The Trotsky Assortment

Damn, didn’t finish this before going on stage in Hull, so here is the start of something that may drag on through the night. Part 2 follows from the comfort of my budget hotel

I looked at the comments under some newspaper articles today, that’s how desperate the need to avoid work had become. I never look at comments under the rare pieces about me, nor do I google my own name, that way madness lies, but I read a few pieces about comedians. As everyone has a good sense of humour, people get very angry when what they do not find funny is lauded. It is NOT funny, the crowd’s laughter is an illusion. Under all the articles I saw, the same dull whine emitted. “These modern comics, it’s all lefty bollocks. Where has the innocent joy of race hate wrapped up with a clumsy punchline that suggests the fear of kicked dog lashing out gone?” 

Apparently Frank Skinner is reaping what he sows. He now claims that there isn’t enough freedom of speech, but wasn’t it him and his breed that demanded the cargo doors of expression were shut tightly closed? Errr, no, I don’t think it was. Frank Skinner has been accused of many things, but rarely was it his rabid desire for Stalinism to be peddled on Fantasy Football League or Skinner and Baddiel Unplugged. 

“Yet again Skinner uses the relegation of QPR as a springboard to talking of how the means of production must be handed to the masses”

“I see Skinner and Baddiel use a routine about their use of pornography to loudly eulogise Emma Goldman”

Under the articles on Stewart Lee it was the usual animosity about how he represents the yoke of socialism that is smeared like feces at a dirt protest across light entertainment. 

Oddly, the discussion I hear from those who have been going to clubs is that there is a decline in political comedy, the old guards of Marks (Steel and Thomas), Hardy and a few from the 80s, and little more. I’ve noticed that political comedy is not as dead as some of the obituaries may suggest. Russell Brand has obviously entered the ring, Josie Long is campaigning as well as mocking the those shattering her dreams of a better state for all, Chris Coltrane is doing similar. I may see a different version of events because these are the sort of lefties and anarchists that make up my utilitarian bedfellows. When I watch TV stand up shows, I see less evidence of these disobedient Trotskyists. It seems those newspaper commenters with dog food under their fingernails and the earwax blocking any noises beyond their dystopia building opinions, just see Ben Elton in a free jazz loop yelping “Thatch! Thatch! Thatch!” when any modern comic goes on stage, even Michael McIntyre or Sarah Millican or Mickey Flanagan. “look at Mcintyre’s ruthless assassination of free enterprise by skipping and talking about juicers.”

I realise that some people’s reality tunnels have a smaller aperture than others. Once we have risen above hunger and cold, and are comfortably sheltered, we draw the world we want to see, and it is surprising how many amateurishly sketch a world that is just what they what they don’t want it to be. They will avoid all that may create joy. Contentment, even happiness, would make them uneasy.It is hard to know what is truth and what is a delusion of your mind to place in the comfortable status of the wronged.

While I read of the excessive left wing of the BBC, stand up comedy, and this Sodom and Gomorrah of liberal values, I find it falls far short of what I, as a sufferer of socialism of the heart, want to see and hear. Where was the non stop clamor about the dismantling of the NHS, privatisation of the Royal Mail, the mauling of legal aid, and you know the rest, or maybe you don’t, to my senses it has all been kept a little quiet. Is that my reality tunnel? Am I blind to the excessive airing of Loach and Pilger that runs through the BBC like a portrait of Chomsky through a stick of candy and barbed wire rock? When you have a worldview, however claustrophobic, sometimes even the slightest err from that, a couple of appearances from a left wing journalist, is all you see.

I think that there is a confusion between liberal ideas and left wing ideas. The mere act of not being Godfrey Bloom is an outrage. If you are not a homophobe, with a neat line in misogyny and casual fear of those that are not from around here, if you like arguments that use statistics and research, if you do not see compassion as a needless expense, then you are cast as another lefty, another bleeding heart messing up a corporate carpet. Or is it that just my reality tunnel?
 

TO BE CONTINUED I am off to Cirencester, Kings Lynn, Dartmouth, Leicester and London, then a whole heap of December shows with Brian Cox, Josie Long and many more. Details HERE

DVD Happiness Through Science is HERE

How can i be a socialist, see, i was trying to sell you stuff too

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18 Responses to The Trotsky Assortment

  1. sam says:

    Charlie Chaplin was more left-wing than any of the comedians you mentioned, and he had mass appeal, maybe that’s because he knew real poverty, he certainly knew hunger.

    • mraemiller says:

      That’s why they banned him from re-entering the US

      • sam says:

        Very true, but they did belatedly invite him back to award him some sort of life time achievement. Chaplin makes modern comedians seem light weight in comparison, he managed to be subversive, funny romantic and tell the story of downtrodden with love empathy and understanding, and managed to be very popular. Who have we got nowadays Ricky Gervais… Hope they don’t kick him out, last thing we need is him coming back

  2. robinince says:

    I am not saying they are left wing, I am talking about botched perception.

    • sam says:

      I just thought it interesting, that a old time comedian could have been more right on than modern comedians, and still have mass appeal.

  3. love the “shit” slip up ;)
    The reportage style of telling the truth in all of its complete horror has long gone and I’m pretty convinced not many in tv land care to show the anger of the little people anymore
    The voice of protest has been silenced by the X factor and dumb down I’m alright jack time
    Our students are on a gap year and everyone seems to be worrying about the roof they can’t afford
    So yes…I can still see the funny side too
    Just so long as I keep up with my medication

  4. Timoklon says:

    I don’t think this is a reality tunnel with regards to what’s popular, but it might be an indication that you should stop watching TV and go find more underground stuff- then again, it is still depressing that what’s popular is popular. ‘It is surprising how many amateurishly sketch a world that is just what they what they don’t want it to be,’ it’s ironic that this perception is itself an unwanted schema, though it is hard not to agree with. If we all develop world views wherein everyone else is stupid and only we can see how things really are, that would make for a very paranoid, hostile, controlling world. So that explains it. It doesn’t seem to me as if socialist values in particular have faded from popular comedy but values in general, but I am determining ‘popular’ based on what gets on to TV (which is in fact what makes it popular rather than it being there by result of popularity), and this is not decided democratically. In conclusion I agree, and I blame money.

  5. Pingback: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reactionary » Chocolate Blog

  6. I think that there is a confusion between liberal ideas and left wing ideas.

    Yes, indeed. The primary fallacy, of course, is that the left-right axis is assumed to coincide with the liberal-authoritarian axis, whereas in practice the two are orthogonal. It’s possible to have left-wing authoritarians (Mao, Stalin) and right-wing liberals (John Locke, Adam Smith), just as you can have left-wing liberals (Ghandi), and right-wing authoritarians (Franco).

    (There is also plenty of debate about the meanings of “left” and “right”; most people would — erroneously, I’d argue — place Hitler at the “far right” end of the left-right axis. I maintain he was in fact a centre-left authoritarian, a view supported by the Nazi Party manifesto and also by many of their actions while in power.)

    FWIW, as someone with right-wing liberal views (I hesitate to use the phrase “libertarian” because of the way it’s sometimes used as a pejorative), I do find the BBC’s television output tediously biased towards the soft left. It isn’t socialist, but it does tend towards a particular line of thinking — a good example being the tendency to use the phrase “bedroom tax” when talking about the recent housing benefit changes. BBC radio is better, I might add, and not all of the television output is bad (Paxman is pretty decent on Newsnight IMO).

  7. hammarbytp says:

    There is no absolute scale of left or right wing, it is all relative. Whoever you are and whatever your political views you can always find someone on either side of you in the political spectrum, although the thought that there is someone to the right of Godfrey Bloom is a scary and sobering thought.

    That where the debate on the political stance of BBC is so ludicrous. You cannot be left wing or right wing in the same way an animal cannot be more or less evolved. In doing so it assumes there is a constant center point that we can measure it from

  8. Mark G says:

    The danger here, Mr. Ince, as you are aware, is reading the comments and assuming they are representative of anything. The mad people in the pub have found friends there. Let them be.

    There is nothing more infuriating than not finding something funny. It is both confusing and alienating to see other people laughing and not understand why.

    The comments section allows people to find out they are not alone in this. Look it as a support group for people who could do something much worse without it.

  9. Guy Chapman says:

    I will not hear a word against Jeremy Hardy. The man satirises himself like nobody else on Earth. Appearing on ISIHAC more than once pretty much confers a pass on all criticism. And his singing literally defies description.

    Seriously? De gustibus non est disputandum.

  10. Alistair Bisatt says:

    Expressing an opinion contrary to the govt is gradually being portrayed as left wing and ‘unpatriotic’ (see Cameron’s veiled threats about the Guardian and Snowden as well as their attacks on the BBC) . I genuinely feel a growing extremism in UK politics is beginning to divide the country into ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ along social and economic grounds in a way we haven’t seen since the 30′s

  11. My Auntie loved Larry Grayson, but was Homophobic, she used too laugh out loud at The Generation Game ,and call him a “Big old Poof” this probably adds nothing to this debate,

  12. Ohthisbloodypc says:

    This could be quite an interesting subject. But can you come up with real examples of people complaining about bias, rather than made up comments that nobody actually made?

    Did anybody actually say: “These modern comics, it’s all lefty bollocks. Where has the innocent joy of race hate wrapped up with a clumsy punchline that suggests the fear of kicked dog lashing out gone?”

    I suspect they didn’t. Blimey, I hope you’re not making up stories about people in order to victimise them!

    I find Radio 4 topical comedy like The Now Show and The News Quiz a massive let down because it’s so narrow minded. There isn’t so much a left wing bias as a myopia. They are obsessed with The Daily Mail, a newspaper bought by 1.8 million people out of an estimated population of 65 million. Less than 3 per cent of the population reads that paper. A tiny tiny minority of powerless people (A letter in the Daily Mail is about as much power as Disgusted of Milton Keynes will ever marshall)

    You’d think The Daily Mail was some kind of bullying state-appointed news service that you refused to subscribe to on pain of going to prison. (That would be the BBC) But no, its readers are a minority with no power, to whom the BBC likes to give a kicking.

    Many of the people who do buy The Daily Mail seem to hate it anyway, but are addicted to high dudgeon and scour every line of the paper with a fanaticism unmatched even by Angry from Tunbridge Wells.

    if the Daily Mail is narrow minded, what does that make the people whose entire world view is based on reading the Daily Mail from cover to cover and then sneering at it?

    And yet, and yet, I listen to The Now Show and The News Quiz because, for some reason, I still expect to hear some sharp satire. But it’s always utterly utterly lame. Just the odd joke would do. I wouldn’t mind if The Now Show/News Quiz were totally left wing biased, if they made the occasional telling observation. If they made hurtful, but undeniably true, jokes, I might respect them. But it’s just the same lazy, baseless stuff where the foundation of the joke is non-existent.

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