Are There Fewer Jokes These Days?

A mate of mine in Australia says: “I’ve been enjoying all these old James Bond movies. I enjoy the sexism and racial stereotyping that prevailed in the early Bond movies. It’s a breath of fresh air. There was one set in India and Bond handed this Indian some cash and said, ‘This should buy you and your family a bit of curry for the next few months.’ When women could be judged on their beauty. There’s always some good one-liners. Feminists must hate them.

“As you get more and more modern in the Bond genre, there’s less and less of that sexism and racial stereotyping. There was a lot more zooming in on women’s breasts. These things are increasingly getting cut out of our lives. You can’t have a statute of some 150-year old character because that might offend. You can’t comment on women’s breasts because that might offend. Don’t you think our freedoms are getting curtailed? The parameters of what is polite speech is narrowing. There are a lot less jokes around these days. People say, ‘Tell me a joke’ and I say, ‘I can’t because nobody is telling me any. There’s a shortage.'”

“It used to be that as you mixed with people, there were oodles of jokes — abo jokes, Jew jokes, jokes about everything and everything was politically incorrected. Nowadays fewer people are willing to tell jokes. We need humor. It’s the oil between people.

“There’s this lady in the Post Office and every time I go in, she says, ‘You got a joke for me?’ The last one I told her she didn’t like. Whew. I thought it was pretty innocent. I said, ‘Why do they call camels ships of the desert? Because they’re filled with Arab semen.'”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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