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Comedy and offense


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Sure, will do.

I wonder what repressed minority David Baddiel has to say about it on Twitter. 

@Astro Hollywood will probably have a better take on this than me, but the likes of Alf Garnett seem to be far more of a "have their cake and eat it" situation than a misunderstood character; they may

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7 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

Barbara is the element I found hardest to watch when going back, but I also interpreted the character in the revival very differently to you - it felt like, because Barbara had always been portrayed as grotesque and laughably "unfeminine", that they were ridiculing the idea of trans rights and her arguments for dignity and respect by association. I found it, if anything, harder to watch than the character had been in the initial series, so it's interesting to see you read it very differently.

I can see how you got there, yeah. I don't think of the League as having that mindset (although, again, that may be me being overly-generous). I think they were aware how poorly Barbara had aged, and their realistic options were to quietly drop the character or change how she was represented. I was expecting them to just drop her, so I was surprised they kept her. Again, to be fair, my assumption was that they were doing their best to handle it well - if it turns out I'm wrong about that, I'll be disappointed in them.

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If Matt Lucas & David Walliams are ashamed of their earlier work & want to apologise I think that's totally cool. It displays a level of self awareness often lacking & it's their prerogative. People complaining about Netlifx 'banning' things are cut from the same cloth as those who think being banned from twitter is an attack on their 'free speech'. Get a grip.

It's disappointing to me as whenever there's a tragedy/movement it feels like those who are resisting the change in question are always gifted the opportunity to weaken the cause & control the narrative when the conversation drifts away from the issue at hand & towards art/entertainment (Columbine...Stop talking about gun laws & focus on Marilyn Manson. Jamie Bulger....Stop talking about parental neglect & focus on video nasties etc).

Since the Covid outbreak we've seen Tory MP's & press desperately trying to move the conversation into the familiar battle grounds of left vs right, leave vs remain, 'patriots' vs 'snowflakes' because they know that once people revert back to their group they'll be OK as this is how they win. As it stands (for now) the crisis goes beyond these lines & hence the Government has seen support fall as this impacts everyone. Since the recent  BLM protests started the conversation has quickly been allowed to move from police brutality & systematic racism to 'lefties who hate our country & it's history'. For lots of Brits now it's about people who want to ban Only Fools & Horses', who hate Churchill & want everything banned. This will end up as a gift to the Tories & the racists as those people who don't really follow what's going on (the vast majority) now have a well trodden path to follow & we all know where it leads.

The discussion of offence in comedy has been around since the invention of comedy & isn't going away but to have this discussion now seems like a distraction from the more important topic at hand. These distractions should be avoided & the focus stay on those whose intentions are to cause harm & disadvantage (FWIW I don't believe for a second that Matt Lucas, League of Gentlemen, Boosh etc were ever coming from a place of being deliberately nasty unlike the likes of Jim Davidson & Chubby Brown).

 

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It's difficult - on one hand it can be argued as a distraction, on the other hand it's all part and parcel of a much wider concern.

I've been thinking that myself the past couple of days - I've spent a lot of time on social media banging on about statues, about the legacy of Churchill and Empire, and so on. It's familiar ground to me, politically and academically. But then I start to think that maybe by focusing too much on all of that, as well intentioned as it may be, is a distraction from more urgent issues of inequality and racism going on today. Then, on the other hand, I think that mine isn't the voice that should be heard on that, and I don't want to be yet another person drowning out and talking other more marginalised voices.

 

In general, it's something that "The Left" or, more accurately, disjointed pressure groups, need to reckon with - something like the removal of Colston's statue in Bristol has been in the works for years, a local equivalent has been ongoing since before the statue was erected about 5 years ago. But this goes on in closed Facebook groups, discussions in pubs and student unions, or in discreet lobbying. So it's invisible to the vast majority of the public. So the majority of the public that lean centre-right and aren't politically engaged don't see that these things are the culmination of years of work, or that there's any coherent ideology behind them, they just see it as something they once enjoyed or took for granted being arbitrarily declared unacceptable. 

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42 minutes ago, Astro Hollywood said:

I don't know that this particularly adds to the discussion, but in terms of recent blackface you can't believe happened...

 

Who on earth is that? It doesn't look particularly recent though. Early 2000s?

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15 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

It's difficult - on one hand it can be argued as a distraction, on the other hand it's all part and parcel of a much wider concern.

Agreed but I think it's all a matter of timing & priorities. When things are highly charged & seemingly moving the right direction I think it's important to not let the narrative be controlled by the opposing side.

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13 minutes ago, PunkStep said:

Who on earth is that? It doesn't look particularly recent though. Early 2000s?

Rory Bremner, who still must be the only impressionist to start every impression with 'I'm (person he's impersonating)' 

Always hated him when I was a kid for that sole reason 

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Leigh Francis was the best one. Doing a tearful apology while he has his Michael Jackson character in his fucking twitter heading. I'm watching this apology and all I can see if the rubber lips and afro. He's given the old "Craig David needs to take a joke" shite for the best part of two decades, yet now he stands up and is stunned people think he may have went a bit overboard and offensive?

Leigh Francis immediate switch from offensive funnyman to real life Avid Merrion was fasinating to watch. Series 3 of Bo Selecta was essentially a chance for him to meet people he watched on telly.

Edited by IANdrewDiceClay
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4 minutes ago, Pogue said:

Rory Bremner, who still must be the only impressionist to start every impression with 'I'm (person he's impersonating)' 

Alastair McGowan says hi. 

As for Al Murray, the actual character came about by accident initially, and it can easily be argued that a big percentage of his audience don't get the joke, none more so than Nigel Farage who seems to have based a big chunk of his political persona on him. That is one of the reasons why Al stood against Farage in that general election. 

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11 minutes ago, ThommoLincs said:

Just wait until someone watches Only Fools and Horses.

Only Fools has already come in for it. the racial slurs were generally cut from BBC repeats already. They seem to currently be removing shows featuring blacking up at the moment rather than any racial prejudice. Roddy Piper's next on the hit list. Well, half of him.

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