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Are you laughing yet?

The kid with the glasses, the fat one, he sits in the corner while everyone around him talks and socializes, he listens attentively, he has a knack for it, and he waits like a shark waits for that stupid bikini clad female who ventures out too far, and when he feels the correct time he pounces… err… I mean talks out. And what's the aftermath of it all? Everyone's laughing. Makes you jealous don't it, how that kid can make anyone laugh out in tears with just a few well placed words and you can't? And every now and then, that fat kid also somewhat disturbs you, even though he makes you laugh because every now and then he says something that you don't totally agree with or maybe it offends you somewhat. Well, see that's the problem, humour comes at the expense of something. It's the job of the humorist to make fun, and see that's exactly how he's funny, making fun of someone.

- What's the difference between a pizza and a ***? (due to the purposes of not offending people and getting this article printed, this joke will remain sadly unfunny, forgive us)
- A pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven.

Pardon me, but did I just offend someone?

Being funny is a tough job. You cannot really afford to sit at a corner and make jokes about everyone at the party. You might get beaten up by the more enthusiastic and short-tempered lot. You can't go on making fun of yourself, mainly because there can't be possibly enough interesting things in your life or your appearance that can captivate attention for more than 5 minutes. Referring to your life introduces embarrassing moments to friends or family, and again, you risk losing a 'favourable' image. You can't pull out humour on people from other continents. That makes you culturally intolerant or a racist. Maybe you're thinking of beavers or gorillas to make a mockery of. Sigh. You might get sued by environmentalists or zoologists. Another possibility is that the beavers might stop building dams. And bears might stop giving a damn about whether you're dead or not when they're foraging for fresh meat. That makes you feel useless in the food chain. Also we like bears and beavers. It's the humans we have something against. Take the dog for example, when I make fun of him, he doesn't get offended, he barks even harder and makes me laugh even more. People should be more like dogs in our learned opinion.

Of course, the only way you can be funny without creating havoc is by being famous. If you've got fame, you've got the license to stand up on a podium and crack lame jokes. You can make fun of the President, or other people and practically anything. People will find you funny. You won't get sued. Even if you get sued, thanks to your fame, you'll have enough money to get back at them. Even if you don't have enough money, you may yet have enough funny left in you. So, reach deep inside of you, tickle that funny bone, and crack that miracle joke that will make the suing individual or company forget everything, and just give you a friendly pat on the shoulder. Few end up bankrupt and despondent. Some end up in jail but ignore that, since obviously you aren't famous so there isn't question about people caring if you're funny or not. It's the famous people who get all that attention.

This is why we, the common world, should be jealous of people who run Comedy Central, Jerry Seinfeld and Phoebe from FRIENDS. We're particularly envious of Homer and Bart Simpson. They get to finger point Apu in every episode and they keep getting funnier. Not to mention richer. The Asian nerd from the TV series or the black dude who gets thrown around by rednecks 'on purpose', they happen to be hilarious inclusions. They don't get sued, either. Nobody stops doing anything. The world runs fine, and everyone enjoys a good laugh. The reason is that the world is inherently funny, funny people don't make it funny, they just point out the other millions in the world who repeatedly do stupid things that make the world funny. And all you stupid people, we love you; you make the world worth living in.

“God has a sense of humor. If you don't believe me, tomorrow go to Wal-mart and just look at people.” (Carlos Mencia, Mind of Comedy Central)

Somebody once said that the first joke ever cracked on the face of this earth was when one caveman pointed out to his buddies another caveman who was covertly peeing into the bushes. They all laughed out loud and since language was yet to be invented, the Neanderthals, they made do with dubious grunts and crude signs that in today's world would get an accountant thrown into jail for indecency. In our honest opinion accountants should all be thrown into jail for indecency, they way they disdainfully hand over your hard earned money at month's end, acting as if the amount was worthless is a capital crime in our views. We refuse to be belittled by the bald bespectacled guy who is rich everyday for duration of 9 to 5. We also formally ask permission to make fun of them without offending someone or the other. If you happen to be an accountant, or an accountant's daughter, we feel very sorry for you, it must be very hard to handle all that money without every being able to steal the occasional penny here and there. It's a pitiful life, yeah.

And just like that we just offended all the accountants in the world and you probably laughed to, and before you start acting all righteous and politically correct, remember this, we just made you laugh and that counts because apparently some doctor said laughing is good for the heart and we are the sole reason you aren't dead yet from cholesterol poisoning. However the point is, that being funny comes at the expense of something and instead of taking offense, just loosen up laugh, your heart will thank you for it. And because we care so much about you, we hereby formally grant you permission to make fun of us, on condition that you never let us know, we are self conscious people with weak esteems, anymore jabs and its over for us. We also thank you for laughing at our expense, it makes us feel good.

By Tareq Adnan,
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya and Emil

Book review

Breaking Dawn

A pleasant half-doze in the car, waiting for the traffic lights to turn green, ended with a rude awakening as someone slapped something against the window. As the haze of sleep lifted, the first thing to come into focus was a book cover pressed against the window, featuring a chessboard with a large white queen and a little red pawn behind it. At any other time, the sight of a Stephanie Meyer book would be enough to set yours truly on a rant, but after the past few weeks, one felt that a break from reality was just the thing to keep one sane.

The fourth and most recent book in the Twilight series is broken up with into three parts, and begins with the long-awaited wedding between Bella Swan and her vampire love Edward Cullen. This event is a transition for the accident-prone heroine in more ways than one; firstly, it was taking place after her high-school graduation, signalling the end of what should have been the halcyon years of one's life. Secondly, it was a precursor to her ultimate destiny to become a vampire, as per the deal she made with her husband, which meant that she would no longer be able to meet with her own family anymore; and finally, once she made that transformation, it would most likely be the end of her friendship with her best friend, the werewolf Jacob.

The second part is written from Jacob's perspective, and continues throughout the term of Bella's pregnancy, up to the childbirth. The product of an incubus father and a human mother, the child inside Bella is growing at an abnormal rate, ripping its mother from inside, and all Jacob can do is to sit and watch helplessly, as he comes closer to losing the woman he loves. The story also elaborates on the werewolves and their internal politics, much of which has to do with the indecision as to what happens to the truce between the wolves and the vampires once Bella's child is born. Jacob splits with his pack, reluctantly forming his own with Seth and Leah Clearwater. Towards the end of this part, the child is born, tearing out of her mother, who is saved only because Edward transforms his wife into a vampire at the very last moment. The third and final part deals with Bella discovering life as a vampire, adjusting to her new abilities, taking delight in her healthy, half-human child, and trying to deal with the lovestruck werewolf who now offends her sensitized vampire senses. Read the book to find out. One has to give credit where it's due, and Meyer, despite her sloppy characterisation, and overdone descriptions, knows what her target audience wants. However, Breaking Dawn isn't a book that you'll be reading for its literary merits, no. This is a book you want to read so you can tell your friends how terrible it was and how JK Rowling was so much better.


Nadya Suleman. Mother of fourteen. Unemployed. Living with her parents in a three-bedroom house that's on the verge of foreclosure. Media sensation.

Her massive pregnant belly made news the day TMZ, a paparazzi network, broadcast the expecting mother of eight on its show. The story caught on like wildfire. Major networks jostled to give this once-in-a-lifetime newsreel a go. It wasn't long before everyone under the sun related to Nadya was being interviewed, quoted, and hounded.

The media world is waiting to see what she does next. The octuplets, a little over a month old, are to be released from the hospital soon. Born prematurely, there is fear that the children will grow up with mental and physical challenges. Three of Nadya's six older children already have disabilities. All of them are on food stamps. What with the economic crisis that's gripping America, and the fact that Social Security might run out by the time this generation of teenagers takes the helm, taxpayers are not taking the prospect of paying for the fourteen Suleman kids well.

Everyone who's anyone wonders what's going to happen once Suleman brings the babies home. Where will they stay? How will she take care of them? Her mother, already stressed over her six older grandchildren, has gone on TV to lambast the fertility doctor who implanted Suleman. Suleman, in her defense, claims that 'love is expandable' and is confident that she'll make it through. 'I'll need help,' she belabours. 'I'll need a lot of help.' Where will the help come from? 'Volunteers,' says Suleman. 'Neighbours, friends.' So far, the only help she's gotten is media coverage. The last time I checked, there was no word on anyone signing up to play surrogate daddy to the Suleman kids.

Dr. Phil, Oprah's go-to guy, has already called Suleman 'crazy'. Most of America agrees with him. The state of California has even considered taking the octuplets away. If Suleman does not prove herself to be financially solvent enough to single-handedly raise fourteen kids on food stamps (a long shot, by anyone's standards) then the Child Protective Services might show up at the Sulemans' soon-to-foreclosed home with grim intentions.

In the meantime, Suleman has some interesting bids to consider. A producer has offered her $1 million to star in a film, along with full medical coverage for her entire brood. Will Suleman do it? One can only wonder. When pushed to the brink of a media blitzkrieg, how far is Nadya Suleman willing to go?

By Shehtaz Huq



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