Sinspeech Whisper Jokes

In the grim darkness of the far future, man tortures man for cracking a joke.

An ancient Terran sage from mankind's misty past once wrote that humour ought to be based upon ambiguity, the unexpected, wordplay, understatement, irony, ridicule, silliness and pratfalls. Yet another wise man claimed that the wellspring of humour was not joy, but sorrow. As tens of thousands of Terran years have passed, and the seed of man has spread and multiplied across the stars, time has ultimately proven both to be right. For if you cannot laugh at the misery, you must cry at it.

Likewise, an ancient proverb hailing from the distant Age of Terra delves to the core of man's spirit, by noting that gloating is his true delight. This, too, stands by and large as a timeless truth to last the aeons, for wretched man finds solace in the knowledge that somewhere, someone else fares worse than himself. If only in a joke, it nevertheless lightens his spirit to watch from the shores the stormy struggles of others out at sea. Pure gladness, the happy kind bereft of malicious joy at the suffering of others, is to be treasured due to its sheer rarity in the human heart.

Since the most ancient days of mankind's civilization, subjects in some oppressive tyrannies have developed a fine wit filled with clever quips and sharp jests. They may never be able to stand up to their overlords and tormentors, yet in some human cultures people have nonetheless learnt how to ease the travails and frustrations of everyday life by poking fun at their rulers and their multitude of corrupt and pompous minions, as well as the dysfunctionalities of their realm. Witty women and fellows fond of ribalds and jest do so at their own extreme peril, for the powers that be rarely appreciates being dragged in the mud and made the butt of irreverent jokes. While in some cultures, people have found it altogether distasteful to make wisecracks about hardships, bloodshed and civil strife, those other human cultures that have traditionally embraced gallows humour as a fine art have all honed it to marvellous levels of twisting creativity and witticisms in the face of deadly threats.

This pattern certainly holds true in the darkest of futures, for the Age of Imperium has seen humanity subjected to a rapacious rule of cruel tyrants, inept administrators, zealous fanatics and selfish warlords. As man has degenerated into scattered hordes of insular, hidebound and aggressively myopic savages and cannibals, the ignorant and parochial subjects of the God-Emperor of Holy Terra has all been grasped hard by the steely talons of that callous twin-headed eagle. This sclerotic rule of theocratic dictators has seen man reduced to dust under their ironshod heels, and the harsh lot of man has been one of misery and hardship neverending. The pattern varies greatly, but it holds true across the astral domains of the Imperator: Some human cultures just cannot resist the allure of jocular sinspeech.

Imperial Governors and their croneys remain popular targets of disrespectful jokes, even though anyone uttering such quips of black humour must do so at baleful peril to themselves and their entire clan. Not for nothing are such examples of irreverent humour in the Imperium of Man known as whisper jokes, for these jokes cannot be told openly in public because of their taboo subjects. Such dangerous witticisms constitute dark jokes for a dark age, all deviant and malcontent. The danger is real. There are eyes and ears everywhere, for in the darkest of futures, mankind teems like a horde of rats. Almost everywhere you go in inhabited human regions, there will be informants listening in on your conversation in overcrowded settlements, willing to sell out their fellow man to hellish dungeons for meagre rewards and the kick that this power over others allows them to experience.

One such example of dangerous words can be glimpsed in periods of great debauchery among secular or Ecclesiarchal ruling castes on Imperial worlds and voidholms, which are often dubbed pornocracies by street wits. As noted, many human cultures find it tasteless to make fun of their woes and grim sufferings, while other cultures find in the whisper jokes a release and a means to cope with all the hardships and terror. Cultural attitudes to risky jokes tend to vary greatly between regions on the same world or larger voidholm, on top of great interplanetary variety and general differences between entire subsectors. Still, the vast oral flora of mankind's humour include a great many jokes that do not entail pulling the tiger's tail, for most quips concern domestic matters far safer to make light of, than the matter of Imperial power and governorial authority.

For instance, human cultures in which parents place an overemphasis on cleanliness (such as on Armageddon or Aleph Primus), generally tends to sport a prominence of scatological humour. In other cultures where the maintenance of outward face is everything, and you must never break down in your display of self-control, diligence and politeness (such as on Taugast III or Wonlu's Station), humour revolving around extreme humiliation of others reigns supreme. Whatever the local peculiarities, many human jokes depend on stock figures, ridiculing caricatures of timeless personality types.

Here follows a wide selection of jokes harvested from a multitude of different human cultures thriving bitterly under a plethora of alien suns, all plucked from worlds and voidholms across the cosmic empire of His Divine Majesty. Many of the following witticisms constitute clear-cut cases of criminal sinspeech, the telling of which will greatly interest local Securitate enforcers or even the Adeptus Arbites. Read on at your own peril, and ken that you will have damned your soul by knowing of such malcontent wisecracks. For the radiant Emperor who dwells upon the face of Terra know all, and judge all.

Hear the whispers of the downtrodden, in a demented age.

Hear the whispers of depraved man, at the end of times.

Hear his whispers, and know that he himself is the punchline.

It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is only the laughter of thirsting gods.


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All jokes can be read and downloaded here (Google Drive)

They can also be found in two posts here on DakkaDakka