Save us, please, from the tyranny of the non-existent ‘ordinary person’.
An ordinary person is incapable of understanding sarcasm or irony and thus takes things literally instead. An ordinary person doesn’t like any fruity or challenging activities – they go to work, probably in a factory or a shop, and they come home and watch Coronation Street and Eastenders then put their 2.4 children to bed.
An ordinary person has no truck with scientific mumbo jumbo, or other ‘nonsense’ like foreigners. Maybe they read the Daily Mail or the Sun. They lead a simple, uncomplicated life perfectly adapted for a simple, uncomplicated brain.
Except, uh oh, this stereotype of a dimwitted ‘ordinary’ person is just that. There is no such thing.
So, of course, when Judge Jacqueline Davies decided to condemn Paul J Chambers, ruling that the tweet he’d written..
Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!
… as “obviously menacing” and that any “ordinary person” would find it so, I felt like I wanted to go on a violent rampage myself. Perhaps I’ll blow up a few court houses, or pull the ears off the Judge’s cat, something like that.
But pity Paul J Chambers: Condemned by a stereotype, condemned because the Judge thinks we’re all so witless, dull and childlike in our comprehension of the subtleties of adult communication that Paul has injured us and must be punished, by the State, on our behalf.
But, despite that, we should all thank the Sweet Lord for this Judge, I say. She understands that we ordinary people need protecting from menaces like Paul. You can’t have people telling jokes on Twitter, that would lead to chaos! It’s impossible to communicate that you’re being sarcastic or ironic electronically and you have to rely on context and pre-established criteria to understand what people are saying! THAT’S JUST WAY TOO COMPLICATED FOR US ORDINARY PEOPLE!
No, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m being sincerely flattering, obviously so, and, yes, any ordinary person would agree.