Springingtiger's Blog

Funny Taste

I came somewhat late to Mrs Brown and her boys. It was not until they came to the BBC that I finally watched them, now I regret the missed opportunities to have seen Mrs Brown on stage at the Pavilion. Having been thoroughly enjoying Mrs Brown’s Boys on television I could not resist “The Mother Of All Box Sets” featuring several Mrs Brown films as well as Brendan O’Carroll’s stand up performances. It was fascinating to see Mrs Brown’s Boys developing and seeing the stories before they were tightened up for television.

In one episode on the box set Mrs Brown is seen watching and laughing at Brendan O’Carroll inn television while expressing disgust at his material. Having watched “Snowballs” I agree with her and I fully intend to be disgusted as I watch his other three performances. It’s hard to take offense at Brendan O’Carroll because, although he’s smutty, he comes across as a naughty wee boy, mischievous rather than bad.

It is a fact that what is acceptable to some people is offensive to others, unfortunately there are rather too many people who feel they have the right to impose their taste upon others. I personally find several comedians too crude, but I handle that by not going to see them. There are some who are sometimes in suspect taste, but they are funny, even the great George Carlin was often somewhat close to the bone. I worry when people try and impose political correctness on comedians. One of the jobs of the comedian is to hold up a mirror to society’s attitudes so that our prejudices become visible. They also have a cathartic role enabling us to release the stress of everyday life. Adhering to political correctness is a strain and the occasional departure from it is not necessarily symptomatic of actual prejudice, regardless of what the thought police may tell you. I feel perfectly justified in making jokes about old age, I am not contemptuous of the aged, on the contrary I am aging and find the process amusing. I joke about my depression, it helps me make sense of it, I laugh at my autism because I can do nothing about it so I may as well enjoy it.

Society, particularly our politicians, needs to have its behaviours examined. We might not like some comedians, but they provide a valuable function. I agree that there is place in this country for racist or sexist language, however if we get too petty and restrictive about what is acceptable we run a danger of censoring criticism, not only of the establishment, but also of those whose behavior is abhorrent to the good people who would impose political correctness. If this were a gratitude blog I’d be giving thanks for all those who relentlessly poke fun at the pompous, satirise the powerful and self important, and remind us not to take ourselves seriously.


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