Tuesday, March 13, 2007

“Comedy is an escape, not from truth but from despair..."

Hello peeps,

No lyrical tie-in today - it's a quote instead. You can search for the source if you're really that bothered (bovvered?). Half day at the office. Ahhh... bliss. Wait a mo? Shouldn't I be getting glammed up. Isn't that what trannys do? Bummer. Failed again. :-)

Comedy

Humour is a strange beast. In some ways, it's a bit like being cool - or at least I imagine so. Try too hard for it and it is impossible to achieve. Some appear to have it in spades, others never will. It has the power to bring us from the depths of dispair, unite us in joy or, in the case of satire, make us question and challenge what our Dear Leaders tell us.

Comedy can also hurt. You can use it to dehumanise a target into a stereotype. Once someone becomes an object - they don't have feelings; they're just cannon fodder for mockery. It can hurt in other ways too. The jump from laughs to agony isn't far. Remember the end of Blackadder Goes Forth?

Why this fascination with humour? Two things really. One was one of those rather pleasant shared jokes (below) where everyone was in on the gag and the other is Tranny and TV. For those of you who don't go to Becky's site, it's a two character panel strip featuring a television and a radio (it may or may not be DAB). Yes, this doesn't do it justice (still, at least I didn't say 2 characters a la Little & Large) - it's a bit like saying a comic is someone who stands up on stage and says things. Go and read it (metatag here).  Some of you may notice that tranny has a very limited number of poses.... which is clearly unlike the TG community :-D

What amuses me about T & TV is - other than they're both complete twits - is that I can relate to what they're doing. As with (mainstream) comedy, when it rings your bell (Ed: Not like that you dirty bird) it's funnier because you don't have to make a imaginative leap to be able to empathise / relate with the performer. You see the insanity of the situation because you - or someone you know - has been there. Course, you don't have to be TG to see joke, but it helps. While I don't like being laughed at, I don't mind laughing at myself. Why does that work? Honestly, I'm not sure. Control? Recognition? One of life's little ironies perhaps? I feel that you have to be able to laugh at yourself once in a while. Without trying to sound overly dramatic - sometimes all you can do is laugh. When my mate's Dad died, she went outside, lit up and completely deadpan said: "I guess Dad'll be smoking again tomorrow."

Of course, the thing with comedy is (Ed: stay focused Lynn. She's going to go into a Swiss Tony gag if we let her...) is that occasionally the gag will fall flat on it's face (see below) or worse, you'll upset someone. Does this mean that you should stay away from anything risky? IMO, no, because comedy, like music, needs teeth. Not those wind up ones from the joke shop, but bite. Real comedy comes from the heart: when it's personal, when the person is passionate about what they believe in.

Of course, I could be wrong. You know where the comments box is.

Shared Jokes and Stereotypes

Hopefully this hasn't had so much of a build-up that they'll be some tumbleweed blowing past as it dies on its feet. :) Sh** I feel like no writing about it now. :)

At the last meeting, we were having a chit-chat about the usual fluff and nonsense when someone mentioned a reality show on C4. That's background; the key point to it was that the 13 year old daughter was 'out of control' and was 'overly made-up and prancing around like an 18 year old'. I looked over to Val and we exchanged that look: "That never happens here doesn it?" Cue minor smiles and a short laugh.

For those of you who would like to make wind noises and imagine the tumbleweed going past, you may do so now  :-)

So, am I disrespecting my fellow member's dress sense and saying that they're overly made up? Nope, it's just the stereotype I'm knocking.

Repeat Offenders

I've been digging through the Google stats again. Honestly, it's strangely addictive. Not so much the numbers, but where folk are from and who they might be. Nottingham (I can think who'll be in there); Ilkeston (Hello 'S') and Great Hampden. Hold on, back it up. Who's that I wonder?

BTW in case I'm scaring anyone off here - no, it doesn't list your IP details and even if it did, I'd be keeping them under wraps.

Now.... lie on the sofa and read a book or put my stillies on....? Right, book it is.

8 comments:

  1. Mixed views on humour...

    Probably vital that humour doesn't come with a censor which prescribes what should/shouldn't be said. The truth/comedy will out. Or not.

    When it illustrates a greater truth, when it says something about our shared experience, or punctures pomposity etc - fab.

    When it makes cheap attacks on vulnerable people who for one reason or another can't respond - obviously not fab. Racism, sexism, homophobia etc etc. Bernard Manning.

    Trouble is that sometimes there are differing views on what gags go in group 1 and which in group 2. But you can't make laws.

    Christ I sound like a beardy sociology professor from a new "university".

    Yes the end of Blackadder was seminal wasn't it?

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  2. Ah...have been over to Becky's blog now to see where some of this is coming from. Not going to post over there as for some reason the last time I did that she deleted it.

    A difficulty here...if comedy gives offence, who is responsible for that offence? Can it be laid at the door of the beliefs, prejudices, or short sightedness of the comedian, or the sensitivity, attitudes or self importance of the audience?

    Part of the difficulty in this instance is perhaps that the trans community can be both self fixated/pompous and terribly vulnerable at the same time.

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  3. Becky > Credit where credit's due. Do you think you'd ever move to putting a warning on the strip BTW? I'm not suggesting you *should* - I'm just curious how you'd feel about that.

    Jo > Hmmm.... It's a tough one and, he's hoping that I don't cause offence - one that neither you nor I will solve in two blog posts. :) The bit about TG community being fragile is very accurate.

    I guess it boils down to self censorship and I feel that's a very dangerous road to go down. I think it's better to have comment out in the open and let the work stand for itself. If it's not socially acceptable, you'll be able to judge that by the feedback you receive. It can be easy to misjudge a situation after all.

    What I think would be worse, would be not to talk about these things openly. Instead only talking and joking with others 'off-camera'. Here the situation is never challenged, but is reinforced by like minded individuals.

    When everyone else is laughing hard, it's takes some guts to stand out from the crowd and say "I don't find that acceptable."

    Equally, there is a right way and a wrong way to complain about an item. Make it a personal attack, or 'go off on one' and you've lost your case. The remaining auidence is switching off, maybe even slotting you into a box marked 'nutter'.

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  4. I totally agree with your last three paragraphs Lynn. And I'm going to take up on this issue in my own blog (when time permits) for reasons that will become apparent. It's a subject about which I feel very strongly. As usual, you get to the heart of an issue.

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  5. Well... ummm... gosh! Thanks Rachel. I'll look forward to reading that. Sounds quite intriguing!

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  6. "Now.... lie on the sofa and read a book or put my stillies on....?"

    You can't read with stilettos on? How odd :-p

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  7. LOL. Good call.

    Given that I could sleep on a parcel shelf (and probably have at some point), laying down with my heels on in the late afternoon is just courting disaster. :)

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