A Joke is Just a Joke…Apart from that one about me, now that’s offensive

I wrote thousands of words about this. it was a post that went out of control. I have cut, pruned and there is a possibility it doesn’t mean anything at all now. Like all of these, this is not journalism, but a tattily glued scrapbook of my ideas.

if you can’t be bothered to read all of this, the footnote might sum up what I think I meant to say.

We are keenly aware of our own oppression yet, more often than not, unable to make the slightest imaginative leap when it comes to other’s oppression.

There is a hurry in every conversation to ensure that others know you too have felt the jackboot, “oh, you may say that, but it’s not been all cakes and daffodils for me either”.

At one moment we are overly cautious about what we might say for fear of offending and at others we are battering rams of insensitivity and abuse masked as rebellion.

Everyone can find a way of being offended by something and banging on about it now.  Offence is so common that we think all offence has the same worth.

Stand up comedy is currently so popular that being outraged by it is a regular news story; it’s big enough to sell papers and ensure that the newspaper’s website will get vibrant traffic when we all retweet the article.

This is nothing new. The low arts of pop music and comedy have a history when it comes to people displaying their moral cleanliness by being openly disgusted. The great thing about lyrics or gags is that can be removed from all context and, with the yolk of your breakfast boiled egg still congealing on your chin, incendiary on the inky page. For the TV commissioning editors, bad boy comics (and it is more often than not boys) generate the sort of publicity that allows them to enjoy the delusion that they are creating a thing of artistic worth because the stiff collared and suburban are tetchy – isn’t Stand up for The Week the new Last Exit to Brooklyn or Piss Christ?

A lot of comedians who are declared by TV PR gurus as being edgy guys “saying the unsayable” are really saying what the audience wants to hear but pretends they don’t. It is mainstream opinion dressed in outlaw garb.

“Look at me posturing with a beer bottle, YEAH, I drink beer”, he says in front of his beer drinking audience in the beer drinking town, where the beer soaked outside are shouting at bouncers and flailing at neon. He is the Che Guevara of Grolsch.

On the occasions when an audience member does take offence, the retort is often, “come on, it’s only a joke”. We forget how quickly we hate being laughed at. Who is so strong in themselves that they are blasé when laughed at? Why do dictatorships crack down on artists? When someone takes the piss out of me, that’s just the way it is, you hope you’ll find a way later of creating the same laughter directed back at them, or rise above it by showing your magnificence on a quiz machine. A joke about me is just about me or the presumptions of who I am, it’s not another generic joke about my background, race, gender or sexuality. I come from a group that has not faced lengthy and frequent derision. Nice middle class boys like Jimmy Carr and me have not experienced the same battle as many others. When we came from the tough avenues of the home counties what we had stacked against is could be kept in a potting shed.

Most of the comedians who trade on offence are from groups who have not had to put up with much in the way of being demeaned. They haven’t spent too much of their life being the butt of the joke, so fuck it, a joke’s a joke.

If you are going to see a joke is just a joke, that’s fine, you are saying your material has no intention, no aims, no meaning except for being a series of words that will make people laugh. That is good, there is no shame in being an entertainer.

Don’t then do an interview saying that you’re “a taboo buster pricking pomposity etc etc blah bah” because you’ve already told your public you are solely a machine for making laughter.

I don’t think there is anything you can’t joke about, but there are some things that you might want to think twice about why you want to joke about it.

This year, one of the debated topics of the Edinburgh fringe was the rape joke. Personally, I can’t remember performing any jokes about rape , though I might be using my “me? I’m a feminist” selective memory. (also, as this has been queried already, the definition for rape joke here is a joke about the act itself, not attitudes to it, media portrayal etc)

(The nearest I can think of involves a joke about me having sex with someone who bullied me at school after having extensive plastic surgery and a sex change, but the sex in that is consensual if unnerving for the fictional bully once I reveal my identity)

The person I currently am would think carefully before performing a rape joke.

I worry that light banter on sex crime starts to normalize such things.

Here is one short film’s take on it 

And, going back to the seemingly perpetual theme of these post, there is the issue of empathy. How would I feel, as the victim of a sex crime, to be sitting in a room surrounded by people laughing uproariously at a joke that sounds upsettingly like the situation I experienced.

Would I, as a comedian, feel comfortable when confronted by a rape victim, saying to them “listen, it was just a joke”.

Couldn’t I just think of a better joke or at least a different one.

I don’t buy for a second that idea that by doing rape jokes in a comedy club this confronts the issue and the comic is now a brave psychotherapist as well as rebel when on stage.

It all reminds me of the ending of Todd Solondz’s Happiness.

“We’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you”

“But I’m not laughing”

(also, I have seen how thin-skinned some of the alpha male rebels can be when they feel they are the ones being picked on or criticised, as is an Omega male like me)

As the sometimes painfully right on comedy clubs of the alternative circuit become the new mainstream, the audience accepted butt of the gags has changed.

The poorly and the different were finally being belittled after oppressing the rest of us for all those years by dint of their existence. It seemed like clammy laughter of relief now the wars were over, “thank heavens, finally we can laugh at the raped/the ill/ the needy again…and if you’re not laughing you are a humourless prig.”

Some jokes on a society’s taboo subjects can be shocking, unsettling and thought provoking, they can give an adrenaline rush like a rusty Coney Island rollercoaster. More often than not, they won’t be like that, they may even reveal that if we’re honest, some taboo subjects aren’t taboo at all, we’re just too lazy to talk about them.

The veil of irony often slips.

The cold cynicism of the careerist is revealed.

An audience is relieved it can laugh at what it hates and fears.

It is time to mock the freaks.

They are not one of us.

Gathered in this amphitheatre, we feel our strength.

We can crush the underlings.

As a performer, I do not have an issue with offending people, but it is not my main aim. I talk about things I believe (or at least think I believe at the time). My loose rule is “would I feel comfortable defending my position to someone who says they are offended or would I have to just say ‘come on man, a joke’s a joke’”. I need to feel strongly about something before I am comfortable being in a position where I am likely to offend.

Most performers aren’t saying things because they mean it, they are saying it because they hope they’ll get money and fame from it. Should you be annoyed with the performer or the audience that is encouraging them with laughter and merchandise sales? Sometimes I feel the audience doesn’t shoulder enough of the blame.

There can also be hypocrisy in the audience of a “shocking” comedian. They laugh along until it gets to the belief they hold sacred and, at that point, the comic has gone too far. much like the off written about “women in comedy”, this is not really a comedy issue, it is a far broader issue about societies and their attitudes. and I have to be careful not to think “oh my, isn’t the modern world terrible” because in the olden days we whooped at hangings, but that doesn’t mean we should now be static because we’re not as bad as we were.

Nothing is sacred when it comes to comedy, until it comes to the box office receipts.

There is a lot of offensive comedy I love – the films of John Waters were an eye opener, the first routines I heard of Lenny Bruce (Hoffman version), the hilarity and then horror and then hilarity then uncertainty of watching Jerry Sadowitz at his best. Personally, I find the best offensive art comes from people who either by choice or circumstance are on the outside. Offence with purpose doesn’t seem to mean much if it gets majority acceptance with an occasional burst of columnist fury in the Daily Express or from a local councillor.

It is very easy to offend without purpose. Drop your trousers and spread your arse cheeks at a gathering of old nuns or openly urinate in a play park for the under 5s, that should do.

To me, the great artists of offence are not doing it to seem hip or marketable, but because they are offended by the ethics and moral within the society they live in or the world they question around them.

FOOTNOTE

what I probably really meant to say – what trades as the comedy of offence and taboo busting, is really just the laughing of the bully

This comic strip is probably far more relevant than the above post – here 

come be offended by me on my tour – dates here 

a blog from last week was originally the opening of this blog. it is here

Many years ago, I went to a writer’s meeting for long since deceased topical gag show Weekending. That week Sinead O Connor had done something about the Pope that had caused a stir. The producer said, “if anyone’s got any jokes having a go at Sinead O Connor, that would be great”. The person to satirise here was a woman who had recorded two albums of pop songs, not a man who ran an organization with a dubious/criminal history.

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51 Responses to A Joke is Just a Joke…Apart from that one about me, now that’s offensive

  1. At Trans Media Watch we are currently trying to work with comedians to try to get them to think about issues lke this. Often we get the response that we (transgender and intersex people) should learn to laugh at ourselves. Oddly enough, like most groups of people, we already do. But the curious thing is that certain comedians – usually home counties chaps like those you describe, who appear to have had relatively comfortable lives – insist on telling us that if we listened _properly_ to their jokes we would see past all that PC bollocks (npi) and understand how ridiculous we look in their eyes. In a world where, you know, we’re regularly told we look ridiculous by strangers when we presume to walk down the street. Where we are greeted, from time to time, with gales of frantic laughter that indicate anything but self-confidence on the part of the street comedian. They will reveal this secret to us, if we will only listen. There’s something distinctly Quixotic about it; it might almost be endearing if it weren’t for the people who get beaten up by others looking for a laugh.

  2. Nigel thompson says:

    Yes,some food for thought here.

  3. Heiko says:

    Hope your pal Gervais reads this.

  4. Keith says:

    Strangely enough, the only time I’ve ever been offended by a joke was from some little girl, must have been about 6, as I was in a supermarket, I heard ‘mummy, look at that fat man, he’s your boyfriend!’. Of course, I didn’t do or say anything, because that would be the work of someone mental, to rage at a small child, but I guess the truth hurts.

    However, I’ve never been offended by a comedian, despite fitting into a few easily mockable categories, because the jokes are always about ‘some fat bloke’ ‘or this depressed guy’ or ‘this nerd did this’, it’s very rarely aimed directly at me.

    Even when comedians pick someone out of the audience to have a pop at, it’s usually random abuse, not specifically chosen to hurt.

    Having said all that, I do think it’s strange that with all the things Frankie Boyle’s said in his time, it seems the one thing that turned public opinion was a very mild ‘that swimmer has a big nose’ gag about Rebecca Adlington.

    To me the most offensive way to tell a joke is to steal it from a gig, where paying customers go to see a comic they both know and enjoy, then print it in the Daily Mail, offending thousands of people who’d never have seen that joke in their cosy, safe lives, then take the moral high ground.

    As much as people knock Jimmy Carr for his tax stuff, I believe his ‘paralympics’ line was carefully aimed at the audience he was playing to, and not just thrown out when asked to provide a one liner to a microphone. Printing it out of context as tho he was trying to belittle ‘our boys (yawn)’, is just dishonest, tho I shouldn’t be surprised.

    I do however believe there’s still too much aiming down the food chain, when there’s so many ripe targets up top worthy of a good verbal kicking.

    Damn, and Robin Ince was apologising for going on. I’ll shut up now.

  5. BD says:

    Good words, but I feel will be un-read or ignored by the bullies, cowards and fools who flood the comedy clubs. We can only show support for those who take a stand to try and change the minds of the majority.

  6. Gordon says:

    Hey Robin, enjoyed this, but these articles are always a bit too abstract for me – could you give any examples of the jokes you’re writing about?

  7. Personally I’m really tired of seeing/hearing straight white males making jokes at the expense of less privileged groups and then hiding behind the idea that comedy is sacred and so important it must be unfettered by human decency,

  8. Opus the Poet says:

    I think I might understand a bit as a cyclist who died on the road because I was riding on the other side of the street initially from the man that killed me, who then made a u-turn and ran me over. Obviously I wasn’t permanently dead, but I had no pulse or respiration when witnesses first got to my body and because of the violence of the wreck assumed I was dead, permanently, and did not attempt to revive me. I “rebooted” and came back and then they decided I shouldn’t be laying in the street and tried to move me which resulted in me telling them not to move me as I had a broken leg and that hurt.

    So, jokes about killing cyclists are not particularly funny to me, no matter who is making them.

  9. Well thought out argument Robin. As you say though, context is all-important, and a lot of the outraged articles about this topic leave it out, causing a more damning impression of the comedian than is really fair. The recent Frankie Boyle tweets on the Paralympics are a case in point – I looked back at Frankie’s recent tweets at the time, and the intent I percived was to mock the idea of Atos sponsoring a games for disabled people while cutting off their beneifts elsewhere.

    Semantics are important too. Boyle’s tweets can be read as mocking the disabled, ot mocking the attitudes towards disability. But it depends on how you read them. If you go in with the preconceived notion that he’s just being cruel (fostered by a press narrative), you’ll see what you expect. And to take the much-discussed Jimmy Carr gag, my reading of it is that 1) it’s playing with semantics and 2) it’s hardly saying that rape is either good or acceptable. Indeed, taking the language on a purely literal level, it’s saying that one out of ten people – the victim – do NOT enjoy gang rape. Which is pretty condemnatory of the act, as far as I can see. I’m no fan of Carr, who annoys the hell out of me in all sorts of other ways, but this hardly seems the gold standard of misogyny to me.

    You are right in taking to task comedians whose idea of “edgy” is to be deliberately shocking without any rationale, though I worry that a backlash against them means that those comedians whose provocative material has a real purpose will find themselves ostracised as a result. Sadly, I think we have to put up with idiots being “offensive” to no clear end in order to ensure the freedom of others to be “offensive” for good reasons.

    I wrote a post on the topic myself during the whole Clarkson “shoot the strikers” debacle last year: http://incoherent.net/2011/12/language-jeremy/

    • robinince says:

      i did mention that press outrage is often about taking something out of context. i see authors quoted without mentioning they are the words of characters they have created who may not represent what they themselves believed at all. This post is not about censoring, it is about thinking. Comedians may feel they have a great purpose at laughing at someone who was raped or making light of child death, my argument is against the lazy, casual use of such stuff, the default setting of the rape joke

      • Indeed, I’m glad you weren’t going down the censorship route – that’s why I found your piece on this to be so much more reasonable and balanced than many others.

        Thinking about your material should be absolutely key, and I’m glad you’re highlighting so many that don’t. In the end, all you can do is try to make them do that.

    • robinince says:

      as for Jimmy, he will do anything to make money. He is mean as mean makes money, there is no grand plan or vision, it is a throwaway mechanism that he has found suits his bank accounts. his is indeed, a joke is just a joke, and the casualness of the gypsy jibe etc is something i am a little uneasy about

      • This does not surprise me in the slightest – given that I find his entire persona to be irritatingly smug and self-satisfied, it’s hardly a shock that he really is. And yes, some of his material is just pointlessly offensive, though I still don’t think that ‘gang rape’ gag is the one that should be picked up on.

  10. Chris Gannon says:

    Hi Robin,

    I saw you at one of the Bloomsbury gigs you put on a couple of years ago and you read out a Harlan Ellison quote that I now use far, far too often “You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

    I think far too many comedians and audience members live in a world of “safe edginess” as you describe above and I believe that one of the audience members who was offended by a particular Frankie Boyle joke went through exactly what you described where she was laughing along merrily with him until he joked about a subject that affected her personally.

    There seem to be a lot of comedians seem to view themselves as Lenny Bruce when really they’re Bernard Manning.

    Chris

  11. I agree that people get offended far too easily, wearing every emotion on their sleeve. These people seem to be the same ones who are full of sarcasm, a far cry from humour. The one area that is off-limits for me is making jokes about sexual crimes, as you alluded to. Rape, incest, and the like – I just don’t find anything funny about those subject matters. That is why we have options like changing the station, deleting, etc. I am responsible for my choices at the end of the day. Great post.

  12. Roy Cope says:

    Thanks for steering me towards John Waters Robin. I’ve always wanted to watch someone eat dog shit.
    Is there anyone who would class that as “humour”?

  13. scottywrotem says:

    I firmly believe that laziness is the main cause for offensive jokes, there is ALWAYS an angle you can come from on a subject which will make people think, but unfortunately from what I’ve seen online and in standup dvd’s comedians often go for the first level of humour they find from a situation. My advice: Keep digging.

  14. MsJinnifer says:

    I think there is a difference between being personally hurt or distressed, and being offended. As you say it has a lot do with empathy. That’s why it is cruel to make jokes about rape, but baring your arse cheeks is different altogether. And it is a matter of degree. I have sometimes been personally upset by a comedian when a topic has touched on a personal sore spot, but you know what, I don’t laugh, I just feel a bit upset, and laugh at the next joke.

  15. Heather says:

    An idea I’ve come across in some other online discussions is that there’s a difference between ‘offense’ and ‘oppression’. Offense is subjective; people can get offended by all kinds of things, including swearing, homosexuality, feminism, and a host of other things I personally find delightful. But labeling something as oppressive places it into a wider social context.

    I really like your point that audiences should take their fair share of the blame for this sort of behaviour; if there wasn’t a market for it then it wouldn’t happen, or it least it would happen far less often.

  16. lazarus says:

    I put together my blog to talk about what is comedy and relate theory practice to BIG issues in my life. I invite you to read the articles as I think we share a perspective but I go beyond you on the issues that radicalsed me. Your article says some wise things but you do what you criticise when you make jokes about nuns. I guess you dont know any personally so you treat us like objects and stereotypes. I invite you to read my post on stand up comedy and trolls (14/0(/12) where i call such comedy the heirs of “outraged of tunbridge wells” i.e. their comedy is proping up the status quo and not “right on” at all. I suggest you read my blog about a cock graffiti too. Hell read em all. Let me know if you agree or not etc best, sister lazarus

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  19. Stacey says:

    From a personal point of view, you don’t have to be telling a rape joke to make a raped person feel uspet, angry and annoyed, you just have to be talking about it (I did not read the whole of this blog before I posted, I am sure it came from a good place, but I stopped reading). The very mention of it is upsetting, it makes no difference if there is a joke in there or it’s a news report, it’s the mere mention of it that is upsetting. I find rape jokes distasteful, but if everyone wants to laugh at rape, that’s up to them, but I wont be speaking to the ones who laugh. In fact, in my head, I may be planning their deaths; cruel and slow and painful.
    I don’t care if some comedians tell rape jokes, I just don’t watch them on TV again, I switch the TV off and it’s over, they are gone from my mind and my life. That’s it, bridge is burnt.
    I’ll tell you what upsets me, rape at christmas, the rape story that is always on at christmas on one soap or another and plastered on magazines in the shops, that annoys me. A comedian who has reached the bottom of the barrel and the end of his career and has nowhere left to go apart from telling rape jokes doesn’t bother me, in fact I feel sorry for him and the people who awkwardly laugh at him.
    but like the Murphys…

  20. Stacey says:

    You’ve got me now haven’t you, I will try not to write 100 replies and 60,000 words…
    Michael (Legge) said a rape joke once in a blog, it may not have been an actual joke, but the swearing and c word weren’t attracting enough attention so he stooped to mentioning rape in a jovial manner (sorry Michael but you did and that’s why you did it). I know Michael well enough to know that if he said that when I was there and if I was upset by it and I told him I was upset by it he would say to me “I did not mean to make you feel that way” he would probably say sorry, he may not, but if you ignore the bravado he would definately be upset that he upset someone and be courteous of their feelings as he is a human being. It would effect him as he is human.
    If anyone, comedian, friend, stranger, policeman, said a rape joke in front of me and I told them that I was upset and they said “It was just a joke” they would know to apologise by the look on my face and the rage in my eyes, I would forgive a nervous laugh at that point, but if they proceeded to test me on the subject I would happily accept all consequences for what happens next as I am an adult, I am in control of my actions and if I feel someone deserves to have ten barrels of shit kicked out of them for being inhuman then I shall do it.
    It’s that simple.
    If someone says ‘it’s just a joke’ after upsetting anyone, on any subject matter (no matter if it’s rape or ripping the petals from roses) then it shows they have not considered the other parties feelings and they deserve to be treated with the same contempt they have shown.

  21. Stacey says:

    I may now try to read the rest of your blog and no doubt it will work out to be about something completely different and not rape jokes at all. I may even try to read the replies.
    The point I am trying to get across is that it is the mere mention of it that offends, it makes no difference if it is in joke form or a news report. I can type the word ‘rape; but I cannot say it out loud. I had to say to the doctor ‘sexually assaulted’ and he kept correcting me and saying ‘rape’ as he didn’t understand that I just couldn’t say the word.
    But as I say I am sure what you have written has come from a good place, therefore I am not offended….yet

  22. Stacey says:

    No, you have not offended me, your readers replies also have not offended me and the comic strip was ok, a bit was not right in my eyes though it generally sums it up ok, but sadly it makes me feel like I am weak and I am not. I am just a little put out that I am the only one here who has been raped or had been able to talk/write about it. lol – yes I used ‘lol’ after something about rape and no I am not laughing out loud, I just think it is bizarre.
    The problem is that if people don’t talk about it they get consumed by it, so I talk about it, every so often I talk about it.
    Strangest thing that happened to me was once I was stood with two women, one of them was south african and she said to me “one in three women in south africa have been raped” the other girl looked shocked and I just thought “well,right now, one in three women have also been raped you don’t need to be in South Africa to get that statistic”

  23. Stacey says:

    I’m just chatting now, sometimes I feel like being a female ambassador of rape. or anti-rape. whatever the technically correct word for it is, but you see these great women in history like florence nightingale who was an amazing nurse, or that woman who lead armies in the name of god after being punished and beaten and stuff (i’m not good with names) or Marie Curie who does things, or Mother Theresa who is a good woman, or the first woman to fly a plane and stuff and being an ambassador of rape seems pretty crap in comparison and not really something I wish to be remembered for.
    It’s the way they handle it that I don’t like, they treat women like little kittens who have been put in a bag and left to drown, you poor thing. But that’s not what they should be doing, they should be teaching girls at school that it’s ok to say no and teaching boys that not only does no mean no, but also the meaning of consent and why it is wrong to have sex without consent.
    Also there is a load of bollocks about how people treat you after you have been raped, they say men don’t want to touch you and think you are dirty and would never love you, that bollocks, that’s not true. If nothing else, if a man finds out you have been raped he is more concerned than anything, if he is a partner he blames himself for what happened more than he does you as he wasn’t there to protect you, and men generally turn into a knight that wish to look after a damsel. There is so much bollocks continually put in womens heads about rape and how they should feel about it so no woman who is in that kind of state could ever make up her own mind about how she feels. “I am angry” that is how she feels. Fucking angry to be disrespected in such an intimate way. But again, women aren’t allowed to feel angry as it goes against the definition of a woman and womanhood, baby maker, home maker, it’s no longer the 70′s but in the press and law etc that’s still the way women are portrayed.
    I was first raped when I was 19 and it happened again about 5years ago when I was 29, and I had a near miss when I was 30 when I was drugged, so like Signorny Weaver when talking about Aliens “it’s all I know” I don’t know a life without it. My whole life is about rape and the way it is spoken about on TV and in the press annoys me as they are full of shit and wrong.
    Maybe my brain works too quickly, I am too far forward in my mind than other people and I am contrary. I don’t know what I am, but when someone tells me that I will get scared of sex after being raped I turn into a fucking dominatrix!

  24. Stacey says:

    So when it’s late at night, i’m angry and drunk about all the above, what do I do?
    Rather than going out and murdering people, as I feel like, I play this, who can be unhappy when they listen to this…listen to it really loud and try not to sing…very jovial…and try not to do the piano bit,,,it’s very lighthearted and makes a complete mockery of the whole situation, but who cares…it’s a big gay song!

  25. Stacey says:

    Heres the deal, you don’t talk about rape and I wont bastardise your blog…
    Deal?
    On youtube the above song is a natural progression to this song, you cannot dispute that it’s a great video, one of the best music videos ever.

  26. Stacey says:

    Get’s better…but not great quality…

  27. Stacey says:

    May be the last one I bastardise you with…

  28. Stacey says:

    what does rape feel like? It feels like this music and her voice.

  29. Stacey says:

    How do you feel after you have been raped?

  30. Stacey says:

    how does it feel when you are getting over being raped?

  31. Stacey says:

    then after the adrenaline goes it feels like this for a bit…

  32. Stacey says:

    but then you come to terms with it a little and start to feel like this…

  33. Stacey says:

    and at the end of the day you find acceptance and you feel like everyone else…

  34. Rob Mac Rom says:

    I’ve always enjoyed stand up commedy. However, the key issue here is that it’s being degraded by the “do gooders” who think that someone may be offended when jibes are made about things that are considered politically incorrect. Thing is, it’s the minorities that set the rules for the majority here and it’s starting to cause friction.

  35. Stacey says:

    right…if you are actually interested in this subject i suggest we sit down and discuss it,,,,email me

  36. Pingback: On curating, censoring, rape jokes and freedom? (not very festive) | Robinince's Blog

  37. robinince says:

    the “I don;t think you understood the post” is under someone else’s comment , not yours so it has nothing to do with what you wrote

  38. Stacey says:

    oh I see what you mean. Not only that, I think I also misread what you were asking the other guy. That happens a lot, I think there is something wrong with my brain. My boyfriend text me the other day “is it raining where you are?” and I read “it is raining where are you?” I think i’ve got some kind of dementia coming on, somethings not right.

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