So you think you’re Funny?

So you think you’re Funny?

This is a message to all those poor, poor people that find themselves on the internet, mainly Youtube and Facebook following the rest of the crowd and thinking that your “well funny” well, sadly you’re not, you won’t see me laughing, you won’t see any of my friends laughing either, that’s because at some point very early on in our childhoods we became aware that it wasn’t very funny at all to poke fun and imitate people who have a disability. If I knew you personally (which I am glad that I don’t) I would be ashamed to know you, in fact I guess that you probably wouldn’t have the intellect to be able to hold down a conversation with me or anybody else with TS. You probably think that I’m some shrivelled-up old prune – angry from Tunbridge Wells, but sorry to disappoint you, I’m a young articulate, media-savvy young woman who does have a sense of humour (it’s just that you really are NOT funny – quite tragic really) In fact my sense of humour is something that helps me cope with my TS (it’s quite dry, scathing and somewhat more sophisticated than yours). It saddens me that an adult would find it funny to make crass imitations of a person with Tourette’s syndrome, it’s just a bit of swearing, just get over it! What saddens me more is that by looking at your Youtube clip that you could be a parent! Do you feel you are setting a good example to your child? Did you know that Tourette’s tends to get better with age and onset is usually during childhood – you are making fun of children, a grown man? How would you feel seeing a clip on youtube making fun of a condition that your child may suffer from?

From my perspective it seems that society accepts that us people with Tourette’s syndrome will be the butt of jokes, when you search Youtube or Facebook there are more groups congratulating the dead-but-not-dead Tourette’s Guy (put about news of his death to avoid lawsuits from a TS charity) and clips of people thinking it would be funny to have coprolalia (involuntary swearing that affects just 10-15% of people with TS) I don’t feel sorry for myself, far from it, it’s the kids with TS I worry about, school yard taunts fuelled by these home-made videos. Seriously guys, get a life, grow up!

7 Replies

  • I agree, ive even seen people make fun of people with Distonia another movement- Disorder, and make unbelievable comments that are very cruel. I always bring them to task on you tube you have to be humourous about Tourette's but there is a difference between laughing along with them, than actually laughing at them. When im out with Charlie those that have ridiculed him quickly stop once they know hes with me. People read my body Language you dont even have to say anything to them i just make i eye contact with them and and keep it fixed, and they back off with out a word being said. And as for key board warriors who make fun of the Disabled, they are brave behind a key board but how brave are they face to face. I will not tolerate anybody making fun of disabled people full stop.

  • I feel incredibly vunerable particularly when my "CHAV" tic has been triggered. I sometimes feel quite frightened when surrounded by teens as these the ones that find this kind of "humour" funny and feel threatened by anyone who is different to themselves (I remember a few years back where a goth had been murdered just for being a goth). What I found quite hurtful is that I intially found that vid on facebook, it had been posted by one of my so-called friends, and somebody that I know personally, not an "internet friend".

  • The reason, for this is simple. They are unsure of who they are, so this group of type people are very insecure in them selves thats, why they pick on other people who are different. Even when you are more intelligent people see that as different too even Doctors, not all, feel threatened when you are as intelligent as them, so its not limited to just them, even some so called educated people can ridicule. If at all possible do not show your fear in your body Language or that it bothers you as these type of people get a perverse sort of pleasure out of other peoples pain. I have no time for people that are like that. and as for your friend who Posted that video it is a let down when you find this out about people nothing amazes me any more dont let it hurt you there not worth it. fondest regards Charlie and John Turvey

  • In general, people like to make fun of people for many reasons.Mainly to divert attention away from their problems. Usually they're the stupid, ignorant ones that have some defects themselves sometimes physically or mentally (usually not enough brain cells to run a chicken. 'Make 'em laugh, they'll think I'm big & clever even though I can't read a book!'

    This is where Equal Opportunities comes in as people aren't allowed to treat people differently & I recently reported a work colleague for commenting on my 'tic' & she got in serious 'doo-doo!' So don't give up! United we stand.

    I still say the people who made that programme about TS who only featured that boy with the swearing tic should be sued for misrepresentation because in generalpeople don't like swearing but people started seriously disliking & misjudging TS people after that programme!

  • I'm afraid I'm going to have to disaggree with you on one point, I think the documentary with Johnny Davidson and Greg was excellent, it showed Johnny in a postive light and showed what a great bloke Johnny is, he does a lot for the TS community, particularly in Scotland, in fact him and a few friends are planning a sponsored walk along Hadrian's Wall, I'd love to join them. I think that docu illustrated quite clearly what it's like living with coprolalia, I once got blessed and was given a prayer card on the tube by and elderly Irish man. It can be tough living with cop and some people no doubt who watched that docu watched to have a bit of a giggle , sadly those people are lacking (mainly intellect) and I come across them when ever I leave the house. I do beleive that when documentary makers make such films they should illustrate the point that TS is a spectrum disorder and should also feature people without cop, but people being people (the small minded that is) enjoy watch extremes (I got followed once by a couple of giggly schoolgirls !) so sadly what people remember is the cop rather than the good Johnny does within his own community and for people with TS.

  • I was referring more to the programme itself in that it didn't show TS as a broad spectrum disorder. Therefore implicating people who have TS only swear. I personally have had a variety of physical tics over the years. From scratching one leg with the other foot (for some strange reason scratching with my hand didn't work),biting/chewing the inside of my cheeks until they bleed, I still have the scars inside my mouth & making a sort of gag reflex with my throat/tongue & now I have a vocal tic which is a sort of squeak. Personally it gets me down. For me it's annoying, frustrating & embarrassing, I suppose for several reasons. I don't particularly understand it, I feel silly because of the vocal one partly because of other peoples responses. Vocal ones are much harder to 'disguise'.

    Here is the first time I have publicly disclosed my 'disorder'. My brother has it. He was diagnosed years ago. He was given medication for it but apparently seemed to make it worse so he stopped it & put up with it.

    I have never been diagnosed as when I was a child my dad said 'there's nothing wrong with her, she's just copying her brother'

    Which I thought was odd as my 'habit' was totally different to my brother.

    Also my maternal uncle & grandfather have it too.

    As I understand it males are more prone to it. However what I did find interesting that the 'symptoms' linked to TS which aren't 'habits' is 'having no sense of direction' & both my mum & myself are like that!

  • When I was an army cadet, map and compass was the activity I was best at, I was better than all the boys. Researchers have found out that men should be better at spacial awarness activities like map reading etc than women so it's a gender thing rather than a TS thing. But I seem to buck the trend.