Wednesday 12 September 2012

Humour and good taste

Every so often someone writes and someone publishes a joke about cyclists that is in startlingly bad taste.  The latest offering that 'the only good cyclist is a dead cyclist' is penned by a Richard Nye and published by a free magazine distributed in south west London.  You can see the full context of the 'joke' here.

It is now almost 5 years since The Times published Matthew Parris's infamous article 'What's smug and deserves to be decapitated' article.  True he followed this up with a half-apology feigning surprise that cyclists took his offensive words seriously.

So how is it that I can shrug off or even manage a weak smile at lawyer jokes ("What do you call a lawyer tied to a mill stone at the bottom of the sea?  A good start") but like most cyclists feel outrage at the likes of Parris and his imitator, Nye?.  Simple; it is because there is no chance that somebody will tie a millstone around my neck and drop me overboard.  Conversely I have been attacked, sworn at and threatened merely because I am on a bicycle. Only last week my life was seriously threatened by atrocious and selfish driving.  It is hard to conceive of how distressing these 'jokes' must be to people whose loved ones have been killed whilst cycling.

I am in favour of free speech and would not therefore want a legal sanction against these 'jokers'.  .However I can still reach for the off button every time I hear Parris's distinctive voice on radio or television and were I a resident of southwest London, Nye's publication would go straight into the bin.  Whilst they exercise their right to make very bad offensive jokes I will exercise mine to think the worse of them for it.


  1. What a complete tool (Nye)

    and I fully agree with your reasons why dead cyclist jokes aren't funny.

  2. A shame that our borough council's Cycling Champion doesn't share your revulsion regarding these comments. She claimed in the local paper that she intends to take them 'in the full sport they were intended'.

  3. Free Speech is one thing , but there are the gormless out there who think that they can carry out the actions called for by those that @DnNK calls " tools"!
    Apparently there is already an apology offered by this " tool ", but , here is an opportunity to send a CLEAR & EFFECTIVE message !

    Richmond Park is in the heart of this person's Advertising Stream , so , effective immediately , why don't ALL the Cycling & Triathlon Clubs ask their members to stop shopping or using the Cafes in that borough ? Yes a little inconvenient for those wishing to socialise , after their Club event . But when they see the result of their efforts , that of the " tool " being put out of business by his subscribers , then others who threaten Safe Cycling will start to pay heed to their behaviour !
    Clarkson losing a few viewers when they turn him off feels no pain in his pocket BUT the Local Cafes struggling to make ends meet will think otherwise .
    When the Richmond Park Cafe sees NOBODY coming in after their Saturday Morning ride , but chatting outside , it won't take long for the message to get across !

    On 19-20 Sept the UCI has it's Management Congress , meeting in Holland this year . It appears that there will be discussion of an " AMNESTY for Dopers " . Coverup coming if they go ahead . Better that WADA /IOC were to with cooperation of World Governments set up an " Amnesty for ALL Sports " in a " once and for all " opportunity . Too many that transgressed will not come forward for fear of the legal consequences in their countries . BUT until they do , we the pub;ic will be stuck with both Pro Athletes , Past & Present , as well as Shamateurs continuing to kid us that they are using a level playing field .

    Now is the time to kick out the old attitudes and prepare for a CLEAN Sporting regime !

  4. I tried expressing a similar sentiment on my blog: Yours is a little more elegant.

  5. It's amazing how one little slip can completely change your opinion of someone and cause you to re-evaluate your previous relationship with them. I'd always found Parris reasonably intelligent and amusing until he made those comments about cyclists... ever since then, I cannot tolerate the sound of his smug voice or his asinine opinions. Ditto for that fat cock, James Martin.

    When you make jokes in as poor taste as those two clowns, a simple insincere apology forced upon you by your PR team is nowhere near enough. You need to show genuine repentance through your actions.

  6. Does Parris still write for the Times? If so, I wonder if his views have changed at all since the start of their cycling campaign.