— John Oliver on Rick Santorum, The Bugle 183 (via sixpencesoulcake)
— John Oliver on Rick Santorum, The Bugle 183 (via sixpencesoulcake)
Party Political Broadcast - Not the Nine O’Clock News
Like everything on Not the Nine O’Clock News, both painfully relevant and hilarious. Same shit, different Tories.
Yes, I’m watching Not the Nine O’Clock News rather than studying to get into Oxford. Or perhaps I’ll get my Congratulatory First with a dissertation historicising the representation of political figures in satire.
Tell It To The Fishes
A short, dark comedy starring Dylan Moran.
Anonymous asked: Can you suggest some of the blogs you find funny, please?
In the spirit of Texts From Last Night, but better, there’s Texts From Westminster. Yes, I’m a bit of a politics nerd. To which end, there’s also It’s All Labour’s Fault, David Cameron, and Awkward Ed Milliband Moments.
Whilst not strictly comedy, the sheer absurdity of the content means that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, there’s STFU, Conservatives, a US-centered blog poking fun at all things bigoted and far-wrong-of-centre.
I don’t follow that many people, and a lot of my comedic stuff is sourced through tracking tags such as Stewart Lee, Dylan Moran and Have I Got News For You (#HIGNFY).
I wish you the best in your quest for Tumblr comedy joy.
— Stewart Lee (via voixhumaine)
So Monty Python’s Life of Brian, in my opinion, is one of the most culturally significant works of the past 50 years. Not only is it a fantastic film on its own merits, side splittingly funny, painfully sharp and also a great depiction of Christian belief. But that alone doesn’t make it significant. In 1979, it was also the most daring satire of religion to date; in Britain it blew apart taboos about mocking Christianity. And that was essential in securing our freedom of speech - satire is one of the most effective ways of dealing with belief, and an essential part of freedom of speech - and The Life of Brian really opened the floodgates in this country.
Even with Christianity, there’s still a way to go. A few years ago, Jerry Springer the Opera collapsed after its producers were threatened with prosecution for blasphemy. So clearly, there’s still some distance to be covered, but encouragingly, the Opera got positive reviews in the official newspapers of both the Church of England (Church Times) and the Catholic Church (Catholic Herald). So now, it seems that Christian desire for censorship, in Britain at least, has been become broadly the preserve of the fringes.
So I guess in a way that provides a good prelude to another film; Chris Morris’s Four Lions. Firstly, I highly recommend you all watch it, and don’t be put off by what I’m about to say, it’s a very well written film. But I guess my problem with it is really that I had hoped it would take a similar cultural role to the Life of Brian; I hoped that it would break some of the taboo that exists around satirising Islam, but I guess in a lot of ways it’s not really about Islam, it’s purely about suicide bombing. And that though the religion of the bombers is Islam, it could easily be any other religion.
I feel a bit awkward about Four Lions. I think I’ve seen it twice now, once on the opening night with my then boyfriend, and a second time with my current boyfriend, on DVD. And the second time I watched it, I wondered whether I’d just forgotten how much I enjoyed it. My memory of the first time is that it was very funny, but that wasn’t my experience watching the DVD. And I think in part that’s due to the environment - in a packed cinema, there’s enough other people laughing that you feel like you’re laughing at the right bits. Normally, I don’t really care too much, but I think with the topic of suicide bombers, there are bits where you don’t really know how to react, and without a kind of collective verdict to work with, it can just become a profoundly awkward film.
But Four Lions is significant, it’s is a far better moral indictment of suicide bombers than any thundering newspaper editorial. There’s always a fine line between comedy and tragedy. Four Lions is a brilliant indictment of suicide bombers purely for the fact that it does the opposite of what we constantly see on the news. The papers and TV news treat suicide bombers with fear, like they’re some kind of elite unit, the S.A.S of terrorists. And that creates the fear that the terrorists desire, and clearly, here, Four Lions does the opposite; the bombers are constantly bungling it. They’re crap terrorists, in short. It pokes fun at all the flaws; they ‘hate’ western civilisation, but they like Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight, they’re meant to be devout, but none of them speak Arabic, they’re meant to be deadly warriors, but they’re useless. In short, they’re portrayed as egomaniacs rather than religious warriors, and that is a far better way to deal with terrorism than fearing it and tearing up our rights.
So perhaps, though Four Lions never took on the same taboo that The Life of Brian did, it took on one that was equally as important and topical. Before now, every movie about terrorism, like Paradise Now or United 93, had treated suicide bombing with a sort of reverence and respect. Four Lions blows that apart (pardon the pun), and that’s a really brave achievement from a very brave Chris Morris.
Okay, so there’s been a certain degree of controversy about Tyler, The Creator winning a VMA award - especially among the feminists here. I know why, the lyrics really are disgusting. But I’ve seen a few people who’ve outright rejected the idea that he could be satirising rap. Now, I don’t really think he is, but I think this throws up a point that we have to be careful about: duality of meaning.
Let me use any example that I’m pretty familiar with. I’m obsessed with a left-wing comic called Stewart Lee, who does a lot of material that can seem very problematic. Here’s an example from a routine about Top Gear:
I wish he [Richard Hammond] had died in that crash and that he had been decapitated and that his head had rolled off in front of his wife and that a jagged piece of metal debris from the car had got stuck in his eye and blinded him.
And then his head had rolled on a few more yards into a pool of boiling oil and that his head had retained just enough neural capacity for him to be able to think “ooh, this is bit hot” before the whole thing exploded into tiny pieces.
Now, that all seems a bit much, and out of context, it seems right to condemn it, but I think that we must at least consider the possibility of a duality of meaning - the routine progresses, and as a payoff (and a warning to the Mail), Lee explains that he has used an exaggerated version of the rhetoric of Top Gear to satirise Top Gear. And I think that most of us would accept that. This isn’t really meant to be a defense of Tyler, The Creator, but a warning that in general we have to consider the multiple meanings of something before condemning it. (And a plug for Stewart Lee, who deserves more recognition)
I was going to post something sarcastic but I actually feel really bad for him. He is so hated in the industry and I don’t really know why? There are some awful comedians that get support from others on the circuit simply because they’re nice in person and he doesn’t seem like a bad bloke even if his jokes aren’t that gr8
Ahhh Michael. To be honest I think that to an extents there’s a bit of jealousy among fellow comedians; he sells out the O2 arena to 20,000 people and makes a tidy few million quid every year, whilst some comedians can only dream of that.
But the other side of it is that he really is an awful comedian with absolutely no integrity - he’s a judge on a TV talent show, for fuck’s sake! His material is incredibly thin, vapid and ultimately empty of anything other than a few jokes at the expense of his toaster. I can see that there’s a lot of resentment in the way that he’s basically a sell-out and panders to the lowest common denominator in his audience. I’ve seen Stewart Lee knock Michael McIntyre a few times, and I suppose they really are opposites; Stewart Lee is unashamedly high-brow, I think he must be the only comedian whose punchlines include references to 16th Century heretics like William Tyndale; whereas Michael McIntyre really doesn’t demand anything from his audience.
But more to the point, was Michael McIntyre really expecting a room full of comics to be the friendliest place on earth? Seriously?
TL;DR: I don’t like McIntyre’s comedy, I don’t know if I feel that sorry for a man who earns so much money.