of loss.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: meself
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM

Okay, so can we all agree that humour is used as a way of dealing with misery and death? If we're all agreed, then those of us who are not particularly taken with the jokes themselves can go away, and leave the others to their amusements ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:17 PM

Take another listen to "Rosin the Beau" some time. Here's a fellow facing death with a grin and a challenge to "That old tyrant." I hold with the proposition that we all face times when all that's left to us is to laugh - or sing. It may be the greatest gift. I've known quite a few in my life, now gone, who followed that lead.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:22 PM

Laugh away


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM

A lot of folks thought the first post and title of the thread were mostly about Jade. Once it was explained, it helped, BUT Joe didn't let it go, even taking his tirade over to another thread. As someone else just said, if this had been taken care of right away, with a title change and/or more explanation, it wouldn't have escalated so much, imo.

And, now...did you hear about the woman who was dying of lung cancer from second-hand smoke? She was mad at her husband, the smoker. She left explicit instructions for the funeral parlour. They were to cremate her body, put some of the ashes in a tobacco pouch and send it to her husband with a handwritten card from her which read,
"Put this in your pipe and smoke it!"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/dise
From: Gervase
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:05 PM

Perhaps those who are shouting for the thread to be closed are those for whom death and dying really are a taboo. Even Christinaity seems to have changed in recent years - in my days brought up as a Catholic, it was seen as a natural event, and just a step on the road to (hopefully) heaven. Modern born-agains and plastic jesus huggers seem less comfortable with death per se; they certainly seem to mention it less, and there's less of a ritual surrounding it.
A shame really. because everyone posting here, even the Villan and Georgian Silver, is going to die. How sad if that death s covered up and not mentioned. If it's cancer, how sad if people can't even bring themselves to talk about it, prefering cop-outs like"The Big C" and other weasel words.
Black humour is a great safety valve. I've found it very helpful in dealing with situations where otherwise it would have been a sure-fire PTSD situation, and it's found everywhere where people have to deal with the worst - the Forces, the police, medics, coastguards, undertakers. It's what helps keep them sane and actually makes them better human beings.
So please stop being so precious.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:27 PM

I haven't seen any taboos about death and dying in general. Some were upset about the specific piss-taking of Jade's unfortunate situation. There is a difference, you know?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: meself
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM

Let's start a new thread entitled: "Pompous Lectures About How Humour Helps blah, blah, blah" ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM

Kat, in the newsgent's next door to me is a magazine, I forget its name, with the cover date the 17th March - with an exclusive interview with Jade Goody. Private my Royle Family. Or don't you get them either?

Going to go back and read the rest of the posts that have something to say apart from sanctimonious drivel now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 08:10 PM

Rosie "despised for being nothing other than the creatures that they are". Some creatures are despicable.

Nothing wrong with being working class. It does not make you despicable.

Nothing wrong with being bawdy. Generations of music-hall actresses managed it. Come to Lower Stoke and see our good friend [name redacted] doing it. At Morris practice last week the (acting) dance mistress pointed out that in a particular dance the bars while crossing were by ears, but when processing were in front of tits - at which point the entire women's side gesticulated about the levels to which they thought their tits had fallen. It does not make you despicable.

Nothing wrong with women having their own sex-lives, as they choose. I will die in the trenches on that.

But could you look at, watch, or listen to Jade Goody without cringing?


Why does her death not produce the dark but piquant humour that so many others do? I think that is the reason.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Gallows Humor-laughing at death/disease
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM

My wife, a highly educated qualifed worker in a caring profession,
watched the 2 hour "Living Channel - Jade Wedding Special Exclusive" documentary last night..

..and sobbed her eyes out because it was "soooo sad"

Then, out of curiosity, she read a selection of Jade jokes on sickipedia
just to calm down a bit before she went to bed..

Some jokes made her cringe uncomfortably.. some made her gasp for breath in laughter..

lifes all about balance
and being able to distinguish inteligently and sensitively
between the real and the abstract
in our personal relationship
with the 'fictions & constructs' of popular culture...


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