The Tragedy of Comedy

April 14, 2018

Sipping at my cappuccino, I sat on my veranda holding the newspaper in
my right. The first picture that grabbed my attention was a pic of Modi in a Snapchat puppy filter reading ‘#wanderlust’.
I laughed to myself saying- Humor certainly has changed these days.
But then out of the blue, I was confronted by this conflict, the conflict which perhaps was the cause of the ‘nationalist’ feelings that had been imbibed in me over the years.
Can the Prime Minister really be joked about?
As I read the article I realized that the comedy group that had put up that post had faced severe backlash for this JOKE: as they liked to call it.
There already were factions into which the opinions had been divided and here I was faced with the predicament of laughter.

As I scrolled through my feed on youtube, I found a video of Russell Peters. In this particular performance, he lampoons the Chinese and does a wonderful impression of a stereotypical Asian male.
I laughed boisterously at it, but again I am confronted by the same conflict, the conflict which perhaps was the cause of the morals and values that had been imbibed in me by the society. The principles that taught me to not discriminate or distinguish between individuals.
Can the apparent peculiar accent of a person not sharing the same culture as mine be really mocked? Do I really have to ridicule about this preconceived hackneyed idea about them?
I scrolled down to read the comments and my oh my it was a battlefield!
On the one hand, there were ruthless remarks against his intolerable ‘comedy’ and on the other were people who called all of it off as just being banter.

So the question I’d like to pose is- Is our society full of hypersensitive and aggrieved people or is it the overly apathetic and emotionless that populate it? Or is it both? And who is supposed to be deemed as right? And if this is so then who is responsible to pacify these crowds? Who holds the authority to draw this fine line between comedy and insanity? We will never know, we shall never know.
A joke whose main intention was to bring about mirth is rather leading to its dearth.
Over this turmoil, who really gets to preside. Alas! Who really can decide?

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