Sin Yew asks Lord Bobo’s critics to get off their high horses.
Before you continue reading, it is very important that you first watch the videos below:
“No children were abused in the making of this show. No one was hurt and no Islamic cartoons were used. You know, for those of you that can’t take a fucking joke. That’s it for me, religion is fucking finished, that’s it, it’s fucking over lads. It’s fucking over. You got a couple of thousand years, you fucked it, it’s over. It’s fucking over. Take your reformation, your vatican, your fucking mecca and FUCK OFF! Suicide Bombing there’s a bright idea. Every time there’s a bang the worlds a wanker short. Fucking idiots! I want to see the instructor. “Right lads I’m only going to show you this once”. Fucking pricks! And it depends on what newspaper you read how many virgins you get for blowing yourself up. How are you going to shag them when you’re now flying mince? There’s all different numbers there’s 17 virgins there’s 20 virgins there’s 40 virgins but my favourite was 53. That was proof to me there’s a committee involved somewhere. 53 fucking virgins. The very thought of 53 fucking virgins… It’s a nightmare! It’s not a fucking present it’s not a prize! That’s a punishment! Give me two fire-breathing whores any day of the week.” — Billy Connolly
“Canadian parents they’re a little too soft with their kids. And that’s fine, whatever makes you happy. But you need to start beating the kids. I will tell you why. Because growing up the kids now are growing up in the multicultural society. You’re gonna have white kids growing up with black kids and brown kids and Asian kids. They all going be hung around in the playground. You know what I mean? They all gonna be talking about the ass whoop they got last night. You want this little white kid to feel left out? Beat that child so he is not a social outcast. They’re probably sitting around going “My dad beat my ass!… My dad beat my ass too!” The white kid goes “I was sent to my room.” “You’ve got a room?!?” You need to beat the kids, man. Indian parents will beat their kids. Chinese parents will. I would hate to get beaten by parents who know kung-fu and stuff like that. I would hate to mess up in a Chinese house man. “Hey! Cap Dis Wong! Come here! It says you got an ‘F’ in school!” They wouldn’t even need to beat you! Just go “Ou-e-e-e”. No Sunny Check. Indian parents will beat their kids. Indian parents aren’t afraid to kill their kids if they have to. My dad’s story was “If I get rid of one I will make another one! And I will tell the new one what an idiot the last one was!” — Russell Peters
Did you find the above jokes funny? Did you laugh, if not, smile? I did, and so did many others all around the world.
But some people were offended by the above jokes. They said the jokes were “offensive”.
For the first video, those who were offended said that it was disrespectful to the religion, and entrenches the stereotype that Muslim are terrorists and are promised 72 virgin women when they die as martyrs.
For the second video, those who were offended said that the comedian is encouraging child abuse, and that the joke is detrimental to the family institution — not to forget the racist undertones.
Assuming that those who were offended demanded that the jokes be retracted, taken off YouTube, and that a full apology was issued by the comedians — what you would your reaction be?
If you found the above jokes funny, would you say that the demands of those who were offended should be met? Or would you say that they simply did not get the joke?
And it’s fine to not get a joke. It’s fine not to find a joke funny. It happens. But then, there are also some who want His Supreme Eminenceness Lord Bobo to apologise for even making the joke, and they also want the article to be taken down.
If it is not blindingly obvious, the article by Lord Bobo is satire. It is meant to be funny. Tongue-in-cheek. Anyone who’s read the Ask Lord Bobo column would know that this is the tone the column adopts — and really, even if someone was reading the column for the first time, it’s pretty obvious. Simply because some of us did not get the joke, it does not mean others did not find it funny. Unless of course some of us are arrogant and vain enough to presume that everyone did not get the joke and found it offensive.
Even if the column is “offensive”, it still is not a good enough reason to insist on an apology or for the takedown of the article because, let’s face it, there is no such thing as the right not to be offended. Much has been written about this. Go sit down and think about it for a while — the right not to be offended.
If this particular column warrants an apology, then get in line, because Lord Bobo has written many more offensive articles in the past (Allah, Jesus, Lawyers, Muslims, the Malaysian Government, the Police, Buddha, Russell Brand, JAKIM, the Selangor Sultan, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Prime Minister, Rosmah, Nazri Aziz…). The list goes on really, because there are a hell of a lot of offended people running around these days. Would an apology be due to those sensitive souls as well?
How do we even determine what is “offensive” anyway? Utusan Malaysia demanded that action be taken against Lord Bobo for insulting the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong — are their views less valid than those upset about the idea of a blowjob? It’s all very arbitrary, isn’t it?
What we have failed to look at is the intent. The intent of the article is to make its readers laugh just like the jokes in the videos above. If you laughed at the jokes above, you laughed at very important issues such as religion, child abuse, racism, and the dangers of stereotyping. Was it the comedian’s intention to belittle such important issues? If it was, would that not make you a guilty participant? Or, are you simply appreciating the comedian’s attempt at making you laugh? Similarly, being quite clearly satire, it cannot be Lord Bobo’s intention to objectify or stereotype women.
It’s about time we got off our god damn high horses and accept that our views may not be the only one that is valid. The world is a bloody big place, and there is bound to be people with different views. There is a pretty good change that someone somewhere would be genuinely offended by things we say or do — but that doesn’t mean you owe them an apology and should be banned from saying or doing those things.
The right to freedom of expression should only be limited where there is clear and present danger. Anything else should only be countered with reason. If you do not agree with anything said, show how stupid or silly the writer is with your own words, your own reason — that’s your freedom to express, so go ahead. However, demanding an apology, asking for censorship, and gagging someone is going too far.
Whilst we condemn the Home Ministry for banning books, films, and other form of expression, and mock Perkasa for being intolerant and oh-so-easily offended, we should introspect and ask ourselves whether we are doing the same to those who we do not share our opinions or worldview.
Perkasa may well demand that the word ‘Allah’ be exclusive to Muslims, and we may think that they’re wrong in saying so. But however wrong we think they are, we would be committing a greater wrong if we ganged up to silence them, to deny them of their right to freedom of expression.
Censorship is self-defeating to any cause we advocate — unless of course the cause is to silence others who do not share our views. The world is a marketplace of ideas, and only through constant debate and discourse will truth prevail.
Liberavi Animam Meam. I have freed my spirit. Free your mind. This world is overflowing with rules, regulations, laws, customs, social norms, and practices — all weighing us down. What we can eat, what we can drink, who we can see, when we can go home — everything is dictated. We live in an invisible prison which we cannot see, smell, or touch. And here comes an idea where we can be free, we should be free, and we must be free — because men were meant to be free.
Accept that your view is not the only view there is, be open to the endless possibilities there are, express yourself freely and allow others to do the same —isn’t this what Liberavi Animam Meam is all about?
I believe in freedom of expression. We all should.