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Good article from richard herring about the guardian article which basically accuses him of being a racist.
but The Guardian should probably just stop writing about comedy really. They don't seem to be able to put an article on a comedian together without implying said comedian is in some way a bigot.
no big deal.
for a broadsheet (a 'Berliner' actually, sieg heil!) they can see things in a very black and white way, in this instance literally and metaphorically.
Trendy urban liberals who fall over themselves to parade their anti-racist credentials are so tiresome. Yes, 95% of the population recognise that racism is wrong, have a medal.
It makes about as much sense as boasting that you're anti-rape or anti-slavery. Great, but aren't we all?
I'm reminded of that old joke......
Q. What do you call someone who is winning an argument with a Guardian reader?
A. A racist.
was the Independent, Johan Hari talking rubbish.
There are enough comedians making dodg jokes without them having to make stuff up.
Saying that, scott capuro is a nasty piece of work. I saw him make a girl cry when he picked on her weight, and he jsut carried on doing it.
I can't talk for the other comics the article mentions, but I saw Herring's latest set at a warm-up show for Edinburgh last week and it's pretty much him having a long discussion with himself over the acceptibility of certain words and icons which have been appropriated by racists - hence the name of the show, Hitler Moustache, as he's trying to see if he can grow one of his own and attempt to reclaim it for comedy, seeing as Chaplin had it first.
It's really, really not a show that says, "racists have a point." He says that in the show, but only as part of a routine where he's discussing the acceptibility of racist words *even if meant ironically*. The article would have you believe it's a rant against the 'right-on' comics of the 80s, but it actually ends with Herring desperately imploring the audience to stand up to the BNP.
There's this whole attitude of superiority in the piece, where it judges those who take 'ironic' offensive attitudes at face value (see: fans of Al Murray) - but that's exactly what Brian Logan is doing with shows that are actually trying to talk about this sort of thing, and it's not possible to talk about offensive racial slurs without mentioning them...
I posted this under my first post in this thread, and that in turn was meant to be a fresh post... tsk.
definitely would like read what the accused comedian Scott Capurro has to say, as he has now been accused and sentenced to be known as racist.
And certainly lots of stuff on Guardian is badly or not at all researched sensationalism for lefties who are looking for something to get angry about while feeling superior to middle englanders who read Daily Mail and Express to get angry about something.
if Burns has been presented accurately as implying that racism is over therefore it's ok to make ironically racist jokes, he's made a fool of himself, IF he has been quoted in right context.
is very annoyed as well, and is writing in a complaint.
Brendan's point on race is quite complex: watch his dvd 'so i suppose this is offensive now'
can't wait :)
I saw him supporing Richard Herring for his warm-up and he was very, very funny! :D
so can it.
It was my mate's birthday the day we went to see that show, so we sat in the middle of the front row hoping that he'd get picked on - and lo, halfway through he's asked how much money he'd need to be paid to suck a man's penis. Good times.
As ever, very good indeed.
One of about 3 comics i can think of who is still relevant in his 40's
You disgust me.
'borrowed' a bus from Truro bus depot?
He spins it out for 20 minutes, but it seems like several lifetimes.
That man can bend time.
Oh, how we laughed
Taking place in the King's Place theatre underneath the Guardian offices
It's duff I'll give you that.
Jimmy Carr IS a hateful cunt and you should be able to say that without being made to feel like a humourless lefty.
but he's doesn't half like to froth on explaining his fucking jokes.
STOP BLOGGING YOU CUNTS
What an ill-informed crock of shit that original piece was.
Go watch the show people if you can. They have quite literally taken the only 3 sensationalist lines, totally out of context, and changed their meaning.
It's far funnier than that. And very poignant.
argue in favour of the bnp
BUT i think Logan does have a point. It is kind of acceptable to come out with dodgy comedy because of the tacit assumption that 'we' are all above that now (Al Murray etc, some of Little Britain, characters on sketch shows like that awful Balls of Steel), when really the new dodgy comedy is just as dependent on stereotypes and generalisations as the old comedy was.
Anyone who works with Stewart Lee deserves everything they get.
is Brendan Burns letter to the guardian
am writing in response to a recent interview I had with Brian Logan on offensiveness in comedy. I gave a lot of my time to Mr Logan, during which I tried to be as friendly and as helpful as I could be.
After reading the article in question and noting the sheer level of paraphrasing and cherry picking he has done I am prompted to write to you. In his attempts to write the article he already had in mind he has painted me as a hateful, ignorant man and he has committed a defamation of my character.
I have already spoken to Richard Herring, who was also interviewed by Mr Logan and is as equally outraged by the level of cherry-picking and quoting out of context Mr Logan has committed to meet his own ends. I imagine you will be hearing from him forthwith. I have also cc'd my agent, Danny Julian, from Off the Kerb Productions who will also be lodging a formal complaint.
On minorities I discussed at length that I would ultimately like to play to more. That I believe everyone should be included in the great British sense of humour and that it’s possible to be inclusive of people’s cultures without being hateful. I stated very clearly and adamantly. "I'd be genuinely mortified if any minority felt bullied by me. I would take it very personally. There's a massive difference between doing jokes for minorities and doing jokes about minorities” As an addendum I added. “But not once has any non-white person ever accused me of being racist (after seeing my Edinburgh award winning show, "So I Suppose This is Offensive Now") so I must be doing something right"
Mr Logan took it upon himself to write
Burns has a point when he argues that to be offended "is selfish, because we all have our own personal goalposts and we all think that everyone else should adhere to them." Still, it doesn't get us very far in establishing an agreed standard of offensiveness – and it does let gratuitously abusive comedians off the hook. Burns proudly says: "Not once has any non-white person accused me of being racist on stage. So I must be doing something right." But this implies that offence is invalid if taken by any party other than the minority in question (as well as overlooking the fact that non-white people make up a small minority of his audience).
This is paraphrasing and downright irresponsible. During the interview I stated again and again (and in fact even rang Mr Logan back days later to stress further) that, for me, comedy is about taking down bullies. Why he would then in turn set out to paint me as a “gratuitously abusive” sub-intellectual bigot (which certainly appears to be his agenda here) that doesn't know or understand his own audience is beyond me.
What's more, I stated again and again that comedians want the double standard of being taken seriously yet when challenged hide behind, "Hey it's only comedy" I for one hold myself fully accountable for everything I say and a great deal of what happens in a gig when I'm in charge. I'm known for it and in fact I've stopped gigs and apologised when I've felt I was out of order in the heat of the moment. That is completely contrary to the notion that I would just let anyone off the hook for being gratuitously abusive. Everything I do is about balance. Something Mr Logan would do well to take heed of. Instead of voicing me with a one-dimensional argument and countering by adopting my own actual stance as his own.
I was handed the highest accolade in my industry for a live show that looked at the lack of balance in matters of bigotry. My cast and I staged a racist argument between an Indian actress, a Miss Sajeela Kershi and myself. (Sorry to spoil it if you planned on seeing it. I believe we were promised a plug for the DVD of the show in question. Something else Mr Logan has failed to add)
The back story for Sajeela’s character being that she turns up to the show with (what we presume to be) her white boyfriend, specifically to be offended by everything I say because she has seen a poster with me mocked up in four offensive images:
1) Me as Christ on the cross
2) Me in a wheelchair,
3) Me in a fairy outfit and,
4) Me in black make up dressed as a Zulu.
An argument ensues during which we discover that the boyfriend is actually her brother. This was a device to raise more questions in the audience’s minds and put people off balance. Things become really heated between all three of us. We both say rather stupid ignorant things and in turn accuse each other of being prejudiced and racist. As the situation (and issue) was so emotionally charged people’s prejudices were brought to the fore as they rallied in support of me or Sajeela depending on their slant. Then we’d reveal that the whole thing was a sting by performing a choreographed dance number culminating in a lighting change so people could see nothing but themselves in the mirrors strategically placed behind us.
It was a complex operation that took a year of preparation. The poster was a huge part of this. The title of the show itself was the little winking giveaway that not all was what it may have, at first, seemed - “So I suppose THIS is offensive Now”
As spoken out of me in cartoon speech blurb, black make up, whilst rolling my eyes.
And yes the “This” was even in a bolder different font.
As I stated so very clearly to Brian, “The reason no-one got upset about the poster is that everyone understood the complexity of the joke. I wasn’t taking the piss out of any given minority. The butt of the joke was people that didn’t think (the images) were offensive”
Yet Mr Logan chose to write,
Brendon Burns, the confrontational Australian comic, agrees that alternative comedy became a fundamentalism that had to be challenged. In 2007 Burns won the If.Comeddie award for his Edinburgh show So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now? painting himself black and dressing up like a Zulu warrior for the poster. Ten years ago, he would not have got away with it, says Burns. "If you said certain words, people would freak out. I can list the big five. Chuck in an n, chuck in a p. Spastic was another one, the c-word was a no-no. Twenty years ago, if you said girlfriend, people would say, 'No, it's partner.'"
To paraphrase a show so complex as just my trying to “Black up” and get away with it is an insult to me, everyone that worked on it and my art in general.
In the show we worked very hard to expose bigotry and hypocrisy. Pretty much everyone but Mr Logan that saw the show managed to figure that for themselves.
But to continue to commit to his own misapprehension even after having such an obvious joke explained to him outright (Some two years later I might add) and to paint me as a flagrant racist in the process? Unacceptable.
If this were in a more lowbrow reactionary publication I would have laughed this off. But to be labeled such in a paper I have loved, read and respected for years and is done likewise the world over. I cannot and will not stand for this.
I expect a full apology in print and I will not be admitting Mr Logan into any further productions.
Having seen the show, I can't believe the stance the Guardian article took on it, I look forward to seeing what Stewart Lee has to say.
has had a bit to say about it too:
With every reread of that original piece, I get more and more shocked.
He has honestly taken the 3 offensive lines from 'Hitler moustache', used them totally out of context and without the quarter of an hour of hard work thats gone before them.
It is a truly horrendous piece of writing.
I agree it's not in line with what I know and think about RH and BB, but horrendous?
RH is mostly upset because it doesn't talk about how 'smart and interesting' his routine is. It doesn't actually accuse him of holding racist views, but nor does it vindicate the 'offensive' lines by saying that they're clever and funny in context - which I suppose is Brian Logan's perogative.
If you read his conclusion (which is a bit of a ramble) I think it's pretty clear that he doesn't think any of them are genuinely racist, he just isn't totally laissez faire about people's right to offend/be offended and doesn't necessarily think it equals good comedy.
that he accepts that it doesn't explicitly say he's racist, but it dramatically misrepresents what he's saying and doing. The implication is that he's arguing for the stated positions rather than deconstructing them - a huge difference.
The same goes for Burns, albeit to a lesser extent (Burns' quotes aren't as strong in the interview)
it makes him out to say in his routine that 'the racists are right' and that he 'hates pakistanis'. When the point of the routine is anti-racist.
Herring is having a right to reply printed in Fri's issue.
I have noticed (with dismay) the number of ra*e jokes and humour on here.
its not really very funny and its not as if we now live in a society that is riddled with taboos on what one can say in public, (like in the 60's/70's)