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Why do people not get 'Harry & Paul'?

Started by danwho9, January 08, 2022, 04:26:39 PM

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Quote from: Autopsy Turvey on January 13, 2022, 02:32:35 PMDo you mean that kids ribbed other kids about their unemployed dads being like Wayne Slob?

Yes. If you went to a school with a mixed income group and you were seen shopping at a discount supermarket, you were Kwik Save Boy or Happy Shopper for a week. So of fucking course if there was a sketch on tv with someone poor or unemployed being disgusting you'd get "that's your dad" remarks. Same point to be made in the David Baddiel thread about "pineapple head" and black kids who grew their hair.

And yeah the media was involved in shaming council house tenants and benefits claimants. Have you never seen a newspaper? Did you go to sleep in 1987 and wake up in 2018?

Autopsy Turvey

Quote from: sevendaughters on January 13, 2022, 02:33:55 PM"I can't understand it", he says, understanding it in the remainder of the sentence.

It was the word 'povs' that threw me, thought it had something to do with points of view, but I see now it's clearly short for poverty. So kids of the working poor would rib the kids of the unemployed, but how does that disprove my assertion that working class viewers may have been more fond of the Slobs than middle class viewers?

I was living on a council estate when HETP was on, the Slobs were the only characters any of my neighbours ever referenced. Maybe kids on my estate were nicer than yours because I don't remember the Slobs being weaponised in that way, they were just widely embraced.

Quote from: Autopsy Turvey on January 13, 2022, 02:49:29 PMIt was the word 'povs' that threw me, thought it had something to do with points of view, but I see now it's clearly short for poverty. So kids of the working poor would rib the kids of the unemployed, but how does that disprove my assertion that working class viewers may have been more fond of the Slobs than middle class viewers?

I hate to agree with you, but there are cases where working class viewers love harsh and "punching down" depictions of low income life that make middle class people uncomfortable. I've posted about how much I loved Steptoe and Son and Python's working class characters, when in the 90s they were considered dated and sneering. It's hardly a rare experience.

But the Slobs are not a good example of this. They're a terrible example. What's quotable or revealing about them? There's nothing relatable or true to life there to grasp on to, its just what the middle class think of the lower class. Its literally Enfield making fun of his neighbours on benefits.

In my circle it was "Oi,[celebity] no!" that got quoted the most by far. Because it easily mutated into the form where the celebrity was an unflattering comparison of the person you were shouting "no" at. Like a kid clumsily kicking a ball around would get "oi, Cantona, no!"

Shit Good Nose

I've just remembered the Palace Of Righteous Justice.  HURRAH!!!!

Autopsy Turvey

QuoteI hate to agree with you,

There's more unites us than divides us.

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 13, 2022, 02:55:08 PMI've posted about how much I loved Steptoe and Son and Python's working class characters, when in the 90s they were considered dated and sneering.

By cunts. Galton & Simpson, who both had rough starts in life, were clearly not sneering at either Harold or Albert, were clearly motivated by distaste for a society that allows its citizens to suffer such hardships, and of course it was dated, rag and bone men were long gone.

QuoteBut the Slobs are not a good example of this. They're a terrible example. What's quotable or revealing about them? There's nothing relatable or true to life there to grasp on to, its just what the middle class think of the lower class.

I disagree, and would just suggest you watch them again. I can't say if middle class people think everyone in a lower socio-economic bracket is like Wayne and Waynetta Slob, I have my doubts, but even if that were so, doesn't that make it more an absurd piss-take of that absurd perception, rather than the whole production team going "it's great that we can finally show the poor how disgusting they are?"

January 13, 2022, 03:12:24 PM #126 Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 03:27:06 PM by Video Game Fan 2000
Quote from: Autopsy Turvey on January 13, 2022, 03:05:51 PMrag and bone men were long gone

They're back now!

Quote from: Autopsy Turvey on January 13, 2022, 03:05:51 PMI disagree, and would just suggest you watch them again. I can't say if middle class people think everyone in a lower socio-economic bracket is like Wayne and Waynetta Slob, I have my doubts, but even if that were so, doesn't that make it more an absurd piss-take of that absurd perception, rather than the whole production team going "it's great that we can finally show the poor how disgusting they are?"

I don't know why you think that if someone considers something to be the expression of a prejudice, it means thinking someone was sitting around having hilariously literal thoughts about it.

The Slobs were the most extreme and nasty depictions of benefit claimants that had been on the TV up until that point. Why bother defending them on that point? If they made you and your neighbour laugh, good for you and your neighbour.

I just can't buy that their popularity was due to being embraced by council house tenants rather than people jumping on stuff like "I wanna brown baby" as they later would with Vicky Pollard.

petril

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on January 13, 2022, 03:01:20 PMI've just remembered the Palace Of Righteous Justice.  HURRAH!!!!

that's except for viewers in Scotland, who have the same thing, but with an extra laugh at the Mighty Sword of Dobber

Autopsy Turvey

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 13, 2022, 03:12:24 PMThe Slobs were the most extreme and nasty depictions of benefit claimants that had been on the TV up until that point.


Were there any jokes in the Slobs about them being on benefits or scrounging? For all we know their great-uncle bequeathed them a private income so they could stay at home and smoke and eat pizzas. Would that detail have made the Slobs ok to laugh at?

It seems wrong to use the word 'nasty' to describe characters who were portrayed as such a sweet, happy, loved-up couple, albeit ones who enjoyed filthy living. They weren't meant to represent the actual underclass in any kind of real world, any more than Smudge from the Beano.

QuoteI just can't buy that their popularity was due to being embraced by council house tenants rather than people jumping on stuff like "I wanna brown baby" as they later would with Vicki Pollard.

The 'brahhn baby' stuff was a good example of something that did seem daringly relatable to working class audiences at the time - like the sketch where Waynetta leaves Wayne because Frogmella is getting teased at school for having two parents - who recognise the kernels of social truth. Whereas middle class audiences who don't live or interact with the lower orders might just assume these are hate-motivated right wing tabloid stereotypes, rather than observations based in any kind of reality. Of course you couldn't get away with it now, now we're more sophisticated in our tastes and prefer Harry blacking up to depict Nelson Mandela as a thieving drug dealer.

Quote from: Autopsy Turvey on January 13, 2022, 03:38:00 PMThe 'brahhn baby' stuff was a good example of something that did seem daringly relatable to working class audiences at the time - like the sketch where Waynetta leaves Wayne because Frogmella is getting teased at school for having two parents - who recognise the kernels of social truth.

Sorry, this is just absurd. "Kernel of social truth", c'mon. And you say this right after you said there was nothing in the sketches to mark them as lower class, consistency a strong point as usual.

sevendaughters

I just watched the Slobs bit where Waynetta is smoking a faayygggg whilst giving birth as Wayne films it on a pilfered camcorder, yeah it's clearly on the level of Steptoe.

Autopsy Turvey

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 13, 2022, 03:40:58 PMSorry, this is just absurd. "Kernel of social truth", c'mon. And you say this right after you said there was nothing in the sketches to mark them as lower class, consistency a strong point as usual.

Are there no social truths being eluded to in those examples? Or just social truths that it's hateful to say out loud? I said as far as I remember there was nothing to mark them as benefit scroungers, not as lower class, I wouldn't conflate those.

"They weren't meant to represent the actual underclass in any kind of real world, any more than Smudge from the Beano"

and yet

"something that did seem daringly relatable to working class audiences at the time - who recognise the kernels of social truth"

Cmon.

Autopsy Turvey

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 13, 2022, 04:09:55 PM"They weren't meant to represent the actual underclass in any kind of real world, any more than Smudge from the Beano"

and yet

"something that did seem daringly relatable to working class audiences at the time - who recognise the kernels of social truth"

Cmon.

I don't see these as contradictory, there are nuances within and between them. The Slobs obviously weren't meant to be accurate representations of real-world poverty, they're not what Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke thought the poor were really like, but it's written well enough that some aspects of it will ring true in the real world.

Like the Old Gits; no one is saying these grotesquely mean-spirited and sadistic bastards were intended to represent the genuine elderly, but there was just enough truth to give the characters some basis in recognisability.


sevendaughters

it was so fucking clearly a go at "chavs", of course it had a basis in real world poverty! jeeesus christ!

pigamus

I see them sort of like Dave and Denise in the Royle Family, just kind of a bit clueless

Autopsy Turvey

Quote from: sevendaughters on January 13, 2022, 04:55:42 PMit was so fucking clearly a go at "chavs", of course it had a basis in real world poverty! jeeesus christ!

Their lack of money, or where they get their money from, wasn't ever the joke in the Slobs. There was more of a celebratory vibe about their sketches than any other characters in HETP.

Quote from: pigamus on January 13, 2022, 05:00:15 PMI see them sort of like Dave and Denise in the Royle Family, just kind of a bit clueless

See I find Dave and Denise far more insulting depictions of the working class than Wayne and Waynetta. Maybe just because they are monstrously stupid in a dull way, but also of course TRF was attempting something much more 'realistic'

sevendaughters

We actually get to see more of Dave and Denise's inner workings, we share their joy and pain, as well as mocking their idiocy, time spent with a character reveals their foibles and where their flaws find their source. If it is just a series of sketches with the through line of 'lol poor' or at best 'lol poor...juxtaposition?' then I'm sorry, that is far worse.

Autopsy Turvey

Quote from: sevendaughters on January 13, 2022, 05:07:33 PMIf it is just a series of sketches with the through line of 'lol poor' or at best 'lol poor...juxtaposition?' then I'm sorry, that is far worse.

It's not 'lol poor', it's lol Wayne & Waynetta. Again, we accept that the Old Gits aren't meant to represent all old people, just an absurdly heightened version of certain types of foibles associated with certain types of pensioner.

Porridge isn't actually set in a prison. It's set in a parallel kind of institution where men are held in cells punitively because they have commited crimes. The characters merely act in a way we'd culturally associate with prisoners as a way for Porridge to communicate its unique reading of the Twin Earth thought experiment to the audience.

Likewise, Last of the Summer Wine isn't actually set in the place we know as Yorkshire, but a totally fictional place called Yorkshire that coincidentally happens to have a lot of things in common with the real Yorkshire. The characters are also not "old" in the way we understand, they have some kind of condition that makes them physically frail and mentally eccentric which is coincidentally the result of aging. Not that "time" exists in this world at all. And there are no years, as there is no "sun" for their planet to orbit around. It couldn't orbit anyway, since there aren't any circles in the setting of Last of the Summer Wine, simply geometric forms that happen to have a circumference equal to...

sevendaughters

to be more literal: old age is universal and somewhat apolitical, so your example dies on its arse. there was a specific mise-en-scene of poverty that Enfield drew on that was meant to call to mind a specific form of poverty endemic to Thatcherite Britain as shown in things like Road and Rita, Sue, and Bob Too. ah why bother, you're the only one who thinks otherwise.

Replies From View

I don't like the statement in the title that people who don't like Harry Enfield's stuff aren't "getting" it.

Why is it like that?

idunnosomename

Benefit-dependent is mentioned here

https://www.hattrick.co.uk/show/harry-enfields-television-programme/

The trope was widely seized upon bh the british media to mean a poor, benefit-scrounging underclass

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=v9yQZWnKhoMC&pg=PA111&lpg=PA111

Bequeathed a fortune by a great-uncle? Fuck off

jobotic

Left-wingers are middle class cosplayers.

You've never come up with that one before AT.

Catalogue Trousers

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on January 13, 2022, 03:01:20 PMI've just remembered the Palace Of Righteous Justice.  HURRAH!!!!

'LOOK! She-Woman-Cat-Type-thing is LICKING her own GENITALS in an UNSELFCONSCIOUS MANNER!'

Shit Good Nose

Quote from: Catalogue Trousers on January 13, 2022, 07:03:06 PM'LOOK! She-Woman-Cat-Type-thing is LICKING her own GENITALS in an UNSELFCONSCIOUS MANNER!'

HURRAH! HURRAH! HURRAH!!!!

The Bumlord

Quote from: Replies From View on January 13, 2022, 05:48:42 PMI don't like the statement in the title that people who don't like Harry Enfield's stuff aren't "getting" it.

Why is it like that?

It's specifically the Harry & Paul series isn't it? Not the earlier stuff.

Quote from: beanheadmcginty on January 12, 2022, 10:29:36 AMSurely the Slobs' portrayal of smoking must have done something beneficial for the nation's health? They made it look so disgusting. I've never smoked a fag in my life. Coincidence?

👏👏👏

Retinend



watching this for the first time, the first thing I thought of is Breathless
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathless_(1960_film)

but is it parodying something else entirely?

buzby

January 22, 2022, 10:36:09 PM #149 Last Edit: January 23, 2022, 12:29:05 AM by buzby
Quote from: Retinend on January 22, 2022, 04:54:16 PM


watching this for the first time, the first thing I thought of is Breathless
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathless_(1960_film)

but is it parodying something else entirely?

The main one that springs to mind is Antonioni's Blow Up - the actor in the film is called 'Michael Hemmingstamp' (i..e. a portmanteau of Michael Caine, David Hemmings and Terence Stamp), the 'David Bailey' caption for Wayne at the start (David Hemmings' character in that film is loosely based on Bailey), and Hemmings' character casually refers to the girls and models he works with as bitches. However, it's also referencing other films from the 'Swinging London' era like The Knack, Alfie, and the in-period parody of that style Smashing Time.