July 10th, 2010

forums, me, non blog

[FORUM] At what point can outsiders tell in-jokes that are funny?

When can outsiders tell a community's in-jokes, the ones dealing with stereotypes that normally only the community's members can deliver? Reading Joe. My. God in my handy Google Reader (so much nicer than FeedDemon) the other day, this came up in a discussion of a bon mot delivered by a British judge in his ruling that queers have a right to asylum in the United Kingdom.

"Just as male hetero­sexuals are free to enjoy themselves playing rugby, drinking beer and talking about girls with their mates, so male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically-coloured cocktails and talking about boys with their straight female mates." - British Supreme Court Judge Lord Rodger, explaining the Tuesday's ruling that gay people have a right to asylum in the UK.

Anti-gay forces are already decrying the Court's decision, saying that "millions may falsely seek asylum" in Britain under the new rules. Thanks for the ruling, Lord Rodger, but please shut up now.

I found it funny. Apart from the incongruity of this being part of an explanation at all, I thought it made use of stereotyping in an interesting way: straights might do certain stereotypical things as part of the routine of their lives, queers might likewise do certain different stereotypical things, all these things are fine and none of these merit persecution. I thought that it was a good, profound, joke. Others in the comments, as you see if you go to that blog post, disagree.

What say you?