What is funny … what is not
I realize that different people find different things amusing so when one is organizing an event it is very difficult to cater to all tastes. It is therefore possible that some of you may think I am being over-critical with this post. I usually try not to judge but I am just so cheesed off about this, that I need to get it off my chest.
I went to an IT event in Karachi earlier this month – was really looking forward to it because events like these are always a great opportunity to meet up with some people who may not be part of one’s usual network. I am not going to mention the name of the organization that hosted the event because the purpose is not to criticize but to try and understand why things like this happen. Is it just that no thought goes into the planning?
The evening started off well. The hosts were welcoming, the ambience was nice. It was outdoors and it was a pleasant Karachi evening. Met a number of old friends and associates whom I was able to chit-chat with before the beginning of the proceedings.
It was at this stage that things started to go southward. Two lovely young ladies were MC’ing the event. Their idea of humour was to show how totally non-tech they were, how technology was something that went way above their aheads – our versions of the ‘dumb blondes’. The sad thing is that both the young ladies are actually quite bright and I know that at least one of them is tech-savvy. So why did they feel the necessity to be-little themselves and their gender? Is that really funny? Well, people laughed so I guess they thought it was. I was seething because we spend so much time convincing parents and young women/girls that there is no reason they cannot choose any profession that interests them – whether it be design, engineering, computer science, architecture, film, you name it. When women portray themselves as less intelligent and totally flaky, they do all of us a disservice and it annoys the hell out of me.
As if this was not bad enough, the evening actually got worse when a comedy troupe came on stage and cracked the most vulgar, crude and annoyingly un-funny jokes that I have heard in a long time. Risque humour can be funny but these jokes were not risque – they were blatantly crude, not amusing and totally unsuitable for the type of mixed audience and familes that were there. I actually squirmed and kept my eyes focused on the ground when some of the worst ones were uttered. I was sitting with colleagues and friends – some of whom had their spouses with them. There were kids from universities present.
Apart from the filthy, gutter humour that belonged in a boys’ public school, there was a joke about suicide bombers with one chap coming on stage with dynamite strapped around him threatening to blow himself and everyone else up because life in Pakistan was not worth living. The punch line was that the device didn’t explode because it was cheap Chinese technology. I found it all quite sickening I am afraid and was quite glad that the host was busy when I slipped out. I would not have been able to compliment him on a delightful evening.
I don’t understand why people believe that crudeness, violence and vulgarity is funny. Or am I simply being a prude?
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