When a celebrity is in the news, whether they have been caught doing something they shouldn't have or have even died, within minutes the jokes are flying around.
I heard about the death of Princess Diana by a joke on my mobile phone about St. Peter explaining to someone at the pearly gates that it was a a steering wheel above her head and not a halo and the Michael Jackson jokes were flowing while he was still in the ambulance but there has been a lack of Oscar
Pistorious jokes being forwarded.
Where my mobile is usually politely asking me to delete some messages by now, i have just got just a handful, 'Oscar’s defence will be that he was absolutely legless at the time', him not having a leg to stand on and a Frankie Boyle joke that 'Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend must have known he was armed as those are the only limbs he’s got'.
I don't know if it is a particularly English thing but bad taste jokes are something we seem to revel in and anyone is fair game, even the much revered Queen Mother (What's rich, sweet and comes in a box at Easter? The Queen Mum) but we seem to have become a bit squeamish about Oscar probably because he is disabled.
There is the argument that to laugh at an Oscar Pistorious joke is somehow laughing at all disabled people and society has moved on thanks to the Paralympics last summer and disabled people are not to be mocked but they miss the point, Oscar happens to be a disabled man who is being talked about and his disability is part of this defence, saying he first went to the bathroom door without his prosthetic limbs on and feeling vulnerable, he fired into the bathroom door.
Following any disaster or tragedy, deeply offensive gags swiftly proliferate, the medical professionals and emergency services have always been known for their gallows humour and psychologists suggest that one of the reasons we laugh at tragedy is that it makes the issue easier to deal with, Sigmund Freud said that sick jokes were the mechanism by which the ego insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world.
Pistorius is a famous man accused of a heinous crime, he also happens to have had his legs amputated and so the jokes are obviously set around that just as if it was Stevie Wonder the jokes would be about his blindness or if you hear a Beethoven joke, it would almost certainly be a joke about his deafness.
Talking to other people from other nations, it seems that this type of thing doesn't go on quite so much in other countries and while some of the jokes are tasteless, warped, insensitive and sometimes very offensive, it shows that no matter how bad something is, us British will laugh at it.
Not sure if that is a good thing or not or even how it reflects on us but it isn't going to stop anytime soon.
Latest Oscar Pistorius joke to my phone: He has been turned down by the South African cricket team for the job as kit man because he only had 2 stumps and no bail.