The home of the haikulator

 

Links

My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman
BurberryAndBroccoli
MarkInventions

The Musical!
Incredible Productions

apostrophell
backlash
incredible
haiku


Previous Posts

Let's Get Plastered
Not 31 Any More
More Questions Answered
Vocal Silliness
You Wouldn't Let A Mouse Paint Your Skirting Board...
A Third Of A Novel A Month
Trivial Extremes Of Pleasure And Pain
What's the Point?
Doing Something With Someone For Someone
I Just Don't Get It

Blog Archives

January 1970
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
August 2009
September 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
October 2011
December 2011
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
May 2014
July 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
July 2016
August 2017

Global Domination

Locations of visitors to this page

Thursday, March 15

Mildly Racist

I'm attracted to the subject of racism like a moth to a flame. I know that if you play with fire you get burnt, yet I can't quite resist this subject, despite having had the occasional singe from it. I know that intellectually I'm not a racist. I also know that this country's culture gives me prejudices relating to all sorts of attributes, be they cultural, racial, social, religious, whatever. That's human nature. If I see a nun I will act differently towards her than a woman in a hijab or a girl in a shell suit, or someone in a business outfit of some sort. There. I've said it.

Thing is, I love the power of words and ideas to make people react. My mistakes with use of humour on the subject of racism is misinterpreting the effect that humour has had, or not making clear my position, or not gaining the trust of the audience to believe that position. It's hard. The more you protest, the more you may as well be branding yourself a racist.

I came up with a stand-up routine last night, which I think is very funny. I know that I can't do it. It makes a point or two, but is more based on people sensitivities about words and how words should not have a power unless they're used in the context of that power. I write that here and even I'm not sure I believe it. It's a reasonable rationale, but perhaps part of the glee from this routine comes from the ability to say the unsayable - an ability I don't think I've proved I actually have. But let's say you have the right to say the things you shouldn't say, then you'd be chuffed to use that ability.

Here's a routine I don't expect I would perform. I've put it in a box to demonstrate that this is a comic routine and not some racial tirade. It's to be taken as a humourous attempt:

I had tried to make a point about racism by, ironically, being racist, which, when taken out of context, is just "being racist", which isn't what I intended at all. I was illustrating the genuine attitude of Bernard Manning, doing an impression of him and then stopping the impression to tell him off. The word I said as Bernard, and which offended people was the word "paki". See, I can feel buttocks clenching around the room, just from saying that word. It's amazing isn't it that two syllables can have so much power. The power to clench people's arseholes. You could make it into a cure for diahorrea.

I had the squits terribly, then I got this remedy from the chemists. It's called "PakiWog". Apparently you just read the name on the box and your sphincter goes so tight that nothing can come out.

Already, I can feel people judging me as a racist for saying those words. A word is not racist. It's all about context. These words are not being directed at anyone. I'm just showing you them. In fact, perfectly innocuous words can be just as racist - "your sort", for instance, can have a much bigger subtext than "Paki". Yet, we're really sensitive about words like this.

I'm not saying that it's acceptable to use these words. I don't think people should use the word "Paki", unless they are, perhaps, describing something as "being a bit like a pack", in which case, perhaps "pack-ish" would be just as good.

But like it or not, racial words can't be brandished around wildly, and for my troubles I got a reviewer describe that performance as "Mildy Racist". What the fuck is "mildly" racist? What could possibly be mild about racism? What did she mean "mildly" racist? Is that the acceptable face of racism? "Well, it was racist, but only mildly". What's that like? "Slightly, genocidal"? It doesn't make sense.

I got a heckle one "Mildly racist!?" you weren't doing it properly. I'm not a racist!


Some of that routine is bracketed with the material I sometimes use about racism, but the middle section (virtually all of the routine, in fact) involving the power of words, is the bit I don't feel I could do. Even though there are some good poo gags in there.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2012 Ashley Frieze