Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

The Friday Rant - 02.12.11

We are English, but what on earth is happening to our collective sense of humour ? Surely we pride ourselves on not taking ourselves too seriously ? What I am not about to do here is to comment on the mass strikes this week. I don't work in the public sector and I don't feel remotely qualified to speak much about it. But what has really got up my nose is this whole Jeremy Clarkson/One Show fiasco that has blown up out of nothing. Talk about blowing something up out of all proportion and taking everything far too seriously. Check this link here for a section of BBC news detailing what has happened if you have no idea what I am talking about, and please tell me you don't take offence at his comments...........

I don't watch Top Gear. I used to when it was first revamped and really went to town on production values and excitement, but gradually I drifted away as I felt the show began to feel too scripted and pre-planned. I can't help but like and admire Jeremy Clarkson though. Surely though everybody knows that the majority of his ramblings, comments and observations are meant to be taken as very tongue in cheek ? Surely we have not fallen so far from our Englishness that a few mildly amusing and very tongue in cheek remarks about the strikes on the One Show have now made the national news because of the apparent uproar they have caused ? Honestly, what in the hell is going on in the world if remarks like the ones that Jeremy Clarkson caused offence ? What happened to seeing the funny side of things, or is the state of the world's economy really so profoundly depressing these days that we have all gone and got far too serious for our own collective goods ?

I just can't see how anybody with any level head on their shoulders could have possibly taken his comments seriously. Are you telling me that some people out there really felt that Jeremy Clarkson's comments about having the strikers all executed was anywhere close to being offensive or remotely serious ? I mean come on, the guy makes a part of his living from ranting and raving about things, and I personally give him all credit for sticking his neck out and saying stuff that far too many people are far too afraid to even think about in these daft, politically correct days. If people want to strike then it's up to them, but surely these ultra-sensitives could grow a sense of humour and recognise when somebody is having a bit of fun. I always thought that a part of what made us English was our ability to laugh at ourselves. You strike, you cause disruption, and somebody well known decides to have a bit of a giggle about it. So what ?

There are of course some things that do not work at all. I did not find it offensive what that Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand did on the radio, rather I found it desperately unfunny and cruel to the individual involved. Being cruel is not remotely amusing. But what Jeremy Clarkson did or indeed does day to day I would hardly describe as being anywhere close to cruel. Surely something like the One Show asks him on because they wouldn't mind a bit of back and forth. I would guess that with those terrified looks on the presenters' faces when Jeremy spoke his mind a bit that their producer was screaming down their earpieces (the exact transcript is here). But on the flipside I bet the show's bosses are laughing at all this extra publicity.

Imagine if the Prime Minister showed a real sense of humour and actually came out and said how funny he had found Jeremy Clarkson's comments. I bet he did, but his position does not allow for him to be himself of course. Imagine not being able to say what you think, but then I guess that is a big part of political correctness. I can't tell you how much I would admire a politician who actually spoke the truth or indeed their mind when he or she was asked a question. At least this Jeremy Clarkson says what he feels, or at least he says stuff that is a whole lot more digestible than the drivel we sit through from the powers that be. Has it really got to the stage where some inane, almost throwaway comments become the news ? Is life really that serious and sensitive that oversensitive weirdoes rush to damn what Jeremy Clarkson said in jest ? Come on, leave the guy alone to do what he does best, and I can only wish that there were a whole lot more people like Jeremy Clarkson who would poke a bit of fun at all the mad things which go in our apparently civilised society. We need to laugh. We need not to take everything so seriously. If we can't laugh at ourselves from time to time, where does that leave us ?

Henry Gilbey10 Comments