Today’s big Question – If Turkey was invaded from behind would Greece help?


Hah – that got your attention didn’t it? A momentary pause whilst you flipped from thinking it was a serious political question to ‘err is that saying what I think!!

Funny how most people like that joke, but if I stray into did you hear the one about the Greek or what about the Turk, I’m in different territory. Countries are ok, but nationalities are PC and taboo.

I find the link between humour, mental illness, risqué behaviour, and offensiveness both intangible and blurred. But one thing I am sure of is that we should not underestimate the absolute power of laughter and humour in dealing with and managing mental illness.  Few things are as coruscating as wit in debunking taboo and myths.

Consider the power of a loud fart in company. Few of us can keep our faces straight when it happens. It’s the ultimate ice breaker – for good or ill! I’ve seen real prigs reduced to quivering wrecks as they seek to compress their base instincts.

Smut strips away pretension and artifice and isn’t pretention and artifice one of the barriers to really understanding mental illness? I think so.  But once the poor man or the rich man or the snob, or the prig are brought together in laughter at the same joke or nonsense, all pretention ceases to exist at that moment. I can think of few other things, if any, that possess the power to do that.

Yes of course there is always the chance one will overstep the mark, but nothing is ever achieved through safety and prudence. Progress comes from daring to go further, from taking risks and it coming off. Change comes through conflict and passion and humour can touch both of those. And like it or not humour has to have a fall guy, a target or a victim. The trick is not to persecute or simply descend into bad taste for the sake of it, but pushing at the boundaries is to be encouraged. The more we can laugh at our mental illness the more likely we are to have people feel less scared of it. And if they are less scared of it, we will see prejudice diminish too.

So in keeping with this theme and to end on an appropriate note

What is the name of this German who always hides my glasses?
- Alzheimer, grandpa!”

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