Posted by BE on March 18th, 2011
Hey Michael Mohammid Palin! Wotcha doing man?
I could be wrong, but I think it’s all staged. Is it what you’d call a skit?
As the illegal occupation of a small third world country grinds on into its ninth blood-soaked year, the thinking behind this unfunny skit is of considerable interest. There is hardly any serious debate about Iraq on British television, yet they see fit to run a piece of whimsy like this.
If there had been television during World War II, no doubt this is the sort of thing third-rate German comedians would have sent back from Poland. It would have been Jews and Romany people (“gypsies”) instead of Arabs of course, but the purpose would have been the same: to insult and trivialize the resistance, and most of all to render a criminal and massively unpopular military campaign as something harmless and laughable.
I wonder if any Arabs would think this was at all funny, Brian?
BE: It’s not that the skit isn’t funny, Morissey, it’s just that your over-developed Sanctimony Gene makes it impossible for you to see the humour.
So it’s sanctimonious to point out the absence of serious commentary on British television? I have nothing against ethnic humour and poking fun at anyone—including Arabs. But it’s surely a concern that this sort of thing is ALL that appears—apart from the regular, uncontested, bland assurances from government and military spokesmen that “progress is being made”.
Whether it’s funny or not, this sketch simply treats the Iraqi resistance as a joke, which is a strategy of belittlement and minimization, equal to slandering them as “terrorists”.
BE: The sketch has been on YouTube for yonks. I just recently discovered it. The humour has nothing to do with Iraqi resistance or ‘a strategy of belittlement and minimisation, equal to slandering them as terrorists’. The humour arises from the absurd idea of instantaneous subtitling, of someone being interviewed on television actually being able to read the subtitles at the bottom of the screen, of that person taking offence at the implication that he needs to be subtitled while one of his colleagues doesn’t, and then having a hairy fit. It’s a joke for god’s sake, man. And it is funny. Your preposterous over-reading is the sort of thing that has given ‘PC’ a bad name.
“PC”? I’m making a serious point, and you haul out that weapon. That’s the sort of indolence I would expect from a poseur like Paul Holmes or Stephen Franks.
I’m not P.C. in any way—as I said, I don’t care if people make jokes about Arabs, or resistance fighters, or occupation soldiers. Like Joan Rivers, I believe nothing and nobody should be exempt from humour or satire.
BE: “I’m not P.C. in any way—as I said, I don’t care if people make jokes about Arabs, or resistance fighters, or occupation soldiers. Like Joan Rivers, I believe nothing and nobody should be exempt from humour or satire.” Then what the hell is your objection to this sketch?
It’s called contextualizing, Brian!
BE: Big word makes no difference to the validity of your argument, Morrissey. And you’d already referred to taking things ‘in context’. But I am genuinely grateful for your educative efforts.
May I just step in here and observe that this sketch made me laugh but at the same time reinforced my perception of the ghastly absurdity of the whole Iraqi situation. The sketch also says something about the nature of communication. Brian would know more about this than I, but I think laughing people are more likely to be receptive to your message, whatever it may be.
ha ha ha ha ha – love it.