16 YOUTH Wednesday, November 1 2017 | NEW ERA Dark humour: making jokes about things that are usually considered to be serious or sad. Activity 1 Before you read, match the word to a definition. 1. cramp 2. disease 3. gallows 4. gravestone 5. grim 6. noose 7. poverty 8. sensitive a. a stone to mark where someone is buried b. a wooden structure for hanging criminals c. circle of rope which goes round someone’s neck to kill them d. disorder in the normal functioning of the body e. painful contraction of a muscle f. that can easily upset or offend g. the condition of being very poor h. unpleasant and depressing Dark humour By Richard Sidaway Experts say that laughing is an ability that is specific to human beings. No other animal does it. So why do we? The purpose of laughter For most people, laughing is a way of showing we are happy or relieved – we usually laugh with other people present and it helps relax the atmosphere. Another reason for laughter is that it helps us deal with the sensitive area of social morality, or situations which are normally serious, like death, disease or war. This is where humour sometimes gets ‘dark’. Activity 2 Now complete the sentences using words from the text. 1. Although he became very rich, he was born in (..........). 2. I think Shakespeare is buried here. Let’s see if we can find his (..........). 3. I went for a swim, but after an hour I got (..........) in both my legs so I had to come out of the water. 4. In the 18th century you could go to the (..........) for stealing bread. 5. Let’s not talk about it any more; it’s a (..........) subject. 6. Many people die of heart (..........) every year. 7. We were shocked when we heard the (..........) news. 8. When the police found the suicide victim he was still hanging with the (..........) around his neck. Activity 3 Put the sentences in the order they come in the text. 1. Some people refuse to take their own death seriously. 2. Dark humour is sometimes a way of commenting on society’s problems. 3. Humans are the only animals that laugh. 4. The origin of dark humour is sometimes unknown. 5. Laughter can be a reaction to difficult situations Activity 4 Can you make nouns from the six verbs and adjectives? They are all in the text. e.g. act = action The origins of dark humour Dark humour is probably as old as human communication itself. One of the first modern examples in English is in the 17th-century writings of Jonathan Swift. In A Modest Proposal, Swift suggests that poor people sell their children as food to the rich. His intention was to make fun of simple suggestions for solving problems such as poverty or overpopulation. Verb or adjective 1. able 2. moral Noun Individual examples There are several individuals who decided to use humour when faced with their own death. Murderer William Palmer looked at the door under the gallows before his execution in 1855 and asked ‘Are you sure that’s safe?’ Writer Oscar Wilde’s last words as he was dying in a cheap hotel were ‘Either that wallpaper goes or I will.’ Humorist Spike Milligan had the words ‘I told you I was ill’ (in Irish) written on his gravestone. Anonymous contributions It is a mystery where some dark humour comes from. Nobody knows who wrote this: ‘We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse.’ Or how about this piece of graffiti to make you feel depressed: ‘Life is a sexually transmitted disease, and it’s 100% fatal.’ Light at the end of the tunnel? Surprisingly, dark humour can sometimes provide a more positive conclusion to a grim topic. This is what Dorothy Parker wrote in 1925 on the subject of suicide: 3. intend 4. poor 5. eflect 6. conclude Activity 5 Do you appreciate dark humour? Why (not)? Does dark humour exist in your culture? Razors pain you; rivers are damp; acids stain you; and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; nooses give; gas smells awful; you might as well live. Activity 4 1. ability; 2. morality; 3. intention; 4. poverty; 5. reflection; 6. conclusion Activity 3 3, 5, 2, 1, 4 Activity 2 1. poverty; 2. gravestone; 3. cramp; 4. gallows; 5. sensitive; 6. disease; 7. grim; 8. noose Activity 1 1. e; 2. d; 3. b; 4. a; 5. h; 6. c; 7. g; 8. f Answers For more fun activities to help you learn English visit www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org © British Council 2016
Wednesday, November 1 2017 | NEW ERA AFRICA 17 All eyes on Kenya’s embattled opposition chief after Kenyatta win NAIROBI Kenya was once again left waiting yesterday, as embattled opposition leader Raila Odinga prepared to lay out his strategy following a boycott of last week’s protest-hit elections that handed President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide win. Thursday’s contest saw Kenyatta winning a decisive victory with 98 percent of the vote, hailing the result as a vindication of his victory in an initial August poll, which was later overturned by the country’s Supreme Court. But it proved to be a bittersweet victory. Turnout was just 38.8 percent, which is likely to raise questions over the credibility of a vote that has deeply polarised the East African legal wrangling and violent protest. “This was nothing more than a revalidation of (the voters’) general will,” Kenyatta said in his victory speech, in which he admitted the result was likely to face further legal challenges. Thursday’s vote was fraught with problems, with polling prevented by violent demonstrations in four western counties where Odinga supporters had widely observed a boycott, prompting two days of running battles with security forces that left nine people dead. So far, Odinga has remained silent but has promised to address his followers on Tuesday. Ahead of Monday’s announcement, security and in Nairobi’s slums where some opposition supporters could be seen piling rocks and tyres and setting light to a few barricades, AFP correspondents said. “People are not happy, how can they declare the results when four counties have not voted? This is illegal,” said a man watching a group of several hundred people chanting anti-Kenyatta slogans in the western city of Kisumu, an opposition stronghold. “Let’s wait to hear what Raila will say, he will give the way forward.” Despite his successful bid to overturn the results of the August election, Odinga withdrew from the re-run some two weeks beforehand, citing concerns the new vote would be neither free nor fair. Boko Haram kills 20 in Cameroon, Nigeria attacks YAOUNDÉ At least 20 people were killed in a series of attacks in Cameroon and Nigeria on Monday, in the latest violence blamed on Boko Haram Islamists. A civilian militia member said 11 people had been “slaughtered” overnight Sunday-Monday in the village of Gouderi, in the Kolofata region of Cameroon’s Far North. “Boko Haram’s incursion in Gouderi was an act of revenge,” said the militia member, who asked not “The jihadists acted after the arrest in the area of some of their colleagues,” he added. Civilians were also the target of a suicide bomber at a mosque in Ajiri Yala, 15 kilometres north of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, in northeast Nigeria. The leader of the local Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) helping the military with security said the attack happened at about 04h30 am (0330 GMT). “A male suicide bomber disguised as a worshipper entered the mosque while people were gathering for the morning prayers,” Modu Bukar told AFP by telephone. “He detonated his explosives. He others.” And four people, including a mother and her two children, were killed on Monday when a vehicle hit a mine planted by Boko Haram islamists near the town of Banki on the Nigerian border with Cameroon, sources told AFP. The vehicle was part of a convoy heading to Maiduguri under military escort when it hit the mine as kilometres” from the border town of Banki, they said. “The explosion killed four people including a mother and her two children while nine people were severely injured,” a militia assisting in Banki told AFP. The violence followed another attempted suicide attack against civilians and a clash between soldiers and militants at the weekend that saw the jihadists suffer heavy casualties. Nigeria maintains Boko Haram is a spent force but the latest attacks underline the persistent threat posed by the group, whose insurgency has killed at least 20 000 since 2009. Boko Haram typically never claims responsibility but has used suicide bombing as a frequent tactic in its eight-year insurgency to establish a hard-line Islamic state. Mosques that do not ascribe to its extremist views are seen as legitimate targets, as are people and places seen to be supportive of the secular government. On Sunday, a CJTF member manning a checkpoint in the Muna area of Maiduguri was killed and another injured when two women strapped with explosives blew themselves up. A day earlier, a military source said, near the Yobe village of Goniri. The previous weekend, 14 people were killed when three women detonated their explosives near the Muna Garage camp, which is home to tens of thousands of people made homeless by the violence. The United Nations warned recently that attack against internally displaced people (IDPs) in camps across the region was “a major concern”. Communities in hard-to-reach areas of the remote region are also vulnerable and at the weekend, two women blew themselves up in the Gulak area of Madagali, in the far north of Adamawa state. A former Madagali local government area chairman, Maina Ularamu, said there were two blasts in Dar village on Saturday night and Sunday morning. “Our suspicion is that they intended to attack the church, which is located inside the primary school about 100 metres away from the scene of the explosion,” he said. Ularamu said locals suspected the two women had come to Dar from the Sambisa Forest, in neighbouring Borno, where Boko Haram is known to have bases. – Nampa/AFP Tender NO: NCS/ONB.NEPC-001/2017 TITTLE DESCRIPTION PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT UINT TENDER INVITATION TENDER NUMBER: NCS/ONB/NEPC – 001/2017 NEW ERA SECURITY SERVICES NEW ERA PUBLICATION CORPORATION is requesting tender offers from registered companies for the provision TENDER DOCUMENT 18 October 2017 at the: ENQUIRIES He has since pledged to transform his National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition into “a resistance movement” that will spearhead a campaign of “civil disobedience”. Odinga has called for a fresh election to be held within 90 days and is likely to throw down further legal challenges to the validity of Thursday’s election. “We have an announcement to make to our supporters and to the country tomorrow,” a member of Odinga’s entourage told AFP on Monday, saying the 72-year-old would use the opportunity to point the way ahead. the announcement, things have been largely calm since Saturday. election commission, 7 616 217 people cast DELIVERY ADDRESS FOR SUBMISSION OF TENDER CLOSING DATE AND TIME N$ 250.00 New Era Publication Corporation Procurement Management Unit email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Tell: 061 208 0800 New Era Publication Corporation, Daniel Tjongarero House, Corner of Dr W Kulz and Kerby Street , Windhoek In a Tender Box at Reception Area 09 November 2017 at 15h30 Opening of Bids at 16h00 ballots in Thursday’s protest-hit election. Kenyatta had received 7 483 895 votes to Odinga’s 73 228, which equates to less than one percent of the vote in a sign that the boycott he called for had held. The vote was the chaotic climax of two months of political drama after the Supreme Court overturned Kenyatta’s victory in 8 August polls over widespread irregularities and mismanagement by the IEBC. But this time, election chief Wafula been “free, fair and credible”. The current political crisis is the worst to hit the country since a 2007 vote sparked months of politically driven ethnic violence that left 1 100 people dead. - Nampa/AFP information on those contracts.