A dangerous sense of humour

On one side, we need to laugh every so often, laughter is good for the soul they say, yet, when the press and the media get involved in this situation, there is a real danger where they can actually make things worse. This has been proven on several occasions in the past, in several nations. You see, I agree, Conan was funny, introducing Adolf Hitler (Sarah Silverman) was hilarious and it was comedy. Nobody denies this! The issue is that it is also dangerous. The people are angry and they are not in the mood to trust anyone. Now here comes the loudmouthing blunt Trump. We see the thoughts of the American public like it is a cartoon text balloon. ‘He, doesn’t need the money‘, ‘he is already a success‘, ‘perhaps he figured it out‘, ‘what do those wannabe’s know?’ It is the last thought in all of this. Libertarians who threw the people to the wolves for high moral plans no one could afford, at the same time Wall-Street keeps on doing what it is doing with no accountability in sight. There are racial issues, there are inequality issues. The people are very angry and people like Conan know that, they hope that with a laugh and a smile it will go away. It is too late for that, the comedians will need to get serious for a while, if not, they end up having to deal with 4-8 years of Donald, not the Duck, the Trump and the fallout that follows!

You see, as a comedy there is a moment in Mel Brook’s ‘History of the world, part 1’ where we see the Roman senate, they are offered a question their response ‘Fuck the poor!’. To which we hear. ‘Excellent, now let’s get back to business’. That is exactly where America, Greece and many European nations are. I remain a little in doubt as to the drive of Japan, because I know too little there. The people are seeing their futures evaporate, their pensions will soon be lost and those who have no rainy day solution will work until they die.

That has become the reality of today and the people are, as I said before very very angry.

In the Netherlands we see a repeat of a different nature. I remember this the first time around, as I was there. In those days, an ultra-right wing bigot called ‘Janmaat’ was the problem. In those days clever politicians decided to ignore him completely, which I thought was a mistake, even as he was a loon to say the least. And I was proven right at the following elections he actually got three seats in a place called Schiedam. He actually ended up with a seat at the table. Now, as he was too extreme and outspoken lacking constraint and thought. He was for all intent and purposes the Dutch version of Jean-Marie Le Pen. Geert Wilder is another matter, like Marine Le Pen he is a lot more intelligent, which now gives us another problem as we see the issues escalate. When we see the Irish Times (at http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/rhetoric-against-geert-wilders-ratchets-up-in-the-netherlands-1.2531503), you could see this as an open and shut case. But it is not. The quote “Right-wing politician Geert Wilders has been described as “a threat to democracy and the rule of law” in the Netherlands after calling for “resistance” to the establishment of refugee centres to house migrants from Iraq and Syria“, the issue is not the quote, it is the context. Even as we see “The condemnation by the chairman of the Labour Party, Hans Spekman, came as a new survey showed that hundreds of local councillors are considering giving up politics because of credible physical threats against themselves and their families“.

The context is not given. Elsevier gives us: “De PVV heeft volgens velen grote invloed. PVV-oprichter en partijleider Geert Wilders gooit, zoals premier Mark Rutte (VVD) zei, geregeld een stuk ‘rood vlees in de arena’, waarna iedereen daarop duikt. Meestal leiden zijn uitspraken over immigratie, de islam, de Europese Unie en de elites tot ophef. Afgezien van dat verbale theater zijn de resultaten van tien jaar PVV des­ondanks bescheiden“, {translated} According to many, the PVV has a lot of influence, Prime Minister Rutte states: Geert Wilders throws a piece of red meat into the arena, and everyone is going for it. Often enough the quotes are related to immigration, Islam, the EEC and the elite. Beyond that the results of 10 years of PVV presence is modest. Here is the issue and the context. It is trivialisation. Consider the quote “local councilors are considering giving up politics because of credible physical threats against themselves and their families, you see Geert Wilders did not do that. He has been clearly quoted as the person stating the need for non-violent non-compliance. Which is pretty much what Ghandi did. The people of the Netherlands are angry because life in the Netherlands is less and less affordable, housing, food, the prices keep on going up. Let’s not forget that the Dutch National population density is pretty close to that of London. Just in case you did not fathom that. The NATIONAL density of that nation approaches the density of the city of London. The politicians are playing with funds they do not have, budgets they cannot keep and now, they add more and more refugees. It is a commendable approach, but elected officials are still only elected by the people and the people are less and less agreeable with the decision made. Geert Wilders sees this and is playing those cards intensely. So as we see places like ‘The Post’ (http://tpo.nl/) are trivialising him and stating how he missed the boat. They are in equal denial on how much support the current political parties have lost at present. We see other statements by the Post on how PVV members are lowly educated and how they do not comprehend statistics. Well, that might not be incorrect, but the Post or better stated the people there have very likely read ‘How to lie with statistics’ and the people are realising how the numbers are no longer reliable.

The Dutch version of the Financial Times (at http://fd.nl/economie-politiek/1134584/pvv-naar-41-zetels-in-peiling-maurice-de-hond) gives them a current ranking of 41 seats, the fourth party ever to surpass 40 seats. Two of his contenders, those who usually are much higher than the PVV was are now on 18 and 19 seats (which might have been a typo by the Financial Times), implying that the PVV is now larger than the both of them. An achievement that even I never considered to be realistically possible. Now we get additional news from POW Ned (at http://www.powned.tv/nieuws/politiek/2016/02/syrische_oorlogsmisdadigers_mo.html), now I cannot vouch for the quality and reliability of that news, but consider that they stated 2 weeks ago that Syrian war criminals are currently in the Netherlands. They are not the only source stating this, some more renowned papers are giving similar statements, that those criminals, if applying for refugee status could not be removed from the Netherlands (source: Elsevier), if so, the Dutch people are likely to show a lot more anger soon enough, this is part of the danger that Dutch trivialisation is giving them, because the angry people (the numbers are growing daily) are siding with Geert Wilders, even though they are not in full agreement of his agenda and his voice, but the other parties have ignored the voice of the people for so long that they have had enough, which is part of the reason why many local politicians feel threatened. You see, they were there to fight for their constituents, not to dance to big business and the needs of a community that deserted them. If we accept that Humour is a moderator of compassion fatigue (see: Carmen C. Moran), we can get to the side that the higher the fatigue, the more direct the humour needs to be (the Adolf Silverman sketch, or was that Adolf Trump?), Kuhlman in 1988 gave us the premise that humour can be a bonding agent amongst colleagues as an emotional language, yet this is an environment of like-minded persons. That is not the case with the American people, and as such Humour is the trivialisation that no longer seems to work, it actually becomes the accelerant fuelling the American anger (to some extent). The same path is what the Dutch parties face with the PVV, like Janmaat, it would be great for them if Geert Wilders unqualified himself through his voice, but Geert Wilders is intelligent enough, not to be that extreme.

The growth of far right wing parties is what makes humour a dangerous tool to use, because the voters are either not getting it, or they no longer care who comes into power, as long as it is not the ‘current’ party. That makes for an unbalanced and dangerous escalation. As we see that Marine Le Pen is still the party to observe in the upcoming elections, the growth of the PVV and now the headway that German AfD (Alternativ fur Deutchland) is making, gives all the players several worries, more than ever before. Even as Italian Matteo Salvini with Lega Nord is unlikely to be the growing favourite, a wrong sense of humour in Italy could change that to some extent, yet I reckon not enough, which might make some people rejoice. What is a given is that the European map will soon starts to get  a major overhaul, the extent of the overhaul will remain a mystery until the election dust settles, at which time an entirely new sense of humour will be required.

Will this affect the UK? That is actually an uncertainty, you see Brexit will make part of that determination, yet in equal measure how David Cameron now deals with Turkey is going to be centre in all this, especially the next elections. Nigel Farage has already spoken out against Turkey and in all honesty, I am not sure if he is wrong. The European players have been too lenient on Turkey and too lenient of the acts of Turkey as a whole, which implies that any soft catering towards Turkeys goals, especially as people start to realise that the Greek mess (regarding refugees) is largely DUE TO Turkey, any non-firm stance by Prime Minister David Cameron and The Right Honourable Philip Hammond regarding Turkey will hurt the Conservative numbers, of that I am utterly convinced. This poses an interesting place for UKIP, as they have not had such an advantage before. There is no clear way to tell how those dice will fall. Those elements will get an additional levy when we consider that Nigel Farage will be in the Netherlands 2 days (next month) before the referendum on the ‘EU’s treaty of association with Ukraine‘. By some this treaty is seen as a general feel on the EU as a whole, with one difference. Dutch News quoted Nigel Farage with “If you win in your referendum, my goodness me, that will help in Britain too“, which seems to be correct, the Ukrainian situation is an unstable one and Nigel can get votes no matter how that referendum goes. It is quite literal ‘damned if you do and damned if you do not’, these are easy points to pick up for Nigel and that impacts Geert Wilders too, although he would need a clear win here. The political map is shifting for a multitude of reasons, but let there be no mistake. The Greek economy started this, the power players desperate for their ‘Status Quo’ only added fuel to the fire and now they are for the most out of the game, making threats on how people are losing out and that story became stale and no one believes it any more (the voting population at large), the players relied on a dangerous sense of humour and they are about to lose in three nations no less.

Any opposition towards the far right needs to get serious and remain so, even at social events for some time to come.

 

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