Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 10/02/15

So there is something I want to talk about today. I do not know if I am allowed to though. After the (admittedly minimalised) furore that my thoughts on feminism brought, I think my thoughts on something I was reading last night would spark quite a lot of animosity. It is about a particular group of people again.

Now, my thoughts are not derogatory towards them as people in their own right. They are what they are and none of us are as viable to judge or pass comment on who they are as we are on anyone else. I want to make it clear that my thoughts are not criticism on the choices they make or anything approaching that. I honestly do not care about the choices they make. Their choices do not affect me in the slightest so I do not see it as my right to care. If it makes those people happy, then it’s all good.

What bothers me is the reaction some people have to things that are said that are clearly meant as a joke. Now, a lot of this group of people take umbridge with jokes that are made on Mock The Week. That’s fair enough. Everyone should take umbridge with Mock The Week in general for continuing the cycle of lazy comedy.

Because I’m being purposefully vague, things are going to get a little foggy so let’s get some clarity with an example.

I am fat. Now, I know relatively in one way I am not fat ie there are people who weigh more than me with a higher BMI. That is not me poking fun at those people. That is just fact. On the other side though, relatively in one way there are a lot of people who weigh a lot less than me. According to my own BMI and from forced observations spewed into my face by the media about body image, I am fat. I do not really have a problem with my body at the moment (Well, right at this moment I do because I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks, what with one thing and another, but in general I am) but those are the facts.

Now, if I decide to watch Mock The Week and they spend 2-3 minutes making fun of fat people, it would be my moral right to be outraged, maybe write a letter of complaint, start a campaigning website to collect petition signatures to present to parliament in a move to have Mock The Week taken off the air and Russell Howard thrown in youth prison (I’m guessing he’s still about 17, yes? I’ve seen recent photos and honestly can’t tell.) But if I took a moment to think about things, I would see that they are making fun of pretty much everyone, and apart from cases where they are talking about celebrities/politicians (like a very penis-y version of Loose Women) they never take to targeting any specific person in a group. That is to say, they are not looking into the camera and saying ‘F**k me, Christopher Moriarty of Manchester. You’re a tubby little c**t aren’t you? I think I’ve just seen Jupiter orbiting your arse, you lardy bastard.’ If they did this, attacked me personally, I would understandably have a problem. Because they are laying into my ‘fat group’ in general, and other groups besides, their aim is broad so I do not see any point in being upset about.

This is not me endorsing the comedy on Mock The Week. As I have said, it is lazy comedy. I am purely using it as the most accessible framework for this example.

What I’m trying to say is there is a culture of getting outraged at things that do not matter. Whether you’re gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, asexual, disabled, black, white, fat, really tall, really short whatever. These are all just corporeal forms of existence. I may be wrong but I don’t think these things have any bearing on who we are underneath it all. Sexuality, colour, genetics. It’s all just biology we can’t control. Yes, we can control what we say and think so that means the comedians who poke fun can control what they say and maybe, sometimes, should not be quite so visceral with their jokes, but at the end of the day, if you see these jokes as a judgement on who you are and you judge them, you’re just as bad as each other.

Look, I’ve gone a little off-base here. I’m not defending anyone. As I have said before, doesn’t matter what state you choose to live your life in, we’re all as equally open to praise and derision as the next person. All these different forms of existence are as beautiful as each other. Instead of taking up arms whenever someone has said something controversial, why can’t we just embrace what we are in ourselves and enjoy every moment that has been given to us in this state. There’s no shame in who or what or how we are.

Wow, that dose of positivity really drained me! Better strap in because there might be some fairly dark poetry following now.

Here is a poem. The prompt comes from SoulHoot and is ‘A Pattern’

There’s a splash of red on

the wall, it darts up in viscera

speckled on either side

by thick goop.

There’s a story in this pattern.

Here is a(nother) poem. The Prompt is ‘Every Whisper’ from WrittenRiver

He stands in the stand,

standing against charges of

murder. All evidence points to him

but every whisper from the jury

points to exoneration.

Here is a(nother) poem. The prompt is ‘exonerate’ from WordStew and is the third in this little trilogy

The story flawed, pattern fails

and they exonerate.

He is freed and flees,

on the hunt

to create more visceral patterns.

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