Banter… Who doesn’t like banter? Banter is possibly one of the funniest things I have experienced, besides being on the receiving end of it I enjoy the odd bit of banter I won’t lie. There’s something that bugs me about banter though… How do you know when it’s gone to far?
I think banter is a bit like happy slapping, for those that don’t remember think back about 8 years ago when the UK was taken by storm with kids all over britain taking up Happy Slapping!! A fun game in which you slap an unsuspecting victim round the face – lightly I might add – and say the phrase ‘Happy Slap’ while doing so. It was a fun game if you played it right, the reaction on the face of the victim was priceless. With that being said during the course of the next two years the game took a turn for the worse; first recordings of happy slapping random members of the general public surfaced on the internet which was closely followed by harsher “happy slaps” which left some people grabbing there faces in agony. I remember watching a video of an elderly woman being happy slapped by a few silly young boys on a london train, appalling. It escalated to people being wacked off their bikes with street cones and a man being hit with a baseball bat while walking in the street (Two extreme cases).
The reason I liken this game to banter is because of those extreme cases. Believe me this is not an attack on banter I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little micky taking my only concern is the people that claim to be acting out of ‘banter’ but have taken it a step to far. I think that banter is a dangerous thing, I think like anything in life, if there is nobody to govern it, then it will get out of hand. I have heard the phrase “You can’t take banter too far” on a few occasions and I really don’t agree.
Are these situations “Going to far?”
(Take these situations exactly for what they are. Do not add any other factors in or it will over complicate things. These are yes or no answers)
Example 1: A group of lads single out one boy out due to him having a girlfriend. They pick on his inability to accompany them on most outings due to time spent with his girlfriend. They constantly make jibes that he is weak, has no backbone and is “whipped” it starts to get to him and he takes action…
Scenario 1: He dumps his girlfriend of 3 years because he believes he is being stopped from going anywhere with his mates and he feels unhappy.
Scenario 2: He lashes out at his friends and decides to call it a day, returning to his girlfriend to explain why he is mad at his friends.
Have his friends gone too far? Or is this just banter that he should get used to?
Also how far is too far? Is a joke about someone breaking up with their partner too far? How about their wife? A friends parents who have recently split? How about somebody who has recently lost a family member is that too far? How about a terminal illness such as cancer?
If a joke is all in the name of banter, who decides when it has gone to far? And if it has how to you deal with such as situation?
Definitely a big question mark over banter as far as I’m concerned but I’ll leave it to you.
God is love, Kwesi D 🙂