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» Ship of Fools   » Things we did   » The Laugh Judgment   » Where to put the Bible?

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Where to put the Bible?

# 1

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Joke submitted by Douglas fae Aiberdeen:

A copy of the Bible was mistakenly delivered to an organic vegan wholefood collective café and bookshop. The supplier had gone into liquidation and the delivery firm were refusing to take it back. The workers in the collective were therefore stuck with the unwanted volume, and commenced debating where to put it on the shelves.

One worker wanted the book put in the "Crimes against Humanity and Huwomynty" section because of all the evil that it had fostered in the world.

Another worker wanted it to go in the "Capitalism and Exploitation" section because she said it provided a blueprint for business marketing, monopoly, oppression of the poor and globalisation.

A third said that it should go in the "Fantasy Literature" section, next to The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter books, for reasons that are too obvious to state.

A fourth wanted the book to go in the "Gender Crimes" section because of its evil and pernicious attitudes to womyn and lesbian and gay people.

This view was assertively countered by a sixth worker, who felt that the book should be shelved alongside The Well of Loneliness as, in several of its later chapters, an early example of repressed male homosexuality in literature.

No one could agree on where to shelve the book, and, and as always happens when the Bible comes under discussion, tempers were becoming quite frayed, with everyone taking the view that their own opinion was the only correct one. It began to look like the co-operative might be torn apart.

The problem was however fortuitously solved when a customer came up to the group and said, "I’m sorry to interrupt you when you’re busy, but there’s no paper in the loo."

[ 27. July 2005, 09:03: Message edited by: Simon ]

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Eternal memory

Posts: 3787 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Sorry, but it's just plain rude. I suspect to find it funny, one would have to be in agreement with those who think the Bible is of less than no value. (Darn, that sounded stuffy)

For what it's worth, I'd feel the same way if it was a copy of the Quran or the Bhagavad-Gita in the joke.

Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Silent Acolyte

# 1158

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It is just plain dumb. Too dumb to be funny. Too dumb to be offensive.
Posts: 7462 | From: The New World | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
# 91

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I'm with Lamb Chopped on this one.
Posts: 795 | From: Indiana, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Plain unfunny. It was rather long and I was expecting an hilarious punchline. Sorry, Douglas, but I'm still waiting.

And rude/offensive. Any other religion's scripture would've elicited the same response from me.

[ 21. July 2005, 01:40: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

Posts: 7800 | From: On the border | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
# 3238

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It's a poorly crafted joke, it's one that can't be told verbally (how do you say "womyn" as opposed to "women"?), and the punchline isn't funny. Also, it's boring because it's too wordy and the punchline doesn't "punch."

"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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# 44

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Not funny--no punch line. Build-up to nothing.

At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

Posts: 7667 | From: Summerisle | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
# 8757

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Yes, and then what happened?

I don't find it particularly offensive, because ISTM it takes the piss out of vegan organic collective etc cafés as much as Christians, but...

... was there a bit missing off the end that the teller forgot to submit? The build-up would be quite funny if it actually built up to anything.

Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

Posts: 7247 | From: Liverpool, UK | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wesley J

Silly Shipmate
# 6075

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A joke? - Where? - What Amos says.

Might be offensive, but I was fast asleep long before the end of it.

Very, very lame. And poorly told. Offensive? IMHO 'the collective' seems such a bunch of utterly confused fellows that they'd probably take about any book for that very purpose, and in the end, will burn down their house anyway... [Roll Eyes]

The question may arise whether the Bible can be used for any 'unholy' duties. I think, in an emergency, yes. I might be sad, but one can often get another, new copy later on. (Except if you are miles from a bookshop.) - The definition of emergency though would probably deserve some more thought.

Be it as it may: Wesley J will stay. --- Euthanasia, that sounds good. An alpine neutral neighbourhood. Then back to Britain, all dressed in wood. Things were gonna get worse. (John Cooper Clarke)

Posts: 7354 | From: The Isles of Silly | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
capn Ahab
# 9199

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the only funny bit was the misspelling of woman, sad
Posts: 17 | From: Aberdeen, Scotland | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
# 9153

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I didn't really get the point of this joke.

If it merely relates that some people don't like the Bible, it isn't particularly revealing or funny.

If it is itself an attack on the Bible, it doesn't come close to scoring a hit. I think mockery can be a legitimate part of humour, but these attacks are too vague and too feeble to be effective as mockery.

If it is meant to send up a certain type of Bible-hater, the satire is probably a bit closer to home, but as I'm not part of that culture, it's not something that really amused me.

The one part I thought WAS funny was the implied parallel between the critics of the Bible all "taking the view that their own opinion was the only correct one" with Christians, who of course do exactly the same. The idea of condemning a sacred work as sexist with such religious fervour that it is precluded from meaning anything else (even something else disapproved of, such as capitalism or homophobia), is funny. It's funny because it is so close to the religious fervour of the Bible's most extreme defenders, who can't see anything in the Bible except support for their own church brand. It's funny because it plays on universal human short-sightedness.

However it doesn't work as a punchline here. It's an amusing idea on the way to a clever conclusion, but the conclusion then turns out not to be clever, and undermines what has been set up. If the disputants really all could agree that the Bible is fit only for bog roll, then they can't have meant anything by their first set of arguments. They become unimportant. We stop caring about why they were arguing, and the argument here is the whole joke.

[ 21. July 2005, 11:18: Message edited by: Eliab ]

"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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It's obviously not an attack on the Bible, its an attack on the "workers in the collective" - which rather odd use of language would imply that it is pretty much verbatim from the 1970s - or made up by someone whose political stereotypes are stuck in the 1970s.

This is the sort of thing that could have appeared in a British tabloid newspaper 20 years ago, allong with "baa baa greensheep" and all the rest of the bollocks.


L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Newman's Own
# 420

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I agree with the others who saw a large build up to no punchline.

I remember the 1970s all too well, and the beginning of the joke showed promise. (About all that was missing was people talking about what they did 'in another life.') Somehow, I'd expected it was building up to a conclusion where there was either a comment about the richness of scripture and the mistaken conclusions of those commenting, or something else showing their misunderstanding and weirdness. As it stands, the ending just seemed anti-climactic and stupid.

“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lurker McLurker™

Ship's stowaway
# 1384

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Originally posted by Newman's Own:
Somehow, I'd expected it was building up to a conclusion where there was either a comment about the richness of scripture and the mistaken conclusions of those commenting, or something else showing their misunderstanding and weirdness.

That's perhaps waht one is supposed to expect- a cringeworthy tale which ends in the collective members discoering the commitment to social justice in the Bible and seeign the light. However, a story like that wouldn't be on this board. Somewhere other than the Ship the twist might just work.

Just War Theory- a perversion of morality?

Posts: 5661 | From: Raxacoricofallapatorius | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
# 1458

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It would be offensive if the book was the Qu'ran because that is believed to be the word of God for muslims. For Christians, Jesus is the word of God.

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Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

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Since all the people I know who run vegan organic cafes are strictly literalist Bible-reading Christians, I found the premise of the joke silly, but that's just a feature of my subculture. It's not a funny joke, but not because anything in it is offensive -- it's just not funny.

Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Faerie Bard
# 4534

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Here I was expecting to have my wing of the faith successfully mocked, and the punchline is woefully banal.

On a related note, the MIT Science Fiction Library had a copy of the Bible shelved under "God" as the author. They also had a plastic golden banana under "banana" as the author.

Go and be who you are:
The Body of Christ,
The Goddess of Body,
The Manifest Song of Faerie.

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Ship's token UK Mennonite
# 582

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I found this very offensive, because the Bible is important to me - I have no veneration for the actual paper and print, in a Qu'ran-like way, but the implication seems to be that the Bible is only fit to be loo-paper.

It wasn't funny at all, because the offensiveness cancelled out any potential humour.

I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.


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# 28

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i didn't find it funny at all, because the parts just didn't seem to "mesh" somehow. seemed like it tried to be funny by offending both "sides" of the issue, but i didn't even find it particularly offensive. just annoying.

On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Left at the Altar

Ship's Siren
# 5077

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It's one of those jokes that goes nowhere. Needs work.

Still pretty Amazing, but no longer Mavis.

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# 9691

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Unfortunately it seems the sole aim of this text is to try to offend. The idea that this is a joke competition has clearly gone out the window.

When creating a joke the aim should always be to make it funny. If it is offensive as a consequence then so be it.

This is nothing more than an insult. We may as well debate the humour of the European Constitution.

Posts: 28 | From: Birmingham | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
# 58

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This just seems very dated. It's one of those jokes that relies on topicality to make it work (although the punchline's very flat and lacks punch to the point of being deflated).

It would work marginally better visually as a joke, maybe as a short comedy sketch on TV, but it doesn't work very well on paper.

And I agree it is offensive, although I wouldn't give it full marks on that score.

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Sir Kevin
Ship's Gaffer
# 3492

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I always thought vegans and vegetarians could read the bible and go to church just like anybody else. I know of some, right here on the Ship, who do!

It does take the piss out of radical bookstores, though that still does not make me laugh...

If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

Posts: 30517 | From: White Hart Lane | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ship's Inquirer
# 3271

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I was embarrassed to post before, because this one made me laugh a lot and nobody else seemed to think it was funny. I am thinking it may be partly because each one of them was sure he knew what to do with the Bible, and at the end they just gave up. It was obvious from the beginning that these were not respectors of the Bible, because every one of them had a negative impression of a little part of it. The idea that they would be so relieved at finding something useful to do with the Bible was part of it I guess. Some people may as well be using it in the bathroom since they can't seem to get any other benefit out of it. Why is this? Stereotypes of religious people that color their book in others' eyes, perhaps, or what they have heard about it from others.

I have occasionally encountered people so superstitious about the Bible that they can't bear to put it into a stack unless it's on top. Is this kind of attitude a whole lot better? I sometimes wonder how much this sort of person really reads it. What you have heard about the book(told how holy and sacred it is in Sunday School, perhaps, or a few half-remembered stories taken out of context) overrides real experiences of the Bible you may have, or could have had.

None of this really sounds very funny. I must just have been in a weird mood.

No longer the Bishop of Durham
If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? --Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 5259 | From: Deep in the American desert | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
# 566

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Didn't make me laugh and it didn't offend me. It didn't do anything for me, in fact.

It relies partly on outdated stereotypes (we've surely got past the stage when we thought feminists insisted on "huwomany" or "Personchester") and partly on annoying the religious community. I'm personally not offended, but the joke only works if you see it as intending to be offensive. So either you're offended, and don't find it funny, or you find it funny because you consider it to be offensive, in which case you have an attitude problem.

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Posts: 1334 | From: Lower Franconia, Germany | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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This was the one I thought I would find offensive, i.e. I tend to be keen on Bibles and I would guess if I had a sacred object that would be them.

However I do not. I am at some of a loss to find out why except perhaps that word I used was 'Bibles'. I guess the Bible is not for me a matter of paper and ink. I would not personally use a copy as toilet paper but that does not make this offensive.

Either that or my iconoclast training is to be deemed a sucess! (This I very much doubt)


"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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# 9814

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I don't find the joke funny, but perhaps because it resonates with a news story that I read circa 1974. A bible society had shipped a number of bibles translated into the language of one of the former Soviet bloc countries. Frankly, I can't remember which country; I wish I could. The bibles were confiscated, and the paper recycled into toilet tissue. The recycling agency did such a poor job shredding and dissolving the paper that whole passages were still legible.
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# 9691

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The recycling agency did such a poor job shredding and dissolving the paper that whole passages were still legible.
...and a young boy bought one of those toilet roles read the passage and came to faith. That boy group up to be none other than Archbishop Arek Sewastawkz.

Now that is a powerful story. [Biased]

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# 3737

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What if the workers collective was an metaphor for the Church and all our various mis-readings of the Bible, or perhaps interpretations that are narrow, contentious etc. Ok , so it needs a punchline rather than the rather dismissive ending it currently has (just a vindictive give-away I thought) If it helped us understand how pathetic we can look then you can laugh at yourself... bit more funny??

don't eat the yellow snow

Posts: 40 | From: The wardrobe of my mind | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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This promised much but delivered little - I feel let down. The analysis of where to put it was clever, funny, and took the piss out of the sorts of ppl that hang around in University departments that have 'Studies' in their title - it needed a really strong ending.

"All the right ingredients but it just didn't rise".

Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
# 5436

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Well it raised a "wry smile" and wasnt unfunny, just rather long winded. Whilst set up to look like it was a bash at those who live alternative lifestyles, in reality it was really mocking everyone for getting so het up on what everyone else thought rather than what they each thought.

Lets face it, we all know where we would like to stick the good book with some people, only this person chose to remove the pages to do the same instead.

Regards Ever

"I am still a Methodist, You can never get it's special glow out of your blood" Ellen Wilkinson
Read my ramblings

Posts: 878 | From: Chained to my desk.... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

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Hmmm... do we need one more person to say it was just tooo long?

For me, the most offensive part was the way it stereotypes people and essentially belittles the legitimate complaints some people have about the Bible - dismissing them by saying, "If you think the Bible has contributed to [the exploitation of women / an economic system that favors the rich / the marginalization of gays and lesbians / etc.] then you must respect the Bible only as much as you do toilet paper."

I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

Posts: 7773 | From: Detroit | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged

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