I guess its old age, but I had myself forgotten about this topic 😛 But if we have to talk about unmentionable topics, these days, virtually everything is unmentionable.
Its a coincidence that this subject of “unmentionable topics” comes at a time when the world is debating the scope and extent of the freedom of speech and expression, particularly in light of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Personally, I think the issue is not just about freedom of speech and expression, but mankind’s misplaced sense of self importance. We have lost the ability to laugh at ourselves. Even as we were coming to grip with our anger at the sheer intolerance behind the attacks, a friend of mine quickly posted an article which condemned the attacks but also reminded us that Charlie Hebdo was racist.
I asked myself why they were racist? Is it because they poked fun at hindus, muslims and buddhists? When did satire become racism. For all you know, the artists behind Charlie Hebdo would have gotten along well with Muslims and did not carry any personal prejudice against them. But god forbid, if a man without any racist intentions or motives still says something that could be interpreted as racist. Because frankly thats the kind of insensitive jerks we have become. We care no more for the intentions behind people’s words and we think of ourselves as so important that, we think the meaning we attach to the ideas are the actual meaning they carry. As a listener how in God’s sweet name can I know for sure whats running in the author’s mind? And should I not give the author the benefit of the doubt or are we intent on assuming the worst in people?
Be it the likes of Russel Peters or Dave Chapelle or even Chris Rock, humour based on race has always been about laughing the traits unique to our context and culture and never about inspiring a sense of hatred around us. Even with the Bollywood movie “PK”, people were quick to take offense. Why not instead just perceive the movie as simply a story and a form of entertainment?
One of my greatest sources of comfort in the past couple of years has been my ability to laugh at my myself while reflecting on the stupidities I did. Be it my stint with dating apps like Tinder and the less than admirable moments on it or the fact that I am one of those losers from the male world who strongly subscribes to the existence of ‘Friendzone’, my life has been hilarious in its own way. I am able to respect myself better when I can laugh at the things that have happened to me, rather than living in denial. Its too much of a burden to live a life of perfection. Thats almost like asking a man to refrain from passing wind even in private!
Lets get off our high horses, shall we? Hindus, Muslims, Blacks, Whites, Chinese, Buddhists, Kannadigas, Tamilians, Pakistanis, etc. etc. etc.- none of us are that important and none of us are that awesome. So next time someone takes a dig at you, learn to laugh or else I guarantee you, you will be making an ass out of yourself.
This post is part of my writing endeavor as a member of the loose blogger’s consortium. The other bloggers are as under. Give them a visit, they are bunch of hell raisers you wouldn’t want to miss 😉 Rummuser, gaelikaa, Maxi, The Old Fossil and Shackman