Humour is culture bound and what people will find funny often depends on their cultural background.
There is a corollary to that.
What they find very unfunny is also often culture dependent.
Therefore sometimes people are genuinely offended by a joke when offence was never intended by the other party.
If genuine offence is unintentionally made then the only reasonable response is a full apology and an explanation.
That will usually suffice for a reasonable person.
Such misunderstandings are the stuff of human interactions.
However, not all such “misunderstandings” are genuine.
The most recent faux outrage by a racist subculture attached to the new Ibrox club shouldn’t fool anyone.
Raith Rovers recently felt the ire of these humourless bigots.
Zombies don’t exist, it is satire, it is humour.
It is at times like this that the Fourth Estate are meant to provide some guidance to the rest of society.
If anyone undergoing a word association test on hearing the word “zombie” replied to their therapist with “IRA gunman” then I think they have made the correct choice to be in therapy!
Some of the mainstream media gleefully saw “a terrorist connection” in the Green Brigade’s hilarious zombie banner.
They saw what they wanted to see.
I could not discern what army, if any, the silhouetted figure firing the rifle belonged to.
Like the rest of the banner it was clearly meant to be a joke.
Any reasonable and decent person instinctively knows that there are some subjects that are off limits for humour.
An Gorta Mór really happened and the Shankill Butchers were not fictional characters.
So people who think that the “Famine Song” is banter or that chanting about being up to their knees in Fenian blood is harmless really then need to take a long look at themselves.
They won’t of course because if they did that they could not remain one of “The People”.
For the first time in my lifetime this sub-culture is being called out and their reaction is straight out of the far right’s playbook.
In recently years the Front national in France has accused anyone opposing their fascist policies as being guilty of anti-French racism.
The FN’s position is risible, but screamed loudly enough it is effective within a news cycle.
The French fascists taught this technique to their British colleagues in the BNP.
Of course, the presence of far right politics among some followers of Rangers has been well established over many years.
Indeed, it is hard to imagine anyone committed to the principles of tolerance or multi-culturalism coming up with the “Famine song”.
The Ibrox klan luxuriate in their visceral hatred of the Irish and Irishness, indeed it is what defines them.
When a clearly satirical jibe is aimed at the ignominious downfall of their club they react with howls of fake outrage.
Perhaps that is what separates fascists from everyone else.
What they find funny appals the rest of us.
Moreover their inflated sense of self-importance means that laughing at them is verboten.
For the first time since the Ibrox lynch mob was formed they are being called out for what they believe and how they behave.
Their belief system has no place in a modern multi-cultural society based on the tenets of respect and tolerance.
Until the Ibrox klan is finally faced down by people in leadership positions in Scotland then that sub-culture will continue to do what it does and that includes affirming and authorising the next Jason Campbell.
Not funny, is it?