ARE you locked in a holy war against the West because you never get any of the jokes on Mock the Week? End that misery with our handy guide to understanding satire.
1) Make sure you are in an atmosphere conducive to humour, like a packed comedy club or in your own home with like-minded friends. If you are unable to hear the satire over the gunfire and explosions of a terrorism training camp, it is unlikely to make you laugh.
2) Look for nuances in the satirist’s statements. Do they really mean it when they say that the Iraq war was Britain’s greatest foreign policy triumph since the Suez Crisis, or could they be using irony?
3) Irony and sarcasm are ways the satirist implies meanings that they do not state outright. They are rarely used at gunpoint, however, so continue to take anyone pleading for their life at face value.
4) If you do not laugh at a joke, do not immediately resolve to hunt down and kill the satirist involved. It may simply not have been particularly funny.
5) You may encounter jokes directed at you or your colleagues in Islamic extremism. Before picking up your AK-47, ask yourself honestly if there might be something amusing about balaclavas. If so, why not join in the fun?