Friday, April 30, 2010

Frankie Boyle and a good comedian telling a bad joke but making a point

While many people like to think that they are funny, most of them just aren't. However, having lived in a number of countries and visited a number more, it is in and around the city of my birth that we tend to find people with a horrible habit of reacting to jokes told with indifference, if not with a "that's supposed to be a joke', while they almost laugh themselves to death when they tell a "joke" of their own. Sorry, Billy Connelly was a scream in 1973 and by 1974 he was already becoming a bit of a bore and there was me back "home" in Glasgow last summer thinking not only are they not very funny, but they never really were. Or, at least, not when compared to the Gerhard Poldts and Josef Haders of this planet.

Still, there were and are other areas where Glaswegians tick the right boxes. No airs and graces, no"all fur coats and no knickers", a certain down to earth "Weltanschauung" and we do get the feeling that in Glasgow a man is, indeed, a man for a' that. Yes, we cannot have everything and the warm humanism is more than sufficient compensation for what I thought to be a quite lousy sense of humour. Ah, "thought" did he say?"

Well, there was the wee joke in the Aragon in Byres Rd that brought a smile onto my face: "Woman walks into a doctors, says, "doctor my tits feel like they are coconut" and the doctor replies, "aye, they're bounty." And then there was Frankie Boyle and "Mock the Week" and me thinking "this guy is funny, very funny." Moreover, with Frankie being revealed by the news today of the "Hasbara" BBC apologising for his supposedly anti-Semitic joke as being a "defender of the downtrodden" and with him defending what he said in no uncertain terms, while attacking the spineless BBC, the evidence would seem to suggest that not only do we have a funny man here but we also have a "no airs and graces, no "all fur coats and no knickers", a certain down to earth guy who is most certainly not left untouched by the milk of human kindness.

Oh, the joke itself  wasn't that funny, ..... well, there were actually two jokes:
"I'm quite interested in the Middle East, I'm actually studying that Israeli army martial arts. And I know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back."
"It's a difficult question to understand. I've got an analogy which explains the whole thing quite well: If you imagine that Palestine is a cake: well, that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew."

No, they don't really belong to Frankie's funnier jokes and the second one ......? Well, if he had only substituted "Israeli" for "Jew"! Nevertheless, when an apartheid state is based on religion as the "oxymoronic" "Jewish Democracy" is and when that state continually screams that it represents all Jews, we might forgive the hardly Freudian slip. Yes, neither of the jokes are particularly funny but one can sense that it is the reason behind the jokes that is imporant and if this is not political satire at its best, it is satire and as such a welcome relief from long drawn out political commentaries, "a la ego", to make the necessary point. Indeed, one senses that Mr Boyle's joke really has cut the Zionists to the bone. Moreover, on reading the comedian's open letter to the BBC in full we might quickly come to the conclusion that not only was this Frankies intention, but that he also ticks all the right boxes; funny man, with a developed political conscience, touched by the milk of human kindness.

Yes, Frankie has written "a few stupid jokes", as well as a few good ones, but what have we done and for us to really laugh at what is happening down in Palestine, an even stranger sense of humour would be required than the one that those Glaswegians who laugh at their own jokes have. Indeed, on reading both the jokes and the letter, and knowing some of Mr Boyles other, funnier, stuff, there is the slight suspicion that he himself realises that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the illegal occupation, the illegal blockade, the bullying on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and the slaughter in Gaza are all beyond a joke and in realising that he has certainly made his point. Therefore, from me it is a "thank you" to a down to earth, no airs and graces, Glaswegian, a man with a developed political conscience, who also happens to be funny. So funny, in fact, I am told that he even makes them laugh up in Glasgow.

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