Explaining the funny

When you have to explain a joke, the funny dies. Which makes this blog post an exposition of death. Yesterday a wee joke made by Alicsammin a week or so back was examined from every possible angle. Inside, outside, upside down. It was held up to the window to see if it was transparently a joke and the massed ranks of the media metrocommentariat decided that it wasn’t. Can you see through that with your London blinkers on? Oh no, this is a serious and deadly intervention in the general election campaign, they chorused. Because the rest of the national campaign has been, let’s face it, pretty shite and they needed something – anything – to generate a bit of controversy and help spark some life into the Tories’ ailing bid for re-election.

Monstering Scottish people is always good for that, since you can safely be racist about Scots seeing as how they’ve not immigrated anywhere. Except for Michael Gove and Liam Fox, but they don’t count because they are Toriores Tories ipsis. However there’s a big threat to Westminster from a large bloc of SNP MPs who are threatening to migrate into the corridors of power and be deliberately Scottish in lobbies and committees. That can’t be allowed to happen. Scotland might think having Westminster held to ransom by a squad of angry Scottish people is a bit of a laugh, but the Tory press can’t see the joke. But then you never can see the joke when the joke is on you. It’s like Davie Cameron trying to read the “kick me” sign in tartan paint that’s been pinned to the back of his jaicket.

But treating a joke as not a joke provided a media witha chance to monster Alicsammin, who’s the monsterers’ monster of choice. So even though it was as transparently a joke as Boris Johnson’s haircut or anything that Magrit Curran ever says or does, although unlike them it was meant to be funny on purpose, it was to be taken seriously. A Tory election campaign depends upon scaring the shiters out of UKIP leaning voters in the leafy shires with the invention of Scottish Nationalists who will them pay for all the drinks, the peanuts, and then afterwards making them pay for an immigrant kebab.

So the joke was picked apart, dissected and stuffed into the Large Hadron Collider then wheeched around at the speed of light and smashed at the quantum level. It was helpfully deconstructed by some Unionists affecting a feminist perspective who pondered its implications for an undermined Nicla. Musings were mused by the unamused about whether a throwaway line hid a deeper truth, and the consensus was that of course it did, because it came from Alicsammin. Alicsammin is Gaelic for Beelzebub. The deeper truth is that Alicsammin is evil, it always is. Alicsammin wants to eat babies and make the English pay for the tomato sauce.

The funny, of which there was not a large quantity to begin with, was extracted and freeze dried then pinned down on a board like a dead butterfly bleached of all colour. And when you suck out the colour from a butterfly you’re left with a moth eaten Daily Mail headline. Alicsammin’s going to write the Labour budget, screamed the Tory press. Run for those wee elevations that pass for hills!

This was all so some humourless twunks could distract attention from an even less funny joke made by Davie Cameron earlier in the day, when he likened Alicsammin to a pick pocket. Oh how we chortled. And guess which one of these jokes BBC Scotland decided to run with? Repeatedly.

This is a peculiar election campaign. With most of the focus on Scotland, the UK media and political parties seems to have given up any real interest in the proceedings, like a surly teenager who’s annoyed not to be the centre of attention at someone else’s birthday party. And this time it’s a Scottish party.

We’ve got two weeks to go until the vote, and there are no signs that the advance of the SNP is about to be halted. Just about everything has been rolled out in the tried and trusted untrustworthiness of Project Fear Mark 2. The Tories gave up on Scotland years ago, meanwhile Labour’s leadership – the real leadership not the branch office management – seem to have joined them and have abandoned the hapless Murph E Coyote to his inevitable plunge off the canyon edge. Now it’s all about shoring up their votes in England and Wales, and trying to grab as many votes as they can back from the grasping and flailing paws of UKIP.

In Scotland the SNP juggernaut rolls on, threatening to crush all before it. Labour seems to have given up in many seats, concentrating its meagre resources in mail shots delivered by the Royal Mail because Labour doesn’t have activists on the ground. Labour MPs who previously barely knew where their constituencies were have been seeing going round the doors, cutting lonely and forlorn figures on the doorstep, standing on the threshold of their party’s extinction. They’re paying the price for taking us for granted, no wonder they can’t see the joke.

Instead of giving Scotland what Scotland has told the Unionist parties repeatedly what it wants, Labour and the Tories give us allegations of bullying. It’s what bullies do when they’re losing. Scottish people are being nasty to the nasty bullies, and that’s just nasty. Only Labour and the Tories are allowed to be nasty. They’re licenced to be nasty, they’re professionally nasty. Freelance nastiness is beyond the pale, mockery is worse than an ATOS assessment, a cutting remark is worse than blowing up a wedding party in Afghanistan.

The hysterical hyperbole of the Unionist press is a joke, but it’s not funny on purpose. It’s met with derision and disparagement. And this is how the Union ends, in Scottish laughter and jeering, in satire and scorn. We’re scoffing and mocking our way to a country where our concerns can be taken seriously. Scotland isn’t just going to write a Labour budget, we’re going to write the terms of Union too. The joke is on Westminster.

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17 comments on “Explaining the funny

  1. Mary Vasey says:

    Brilliant and so spot on
    Thanks wgd, gie the dug an extra sausage roll fae me

  2. macart763 says:

    The great mainstream press, self absorbed, self interested, over opinionated and underwhelming. Bought and paid for members of a supremely ignorant, uncaring establishment and politically compromised from one end to the other.

    Metrocentric fuckwittery at its best.

    To be crude for a moment – I wouldn’t wipe my arse with their newsprint.

  3. Andy MacNicol says:

    You would think that Westminster and the MSM would “get it” by now. They still have no idea what is happening in Scotland. And that just makes it so much funnier.

  4. barpe4 says:

    The usual excellent article,showing what lack of any kind of humour these people must have.

    But it’s a plan to scare and we must hope that Scots don’t fall for it in the next two weeks.

  5. Marie Clark says:

    Well said dug. I was just having this conversation with my son when he phoned this morning. He asked me what I thought was going to happen in two weeks time. I had to tell him that I haven’t got a scooby, nothing would surprise me now.

    In all my years, and I’ve had quite a few now, I can’t recall an election like this one. We both agreed however, that’s it’s great fun watching them keech their breeks. Total and utter panic.

    When I was a wee lassie, long time ago now, I was always taught that you had to stand up to a bully, and did so when I needed to. Now here we are, a nation learning to stand up to the establishment. No before time.

    This is only going to end one way, independence. It will take a bit of time, but I hope to see it in my lifetime. I’ll be happy to go then, knowing that the future of my children and grandchildren, and a’body else in Scotland will have a better future.

  6. scotsgeoff says:

    ‘The joke is on Westminster’.

    and Westminster is a joke…

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      Westminster is not a joke. Westminster is afraid, and so will be even more conniving, devious and brutal than they were at the Referendum. They are dangerous.

  7. brewsed says:

    Satire and Saltire – a dangerous combination. Excellent words. I notice that the Graun is trying to make amends for dispatching patronising Polly above Hadrian’s dyke by trying to smooch up the Nicla, though it failed to ken fit ken meant.

  8. mary docherty says:

    Ach A’hm getting sick tae the back teeth with a’ this bad reporting.It’s no even funny anymore it’s dull boring and they must be sitting at some point and realise they sold out to the PR guy.Hope so !!

  9. Marian says:

    Excellent summing up as usual Paul.

    I was going to say that perhaps Alex Salmond shouldn’t have made such a joke, bearing in mind that the Unionists and their media would likely twist and misinterpret it, and then I realised that it wouldn’t have mattered if Alex had told the one about why did the chicken cross the road – the Unionists would have twisted and misinterpreted that one too.

    The Unionists are completely flummoxed by the advance of the SNP and are responding by doing what comes naturally to them – dishing out fear and dirt – because they they are so bereft of morality they have nothing else.

  10. gavin says:

    We must hope the lies, character assassination, smears and misrepresentations don’t work, and the forces of good triumph.
    If that is, happily, the case, I am curious as to what the Britnatmedia will do.
    The press is propaganda, unadulterared by fact.
    BBCScotland couldn’t be any more biased, and the only guy I’d go for a pint with, James Cook is leaving. That leaves the old Labour-loving cronies as their staff, yet there will be few Unionists left for them to promote.
    How will they marginalise the SNP then?
    Unless what passes for news in entirely focused on London.

  11. terry says:

    Again- brilliant!

    Satire and saltire. Just the letter l is added to the former. Don’t they fit well? And you make them feel like that.

  12. Bill Hume says:

    The ability to see through the smoke and mirrors of the unionist campaign against the SNP and to respond with humour (with a wee touch of vitriol thrown in as required), is a powerful force for change.

    It is a powerful force which the unionists seem to have forgotten (or are simply unable to muster………..humourless bastards).

    In the right hands (or wee ginger paws) it may yet alter the future history of our land.

  13. bjsalba says:

    Comment from an English friend on the idea of Alicsammin writing the WM budget..

    “If only that were true!”

  14. Luigi says:

    The Pavlov’s dogs of the British establishment are apoplectic over the possibility of scots, for once, to exercise their democratic rights at WM. Nicola Sturgeonsuccessfully bypasses them and appeals directly to the masses throughout the UK. Meanwhile, Alex Salmond is playing those pillars of society like a fiddle. Good cop, bad cop?

  15. Brian says:

    with 2 weeks to go it is outstanding, accurate commentary like this that keeps the juggernaut rolling.

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