Jeremy Kyle and the fact some things aren't funny even if they seem it

The following article from the national newspapers is not funny:

"Adventurer who wanted to live like Bear Grylls in Scottish wilderness for a year found dead in less than a month"

A man found dead in a remote mountain hut was an adventurer who had planned a year-long Bear Grylls-style survival challenge in the Scottish wilderness.

[He], was found dead in a 'bothy' by a track worker near Corrour, a remote railway station in Highland Perthshire, on December 31 at 9.50am.

His body is believed to have been lying there for several weeks when it was discovered.

A post-mortem found there were no suspicious circumstances behind his death, which is understood to have been as a result of hypothermia.

Daily Mail - read full story here.

The above news story is without doubt not funny. It's tragic that this dashing young alpha male met with such an unforseeable demise. Without doubt he deserves our sympathy, how could anyone have possibly expected it would end this way?

Mr Erwin - who could have predicted his fate?
He's like, Steve Erwin, another unfortunate victim of lady luck. Who would have thought that the "crocodile hunter" famous for his cavalier attitude to dangerous animals would ever have ended up being killed by one? Even now it seems unthinkable, right?

Or, the subject of the film "Grizzly Man", Timothy Treadwell, who knew in his heart of hearts that man eating grizzly bears were in fact just misunderstood. He was an animal rights activist who decided to live among the grizzly bears, as one of them, in Alaska. Amazingly, and by another weird quirk of fate, they ate him and his girlfriend alive!

None of these situations are funny.

My brain just, you know, in its unguarded moments, forgets that fact and lets out a little laugh.

I mentioned this to a producer at work and she looked right into my eyes and said "that's not nice". I tried to explain that I knew it wasn't funny. I just sort of have a brain that won't listen to the facts when it comes to laughing at things. The more annoyed she became the more confused my brain became about what is and is not funny. This set up a sort of negative feedback loop where she got angrier and angrier and I felt like a kid in a classroom who has been told to stop laughing.

Today I surprised a number of my twitter followers by tweeting along with the TV show Jeremy Kyle. It's a masterpiece of not funny incidents. One of which today featured two men who had been having a gay relationship with each other after meeting on the internets. They'd realised they might actually be related and so had a DNA test to find out that, yes in fact they were! Once their story was finished (with the show title 'Am I having sex with my brother?' and the answer now being a firm 'yes') Kyle, with a straight face, actually turned to his audience and said: "give them a round of applause guys".

Again, I know that's not funny. My brain really thought it was but I've explained to it now...

... it still seems to think these things are funny but over time it will learn.



Robert Anton Wilson did not invent my religion, Discordianism, that was the job of others, but he did more to promote it than anyone else. I've not read everything he's ever written but I've certainly ploughed through more than is healthy.

There are a number of key ideas of his that I frequently apply.

Boing Boing did a special week on him, the link is here: RAW WEEK - BOING BOING


@fester_mower said…
As one of your Twitter followers, my surprise was not that you found the relationship between potential half-brothers funny (I thought it was quite funny too). No, my surprise was that you seemed to find it shocking, in a Daily Mail kinda way. Consensual sex, in it's many forms, can sometimes be very funny. But it's hardly something to sound all shocked and "OMG!" about. .
Dyonn said…
It's all faked anyway, isn't it?
Nicholarse said…
@fester_mower - I don't think you have to be all uptight and Daily Mail to find incest shocking, unless I've missed a meeting recently.

@Dyonn - Nooo! That's like telling a little kid Santa doesn't exist! Or that American Wrestling isn't real.

Actually, I have a mate who used to work on a well known TV chatshow. Faked is too strong a word but certainly the guests are hyped up off screen. "Oh, have you heard what he's said about you? Go on and tell them! This is your chance to show them!" Etc.

The recent court case where Jeremy Kyle's show was condemned as "human bear baiting" by a UK Judge makes for interesting reading on this topic...
Anonymous said…
"Inappropriate laughter is the bane of my life. Getting the giggles during my grandad's funeral was a particular lowpoint."

From twitter feed.

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