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toe. Sacha Baron Cohen, the covert comedian who plays into common prejudices and stereotypes. As Borat, the reporter from Kazakhstan, Ali G the ‘black’ kid from the streets, or Bruno, the overtly gay Aus- trian fashionista who swaps and African baby for an iPod, he manages to uncover bigotry and hypocrisy, all while getting huge laughs… albeit if most of those laughs are coming from behind hands clasped across shocked faces.

Let’s not forget South Park’s 200th episode that trod so cleverly and carefully around showing the image of Muhammad, getting some intelligent laughs out of the town’s tip toeing around the notion of showing him in his true image and trying to find ways of get- ting around it so as not to anger Muslims, eventually settling on asking him to wear a bear suit. The epi- sode did anger some Muslims and the creators were told that merely censoring Muhammad’s image was not enough. They needed to bleep out any mention of his name too. If anything this further proved the point they had originally tried to make.

Iranian comic Shazia Mirza made a very good point in The Guardian when she wrote about how people are so easily offended these days; “Being offended is not like having cancer or rabies; people don't die of offence. At most, your feelings will be wounded, you

will feel displeased or angered.”

Anyone out there who does find anything they’ve read here offensive, can I just leave you with a couple of suggestions? Take them or leave them, but I think they might help you to stop being so angry and the odd joke.

1. Try and hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. A dirty/dark joke that’s intended to be told live rarely benefits from being first experienced through the printed word, particularly if it’s surrounded by such emotive words as, “SHOCK”, SICK”, and “OUTCRY”.

2. Ignore the papers. Their main job, aside from deliv- ering what they feel is pertinent news, is to sell more papers. Which one are you more likely to buy? The one that says, “Comedian does job” or “OUTCRY AT SHOCK COMEDIAN WHO TELLS SICK JOKE.”

3. What was the point of the joke? Once you’ve an- swered that question you can decide whether or not it was making a statement and offering a different point of view or if it was just mean and pointless. It’s easier to be angry at something when you know why you’re angry in the first place.

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