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Without inequality there would be no humour

By Dirk Flinthart - posted Monday, 15 July 2002

The thing that strikes me as being really unequal about inequality is the way we respond to it. As though there's somehow "good inequality," and "bad inequality."

In sports, it's clear. Consider: Lleyton Hewitt beats the living snot out of some poor Argentinian newcomer at Wimbledon = Good Inequality. But: New Zealand plays a logical game of one-day cricket to ensure it reaches the finals at Australia's expense = Bad Inequality. (Meanwhile, across the Tasman, Kiwis are happily thinking: one dodgy one-day finals game plus the America's Cup nearly equals one underarm Chappell - about bloody time, too!)

In warfare, it's less clear. Several hijackers armed with large stolen aircraft gang up against two innocent buildings = Bad Inequality. But then, World's Largest Military Power gangs up with a fistful of rich and powerful allies to attack one of the poorest and least organised countries in the world with overwhelming force = Good Inequality?


In politics, it's even less clear. The Federal Government v Illegal Immigrants, Public Liability, Homosexual Judges, Collapsing Insurance Corporations, Vanishing Airlines, Native Australians of All Species, Apologies, Children Overboard, Waterfront Workers, Disappearing Public Assets and Affordable Health Care = Disturbing Inequality. Despite this, the struggle between Simon Crean and Total Irrelevance appears to be a case of Hopeless Inequality. Meanwhile, a certain Prime Minister of a nameless South Pacific Nation appears to be working very hard to create a Terrifying Equality with US Presidential Toilet Paper. (Hello? Hey, can they deliver your mail up there, Mister Prime Minister? Seen any good pretzels recently?)

In the online world, contemplation of inequality appears rapidly to degrade anything like a sense of humour. Oddly, this particular site appears to be created by people who think they're saying something funny - which little irony is the funniest thing about it. These guys aren't very funny either. But at least they're trying harder.

Gender inequality, on the other hand, is a rich vein indeed!

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

There's plenty of humorous material out there based on racial inequalities. Trouble is, none of what I've been able to find so far is actually funny. At all. On the other hand, a quick poke around in search of humour about some of history's great inequalities yields a few gems:

A very Japanese take on David and Goliath


Tonto gets something straight

The inequality between Watson and Holmes

English Cricket vs Australian Cricket

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About the Author

Dirk Flinthart is a writer and student who lives in Tasmania.

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