In this age of political correctness, it seems that humour is a dangerous occupation. Each joke must be carefully scrutinised for potential offence to some minority group, and then sanitised of any disrespect to anyone whose delicate sensibilities might be burdened with the weight of somebody laughing at their expense.
Social media seems filled with humourless people who aren’t happy unless they are fired-up and ranting against somebody for some perceived slight or ‘tone-deaf’ comment.
As a result, what used to pass for harmless fun is now seen as social activism. Everyone must be a ‘role-model’ at all times, and everything is a ‘learning-moment’.
Nowadays, we cannot tell ‘blonde’ jokes as these unfairly stereotype people as unintelligent based upon their choice of hair-pigment.
We cannot tell ‘Scottish’ jokes as these unjustly stigmatise an entire nationality as ungenerous.
Anything to do with sexuality, gender-identification, body-shape, race, ethnicity or religious views is apparently out of bounds.
However one of the last groups that remains fair-game for all is lawyers. It seems we lawyers are tough enough to withstand a bit of fun being poked at us without marching on parliament to protest about it. Everyone from Shakespeare to John Stewart has scored a laugh from lawyer jokes. And that’s fine with me. We can take the hit. In fact that’s partly what we’re here for. To take some of the blows on behalf of our clients. Despite the South Australian government’s best efforts, lawyers aren’t quite yet a vulnerable species, and generally-speaking we can stick up for ourselves.
We can all laugh at an amorphous group, because they are faceless. It’s not personal. So we tell jokes against lawyers as a generalisation, to prick their pomposity, rail against their fees and generally bring them down a notch – you know, to teach them some humility. But here’s an interesting observation: when asked about their own lawyer as an individual, most people will say that (s)he is a good person who really helped them when they were most needed. In other words, although lawyers overall suck, my lawyer is the exception.
So I’m OK if a joke or two is thrown at my profession – hopefully they’re actually funny rather than just gratuitously insulting. If you’ve got a good lawyer joke to share, please send it in – nowadays we could all do with a bit of a laugh.
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