Sick joke

WHAT is a joke? The meaning of word is now a subject of scrutiny as Du30 is seeking to redefine it. Joke has taken an entirely new meaning and perspective in the Age of New Fascism (or Fanaticism).

The dictionary definition of joke is “something said or done to provoke laughter.” A joke “takes the form of a story, usually with dialogue, and ends in a punch line.” Du30 and his ass lickers are revising the concept of joke to justify his glaring and deliberate faux pas, which exposes who and what, Du30 really is.

Telling jokes is an integral part of human life and Sigmund Freud considered joke an important aspect of human behavior. In 1905 he published “Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious,” one of the earliest investigations on the phenomenon.

Freud linked jokes to Pleasure Principle, one of his original concepts. As a psychological phenomenon, Freud explored the conscious and unconscious sources of pleasure in jokes. “Joke is the most social of all the mental functions that aim at a yield of pleasure.” This pleasure is expressed through laughter which jokes are expected to generate.

Jokes are staples of Du30’s public speeches his apologists claim and it is important to evaluate if what the president are sharing are really jokes in the light of Freudian concept.

To spice up his speech in Kidapawan City last week during a land distribution ceremony Du30 told the audience that he molested their maid when he was a teenager. “I lifted the blanket… I tried to touch what was inside the panty,” Du30 bragged. “I was touching. She woke up. So I left the room.” He added that he later came back and inserted his fingers in the private part of the maid.

Filipinos were aghast and outraged by what Du30 said. A president who enjoys sharing vulgar and dirty stories demeans not only his person but also the highest office of the land. With the story making headlines around the world, Filipinos cringed in shame.

To defuse the anger and rage generated by Du30’s latest filth, his supporters said it was joke and blasted critics for their lack of sense of humor. “He has made up a laughable anecdote to dramatize the fact of sexual abuse that was inflicted on him and his fellow students when they were in high school,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo insisted.

A joke provokes laughter. What is there to laugh at in a story about putting fingers in a maid’s private part? What is the punch line, “She woke up, so I left the room?” Du30 was talking about a different pleasure, certainly not the one generated by jokes.

If Du30 was telling a joke, the audience did not get it since his audience was not roaring with laughter and neither were they amused. A stony silence greeted Du30’s “joke” as attested by the TV coverage. Freud said that the content of a joke once responded created pleasure but this did not happen in the case of Du30’s “groping/fingering joke.”

Linguist Robert Hetzron said “a joke is a short humorous piece of oral literature in which the funniness culminates in the final sentence called a punch line.” Where is the humor in the story of Du30? There is nothing funny in the ending (I returned later and inserted my fingers) and the punch line is supposed to be the climax of the joke. Du30 was definitely referring to another climax in his “joke.”

Truth is Du30’s “jokes” are not jokes in the real sense of the word. At most, they are sick jokes, products of a sick mind. Consider some of his past “jokes” – telling soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina to make them “unproductive” or his “I smoke marijuana” story. There is nothing funny about them, no witty punch lines that produce laughter. Du30’s so-called jokes are plain smut.

There are two possible explanations why Du30 loves to tell filthy, indecent, and lewd stories and both reveal his true nature.

A leader, especially a president is supposed to inspire and motivate the people. Du30 is not capable of stirring enthusiasm among Filipinos to propel them to do great things. To cover-up his intellectual inadequacy, Du30 resorts to cheap antics like telling sexually offensive stories to hold people’s attention.

The other explanation is that these sick stories Du30 loves to tell are reflections of his moral bankruptcy. An inspiring leader share positive stories filled with moral values to set the people to the path of righteousness. Du30 lacks scruple and has no conscience. Absence of a sense of decency and civility caused Du30 to shamelessly share dirty and polluted anecdotes without regard to the sensibilities of his audience.

Fanatics rationalize the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of Du30 by sugarcoating his mental and ethical deficiencies as jokes. They even had the gall to fault critics for failing to see beyond the antics of their cult-god.

Some of the fanatics assert that Du30’s dirty stories prove he is a man of the masses for he is speaking their language. This is a gross insult to the masses and reveals their low regard of the common people. The poor are well mannered and the fanatics are wrong to assume that they like and approve Du30’s vulgarity.

Good manners and right conduct transcend social class. The fanatics might be surprised to discover that the poor are far more decent than they are and they strongly dislike and disapprove Du30’s ill manner. Fanatics may have forgotten that maids are from the lower class and Du30 grossly disrespected them by sexually molesting one of them.

Indecency, lewdness, vulgarity, and bad manners are wrong and labeling them as jokes, even sick ones will not change what they really are.