Clown Age

clown therapist

I have been found guilty of the crime (or ‘error’, as it is known these days) of failing to demonstrate an appropriate level of humour. I’m just not funny enough, to put it bluntly. This means that I am going to have to appear before an official mental health tribunal, where my case will be duly adjudicated. This – as you might imagine – is a very serious matter! I’m sorry about that – I’m just trying to make a joke but I don’t think it’s really working. A bit too dry, perhaps. I had the momentary impulse to throw in a bit of humour there, which is ironic because that is precisely what I have been found guilty of lacking. No doubt you got it the first time – you don’t need me to flag the irony for you. Kind of kills it, I know…


The lack of a sense of humour isn’t really a crime as such, as I have said – it is seen merely as a sort of unfortunate error that needs to be corrected. By therapy, not by any sort of punishment. These days no one gets ‘punished’ – no matter what you do. There is only therapeutic correction, which is carried out for the benefit of all. There are no more policemen, no more law-courts, no more prisons. No more community service. Instead, any lack of mental health is reported to the therapeutic tribunal, which meets ever so often in each district, and anyone who has been reported more than three times within six months has to attend. Human kind is so much more enlightened these days. The whole idea of crime – it’s so ridiculously old-fashioned. So terribly archaic. I’m being ironic again here, although you might not have been able to tell. It’s hard to be ironic at a remove, via written word. And also – as no doubt the tribunal will ascertain – my sense of humour is somewhat skewed, somewhat distorted. I will probably be found guilty of being a miserable bastard!


There I go trying to be funny again, and as usual it’s not quite happening. I should work on that. Tell more jokes to my colleagues in the office. Make an effort not to be so damn serious the whole time. Way back in the latter half of the Twenty-first Century, when over half the population of the human race (in the developed nations, at least) had been diagnosed as suffering from clinical depression and the manufacture and dispensation of psychiatric mediation had become the biggest single growth industry on the planet (aside from the media, who were doing their bit by providing ever-escalating levels of meaningless digital entertainment) a breakthrough in research had conclusively proven that depression had nothing to do with brain chemicals and everything to do with having no sense of humour. Legislation had been immediately passed to protect the entire human race from the fate of ending up in life-long psychiatric care by making having a sense of humour compulsory. Laughter therapy became the order of the day. Psychiatry was out – many psychiatrists being ‘sentenced’ to intensive long-term therapy in ‘humour camps’ to correct their chronically over-serious attitudes. Laughter therapists were ‘in’, in a big way. Everything had to be funny. Even the News presenters on Holovision had to wear clown-suits, which is something that the science-fiction writer Philip K Dick had foreseen with uncanny prescience, way back in the nineteen sixties, with his concept of the ‘News Clown’. So disaster was averted and millions were saved from the clutches of the psychiatrists and the shadowy ‘chemists’ who supplied them with their terminally unfunny drugs. The psychiatric age was over and the clown age had begun…


Which may be good news for humankind in general but is not looking so great for me as I am undoubtedly going to be found guilty of not demonstrating an appropriate level of humour in my day-to-day life. I have been up before the tribunal many times in the last few years. I’m a bit of a chronic offender, I geuss you could say. One of those people who just has to go around being jaded and cynical. In a previous age I could have got by, but things are not going to go so well for me in this enlightened era. I have a very unpleasant feeling that I’m looking at a long stretch in the humour-camps this time….








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