Author Topic: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.  (Read 3205 times)

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« on: August 01, 2020, 02:17:11 PM »
https://www.redpepper.org.uk/how-corbyn-unmasked-comedy/

Nothing much new here - I mean, I'm sure this kind of thing has been discussed here, but I couldn't see a thread.

Autopsy Turvey

  • Albert The Grinder vs The Hooded Terror
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 02:52:16 PM »
Really bloody odd move to cite Spitting Image’s ‘Kill An Estate Agent Today’ as an example of iconoclastic political opinions in comedy. As if it wasn’t just a breezily homicidal cheap shot at a widely  distrusted profession. As I remember it also contained the line “and throw in a Spanish air traffic controller for good measure”, I wonder if this is also the sort of punching-up anti-establishment iconoclasm that Juliet Jacques misses from the airwaves.


Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 03:15:19 PM »
I dont think Led By Donkeys can be described as copying Adbusters, and even if they did what's wrong with that?

thenoise

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Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 03:33:48 PM »
Yeah, satire has always been a lot of sneering public school boys I guess. But it is interesting that they never really worked out what to do with Corbyn.
My mum was repeating her comforting 1990s rhetoric 'they're all the same' during Corbyn/Johnson showdown. It's a really weird way to look at it. Does it just mean they were both planning on recognising the Brexit vote? And nothing else makes any difference at all?

pigamus

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Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 03:38:23 PM »
It just means 'I hate politics'. Most people do.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 03:57:09 PM »
Really bloody odd move to cite Spitting Image’s ‘Kill An Estate Agent Today’ as an example of iconoclastic political opinions in comedy. As if it wasn’t just a breezily homicidal cheap shot at a widely  distrusted profession. As I remember it also contained the line “and throw in a Spanish air traffic controller for good measure”, I wonder if this is also the sort of punching-up anti-establishment iconoclasm that Juliet Jacques misses from the airwaves.

Any opinion about the rest of the article?

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 03:57:35 PM »
I dont think Led By Donkeys can be described as copying Adbusters, and even if they did what's wrong with that?

Any opinion about the rest of the article?

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 03:59:41 PM »
An excellent piece, some points having been covered on here, re: fall of heroes like Armando and Charlie. It makes a good summary of the tidal wave of bilge in comedy that emerged post- Corbyn, but was always there since the collapse of alternative comedy and the rise of comfy panel shows and narcissistic attempts at outré comedy.


Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2020, 04:56:58 PM »
A lot of satire seems designed with the broad remit of 'gently lampoon the status quo, whatever it is, but be careful not to ever stand for anything concrete yourself'. One of the problems that is now becoming clear is that when ALL mainstream politicians are lampooned, utterly cynical and immoral chancers like Boris ,Berlusconi and Trump can benefit because the public, assuming that 'they're all as bad as each other' fail to spot the real wrong 'uns. Also, when the tone is persistently negative and cynical, viewers can fail to pick up on biases in the satire.

I think it's kind of a bit forgotten how left wing Fry and Laurie's early stuff was . It was really good in a way which not many people have done, in that they were more about attacking right wing ideas rather any particular politician.

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2020, 05:30:10 PM »
It just means 'I hate politics'. Most people do.

my gf was a bit like 'they're all the same' but when push came to shove, she voted Labour  and thinks that Boris Johnson is offensively bad.

I honestly used to think that satire could change the world. Hey, maybe it could back when Jonathan Swift was about. Maybe the world has now embraced satire, and we're now in a post-satire society. Like South Park said, how can you satirise Donald Trump?

Autopsy Turvey

  • Albert The Grinder vs The Hooded Terror
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2020, 05:35:58 PM »
Any opinion about the rest of the article?

Oh I could go through and take issue with virtually every sentence, but nobody wants that!

The summing up seems to be, ‘Mainstream comedians’ have been rendered irrelevant by really niche twitter threads perused by a handful of chattering class media leftists - 55 years after Peter Cook named his satirical nightclub The Establishment, and saw it become a hotspot du jour for the sort of people they were keen to mock. It’s a very selective and patchy reading of comedy history. Spitting Image depicted Labour as a ragbag of desperate, incompetent buffoons, creeps and loonies, even if Juliet is keen to applaud the show’s righteous radical call to murder people who sell houses. Kinnock and Hattersley had more reason to object to their depiction than Thatcher and Tebbit.

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2020, 05:56:12 PM »
Spitting Image was always toothless, so I agree with you there, but have a look at this Fry and Laurie anti-privatisation sketch.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?index=8&t=0s&list=PLRw4AnLSx3uMLe-16-6-hABnkXJOYVcVd&v=vLfghLQE3F4
I don't see anythibg like that been made nowadays on UK tv.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2020, 07:11:32 PM »
Spitting Image was always toothless? Tommyrot.

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2020, 07:20:56 PM »
I saw Simon Munnery a few years back doing a work in progress for his Kierkegaard show which opened with him genuinely reading about 12 minutes of Kierkegaards work. The work in progress bit of the show was the fact he had an idea for a show about the themes of Kierkegaard but hadn't actually made any jokes so the whole thing was a rather interesting, but bizarre hour of comedy to a festival crowd out for some laffs from "Britain's Funniest Comedian".

Anyway, there was one line in it that he was really flumuxed by it was something alone the lines of "satire, if it is to do anything but harm". Munnery pondered this line on stage and was taken but the idea that Kierkegaard felt satire had a spectrum of consequences that ranged only from having no effect on anything to actively doing harm - Kierkegaard was burying the entire concept of alternative comedy from beyond the grave. Surely that can't be right?

So three months later, I saw the finished show and it was very, very funny and yes, Munnery had resolved this dilemma. What he concluded was that Kierkegaard meant was that whilst people like him are in cellars in Edinburgh on a Tuesday morning ranting about Thatcher the real dangers are out there taking over the world. That is the harm satire is doing: it gives us the illusion of doing something - much like sending out snarky tweets calling Matt Hancock a cunt or reading Marina Hyde columns.

It's a theme Sadowitz repeatedly returns to; that nothing he says has any influence on anything. If you are a racist before you see him you will leave one, if you are a muslim or black or gay or hate Thatcher he isn't going to change your mind on these things and we, the public are fucking idiots or imposing such importance to what the funny man on stage says.

With all that in mind I think the problem with the article is that is supposes that comedy has ever truely had an ability to lead by example in providing a genuinely anti-establishment voice. It makes some interesting points about the cosy nature of mainstream comedy but is based on false premise (why the surprise that multimillionaires signed to agencies worth tens of millions who facillitate deals with companies worth billions aren't actively promoting the death of capitalism?).

I could point you in the direction of amazing pieces of comedy work from Mark Thomas, Richard Gadd, Natalie Palamedes, Bridgit Christie and a dozen more that have genuinely had an impact on my own thinking and attitudes towards others but ultimately the impact is on a personal level and whilst it is not completely irrelevent* and the idea comedy will overthrow our deep rooted class and economic systems is as pointless as Munnery dancing around the stage singing "Pu-tin, he poos in a tin" - which was the funniest bit he added in.

*Of all those mention it is Christie who with her BBC Radio 4 series who had most actual real life impact as her FGM show and promotion of FGM campaigners led to a change of law under Cameron and the development of safeguarding training to all teachers about these issues across the country (that I myself have done).
 

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2020, 07:34:05 PM »
Brooker was doing it even further back, perpetuating Ed Milibamd's supposed uselessness. I'm sure plenty of people (not me) will quibble with the centrist/leftist dynamic in the article, and the idea that they're not left-wing for criticising Corbyn, but what's undeniable is that for a good long time, tuning into these guys has given you the exact same observations as scanning the front page of the Daily Mail. When you switch on a satirical political anti-establishment show and they're just repeating the same lazy talking points as Dacre and Murdoch, something's gone wrong.

OH FOR THE DAYS OF THE 2012 OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY WHEN EVERYTHING WAS GOLDEN AND WE COMFORTABLE MEDIA TYPES ENJOYED A HAPPY AND UNITED COUNTRY THAT DEFINITELY HAD NO GLARING UNDERLYING SOCIETAL ISSUES THAT MIGHT HAVE IN SOME WAY CONTRIBUTED TO THE POLITICAL ALIENATION OF BREXIT VOTERS

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2020, 07:40:14 PM »
Iannucci baffles me most, because The Thick of It feels so nakedly furious at the black-hearted complacency of the kind of politics that spends its time courting and indulging the hateful Murdoch-esque tabloid press than being brave and doing the right thing. The exact tabloid press that led the relentless charge against Corbyn, and had moderate Labour people blaming Corbyn instead of him.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2020, 08:43:10 PM »
A very interesting discussion, thank you all

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2020, 09:05:02 PM »
Really bloody odd move to cite Spitting Image’s ‘Kill An Estate Agent Today’ as an example of iconoclastic political opinions in comedy. As if it wasn’t just a breezily homicidal cheap shot at a widely  distrusted profession. As I remember it also contained the line “and throw in a Spanish air traffic controller for good measure”, I wonder if this is also the sort of punching-up anti-establishment iconoclasm that Juliet Jacques misses from the airwaves.

It's a sad thing that killing estate agents seems iconoclastic (and certainly Spitting Image was about appearing iconoclastic not genuinely challenging anyone). But with Jo Brand having to apologise for joking about throwing acid at Nigel Farage and Ian Hislop spending ages on HIGNFY saying how everyone hoped Boris wouldn't die of the 'VID, apparently you can't wish death even on hateful scum who would happily see you die (especially if you're poor or foreign or unlucky in other ways).

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2020, 09:23:41 PM »
Spitting Image was about appearing iconoclastic not genuinely challenging anyone.

Ultimately, it was just a Sunday night ITV comedy show to entertain and not a political rally but do not underestimate the effect it had.


Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2020, 09:38:11 PM »
Iannucci baffles me most, because The Thick of It feels so nakedly furious at the black-hearted complacency of the kind of politics that spends its time courting and indulging the hateful Murdoch-esque tabloid press than being brave and doing the right thing. The exact tabloid press that led the relentless charge against Corbyn, and had moderate Labour people blaming Corbyn instead of him.

Wouldn't be surprised if writing for 'the other team' in that Thick of It special, and then ultimately the rest of the series, had the effect of softening all of Iannucci's political edges.  I've heard before of writers being permanently changed by having to empathise with people they'd otherwise have no time for.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Le corpse garlique of Hercule Poirot
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2020, 10:26:53 PM »
Yeah, satire has always been a lot of sneering public school boys I guess. But it is interesting that they never really worked out what to do with Corbyn.
Even if you didn't like Jeremy Corbyn or didn't want to publicly side with him for (financial) Reasons, you could've easily made jokes about the media coverage of Jeremy Corbyn. HBomberguy did exactly that in his Electionwatch 2017 video. Oh wait - that would've pissed off the billionaires who control the press, wouldn't it.

It's a sad thing that killing estate agents seems iconoclastic (and certainly Spitting Image was about appearing iconoclastic not genuinely challenging anyone). But with Jo Brand having to apologise for joking about throwing acid at Nigel Farage and Ian Hislop spending ages on HIGNFY saying how everyone hoped Boris wouldn't die of the 'VID, apparently you can't wish death even on hateful scum who would happily see you die (especially if you're poor or foreign or unlucky in other ways).
But transfolk being mean on Twitter, that's the real threat to freeze peach.

The sad thing is, even if the UK had decided that they did want a kind, thoughtful leader who gave food to homeless people on Christmas Day instead of a pig in a suit with a nice posh boot for them to lick, the second Jeremy Corbyn failed to deliver on an election promise the public would've turned on him and Labour would be out of government at the next election. Depressingly, we hold politicians who seem to be fair and good and who have an actual platform to greater account than the conniving chameleons who uphold the status quo. It happens over here all the time. It's why the two centre-right parties just pass power back and forth to each other, their names meaningless ("Soldiers of Destiny" and "Tribe of the Irish") and saying nothing about their policies or political stances. Meanwhile their coalition partners, who are foolish enough to have names denoting actual places on the political spectrum (Labour, Green Party) get bounced out of power when they fail to live up to those ideals.

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2020, 10:50:08 PM »
Sadly for his supporters, Jeremy Corbyn is an inherently comic figure. The article says that Johnson is impervious to satire but complains about people making jokes about Corbyn because they damage him. That's not the comics' problem.

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2020, 11:02:49 PM »
Sadly for his supporters, Jeremy Corbyn is an inherently comic figure. The article says that Johnson is impervious to satire but complains about people making jokes about Corbyn because they damage him. That's not the comics' problem.

Do you really think an actually politically sympathetic comic would rattle off lines like, "I don't believe it happened.  A bit like Jeremy Corbyn and the holocaust"?  No, no they wouldn't.  There's a comedian conveyor belt that has to, at least at some point, be approved by various TV cognoscenti, and actually socialist comedians rarely get on there, and get their apposite lines cut if they do.

Maybe it even is possible to make an allusion to one of the media's idiotic but persistent mantras about leftie politicians and still be fairly on-side, but in such a case the subjects of their ire are almost interchangeable.  Some oft-repeated chink in their armour will be found- in Corbyn's case it was allotments before antisemitism- and it will be drummed into our heads until we don't even know what words mean anymore; we just know that this person is a nebbish we're not supposed to like.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Le corpse garlique of Hercule Poirot
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2020, 11:16:56 PM »
Sadly for his supporters, Jeremy Corbyn is an inherently comic figure.
Examples please?

Old Nehamkin

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Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2020, 11:36:42 PM »
Sadly for his supporters, Jeremy Corbyn is an inherently comic figure. The article says that Johnson is impervious to satire but complains about people making jokes about Corbyn because they damage him. That's not the comics' problem.

Jeremy Corbyn is "inherently comic" to the extent that he's a bit of an anorakish nerd who likes making jam and cataloguing manhole covers. When comedians like Frankie Boyle and Charlie Brooker made gags premised on Corbyn and his supporters being antisemites and holocaust deniers, they weren't following some organic comic impulse sparked by any innate quality in the man, they were simply parroting a Tory attack line because they lacked the conviction, courage or imagination to do anything other than join in with the closing of ranks by the media class against the insurgent Labour left.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 11:59:41 PM by Old Nehamkin »

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2020, 11:38:28 PM »
Examples please?

Him being doomed to failure. That's a trait shared by a lot of the great comic characters.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Le corpse garlique of Hercule Poirot
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2020, 11:41:43 PM »
Him being doomed to failure. That's a trait shared by a lot of the great comic characters.
yeah Old Nehamkin gave a better answer mate

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2020, 11:44:55 PM »
Corbyn was so "doomed to failure" that a massive smear campaign was orchestrated against him.
You'd think that it wouldn't be needed, what with him being "doomed to failure"...

Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2020, 11:49:11 PM »
Corbyn was so "doomed to failure" that a massive smear campaign was orchestrated against him.
You'd think that it wouldn't be needed, what with him being "doomed to failure"...

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse agrees he was doomed to failure.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Le corpse garlique of Hercule Poirot
Re: Sad ire: comedy, centrists and Corbyn.
« Reply #29 on: Yesterday at 12:15:40 AM »
Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse agrees he was doomed to failure.
I didn't agree he was doomed to failure. I said that the second he couldn't deliver on something he promised the public would turn against him. Because we the unwashed masses have no fucking patience, and because the Conservative opposition would do their utmost to keep said unwashed masses in their place.

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