It's our first Guest Blogger!

by Claire Dunning.

We’re looking to get people of all ages, walks-of-life, opinions, political backgrounds and sensitivities to ‘guest’ on our blog. People with something to say about: ‘How we Communicate’. It’s a broad topic, so would you like to be one of them? If so, contact us at build.creatingsparks.com/dunning, to tell us why it should be you!

Gillian Lamarra (yup, that’s her real name) studied advertising and PR at the College of Commerce in Glasgow before going to Uni, to study Mass Media and Communications. She’s taking a break from studying and has worked in many places (including in a pub), whilst attempting to crack the world of ‘Advertising’ . On this journey, Gillian’s realised that she has a passion for writing.  She’s 23 and “still clueless about where I will end up, I’ll let you know when I get there”. We quite like her writing, here’s her Guest Blog:…………

The Laugh Police

Every single day when I work in the pub, I ‘m strained to serve yet another old, lifeless bugger who can barely look after a beer, never mind themselves.  You know the sort, someone who sweats more than Gary Glitter in a nursery when they are down to their last two quid because essentially, this means they are on to their last ‘Mick Jagger’ of the night.

Working here could be seen to be a bit grim but it’s not, because there’s one important thing that all these unshaven punters have in common. It’s their ability to laugh at any aspect of life, even the most saddest.

Working behind a bar, you hear the meaningless banter between friends and punters and the jokes that come along between conversations are usually distasteful, pretty much always disrespectful and sometimes incredibly insensitive. The question I’d ask, which is actually buried underneath all their interaction is,  how far is –  ‘too far’?.

For instance, I was discussing the latest expose, with BBC NEWS commenting on the release of an unsurprisingly grim-faced Peter Moore, the British hostage seized in Iraq in 2007.  For the first time, after becoming desensitised and thick-skinned to any unpleasant chin-wagging between the punters I was shocked to hear one of them say:

“That Iraqi hostage Peter Moore arrives back in UK…Personally, looking at the miserable f**ker,  I would have shot him too!”

A couple of years ago, comedian Billy Connolly got into a lot of hot water for being equally dismissive of a hostage, who unfortunately did not return to UK but was killed by his captors. He was roundly criticised, so it’s obviously dangerous territory. However, I’d ask, does comedy and it’s values sometimes allow us to escape from the horrors of the World and what is considered ‘Politically Correct’? The uptight,  ideological society that we’ve managed to construct, has it created insecurities, not only for us as individuals but as Nations as a whole?

Who or what constitutes our right to laugh, or the right to gasp, at any particular joke or comment?

Thinking about this more, I relate back to a now infamous comment that our ‘lovable’, outrageous and not-so-discreet Jimmy Carr made about the servicemen within our armed forces, back in October of last year:

“Say what you like about servicemen amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re going to have a f*cking good Paralympic team in 2012.”

I chuckled at that but then found it contradicted with my morals, in terms of what is socially acceptable in my head. I feel that no one is complete without compassion and even though I can sympathise with the victims in this joke, I’d also suggest that laughing at life’s pity is better than drowning in it. In time, some of these limbless service guys might even think this is funny. Insensitive maybe, totally wrong? I don’t think so.

Eddie Izzard says “comedians will go as far as their conscience takes them”. Now, I’m not a comedian but I can appreciate that sometimes, if you don’t laugh then you cry. While Jimmy’s joke may have been a ‘Carr-crash’ to some, I’d suggest that cutting-edge comedians have to push on boundaries and carry on regardless. Life is hard, upsetting and depressing enough without putting limit and restraints on ‘laughs’.

Its time we all started to laugh again. Man up, chin up and realise that sometimes you just have to say ‘f*ck it’.