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Do the kinds of political joke that get circulated in a polity depend on the structure - page 26 / 46

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Douglas Ayling

z

Question: Why isn’t there a Communist government is Israel? Answer: And why should a small country have such a big joy?

Eastern Europe

z At school, a teacher discusses Homer’s account of the Trojan war. He asks a student:

  • Isaac, who took Troy?

  • Comrade professor, it wasn’t me.

The teacher is furious. He sends a note asking Isaac’s father to come to school to see him. When the father arrives, the teacher tells him about his son’s inept answer.

  • Well, comrade teacher, says Mr. Rabinowitch, my son may not be a bright

student, but he is not a liar, If he says he didn’t take it, you may believe he really didn’t. The exasperated teacher complains to the principal.

  • Well, says the principal, I know the family

Maybe the kid really didn’t take it.

  • honest working-class people.

Even more irritate, the teacher leaves for home, and on the way he runs into a friend who happens to be a K.G.B. officer. He tells him his annoyance over the answers of the Rabinowitches and the principal.

  • You know, says the K.G.B. man, sometimes they do tell the truth.

The teacher goes home fuming at such ignorance and tries to forget the incident. A week later he again runs into his friend.

  • By the way, says the K.G.B officer, the Rabinowitches have confessed

everything. They took Troy.52

z The following discussion takes place between Brezhnev and Kosygin after a Warsaw Pact meeting:

  • Did you see the beautiful watch Nixon gave Ceausescu?

  • No. Show it to me.53

z What’s the difference between capitalism and communism? In capitalism, man exploits man. In communism, it’s the other way round.54

z

  • What does a cautious man do?

  • He learns how to eat matzos with chopsticks.55

52

Banc and Dundes (1990), p.37

53

ib., p.111

54

ib., p.69

55

ib., p143

page 26

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