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Saturday, May 08, 2010

In The Court Of Desicritics: The Case of Humour vs Satire

Plaintiff: temporal, star gazer, Toronto, Ontario Defendant: Aaman Lamba, Publisher, No Fixed Address Courtroom: 498A Presiding Judge: The Hon. D. C. Hritic

All rise, all rise, the court is in session.
(shuffling feet, rustling sounds, people rise and sit)

Bailiff: In the matter of Humour Vs. Satire, case number 420-10, will the Plaintiff come forward.

t: Your Honour, the Defendant is highly unreasonable, high strung and high handed in his decision not to allow a separate main category for Humour. We will show you why his decision should be over ruled.

A: Objection.

J: Objection over ruled. Mr. t please continue.

t: Thank you Your Honour We call our first witness - Mr. Mushtaque Ahmed Yusufi.

(A wry, wiry man in his late 70s, with thick lenses, shuffles across to take his seat in the witness box.)

B: Mr Yusufi place left hand on the English-Urdu dictionary, raise your right hand and repeat after me, " I Mushtaque Ahmed Yusufi hereby declare that what I say here will only include words in this dictionary and nothing but." Yusufi raises his left hand, holding the dictionary in his right hand, takes the oath and sits down.

t: Mr. Yusufi will you tell the court your views on Humour?

Y: Humor is a great aide to breathing. It is not a way to make a living. Unless starvation diet is your preference. While it does not replace drugs used to alleviate blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol etc. humour is a soothing warmth that flows everywhere and is felt unseen. This fire can neither cremate nor lit a fire. It is not a reform tool. For that we have Haliburton, Ayatollah Bush, Hojjat el Islam Cheyney and the Patriot Act.

A: Objection my lord!

J: Objection sustained. Mr. t counsel your witness to stick to relevancy and keep the present administration out of it.

Y: Humour is freedom, humour is sixth sense, humour is Teflon, humour is fun, humour is humour.

J: ( looks quizzically at t)

Y: I can laugh at my miseries and afflictions anytime, and I can indulge you in it also. And then I can laugh at your robe and the open fly Sir, and then you will laugh along with me as you pull the zip up.

J: (nods gravely, smiles and nonchalantly feels his zip relieved to find it up)

A: Objection. This is hear-say observation not a defense of Humour, Your Honour.

J: (slamming the gravel) Over ruled. There was no hostility in his words. Please sit down Mr. Lamba. Continue Mr. Yusufi.

Y: Freedom of Laughter, in my opinion is a greater freedom than Freedom of Speech. It is my firm belief that if a nation can laugh freely (at itself) it can never be enslaved. In religion, alcohol and humor everything is easily soluble; all the more in Urdu literature. Or any literature.

t: Thank you Mr. Yusufi. Your witness.

A: Mr. Yusufi, you said , "But humor has its own sets of priorities and unique demands. It should be free of angst, bitterness and disillusionment. Or else the boomerang (of humor) will turn around and claim the humorist as its first victim." Is this your quote?

Y: Yes, it feels like I could have said it.

A: Then you believe satirists are victimizers and victims too?

Y: When a satirist bites it bleeds: when a humorist jabs you laugh with him.

A: You mean their bark is without a bite?

Y: I play with words, Sir. Am not a dog breeder.

A: Mr. Yusufi your wife claimed once that you bit the legs of your labrador.

Y: I never bit our dog. That would have been news. My wife? Perhaps. But if I did it would be a crime of passion and under article 498 section 4, sub-section 2, clause O it is permissible between consenting adults.

t: Objection! This is irrelevant. Please have it stricken off.

J: Sustained. Mr. Yusufi, please stay focused. This court will not tolerate bedroom humour.

A: Mr. Yusufi you have also written, "If you come across a poisonous snake and a satirist, first get rid of...."

t: Objection! Objection!

J: Objection sustained. Leading witness. Third strike and it is contempt of court Mr. Lamba. Am I clear?

A: Yes, Sir.

J: Proceed

A: At Desicritics we cater to one and all. Everyone is free to come and have their say as long as it is within decorum. We allow everyone an opportunity to express themselves. We have a zero tolerance towards personal attacks. I have written there, "If you can write lucidly and are opinionated, then you will fit right in with our 'sinister cabal'. We are looking for reviews, news, interviews, commentary and opinion. You can be as eccentric, bizarre, creative, opinionated, specific, or broad-based as you like." Being critical and satirical is encouraged.

J: (impatiently) What does that have to do with creating a category for Humour?

A: I am the Publisher

J: And I the judge! Do you have anything further to add? Can you tell the court what does what you have said has anything to do with adding a main category for Humor?

A: Yes Sir. I drew the charter for Desicritics. I decide what goes. I decided that Humour should be a sub category and not a main category. I am only answerable to Eric and Deepti.

J: Do you have anything more to say?

A: No, Sir.

J: The Court is adjourned till Monday. I will deliver my verdict on Monday at 10 a.m. sharp.

all rise


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