Sunday, 28 August 2011
Taking it too far.
Remember Frankie Boyle, the ginger specky git who loves to offend? He was in trouble for having a go at some pop-tart's kid and again for making fun of Down's syndrome. There was Outrage! The lefties were all up in arms (apart from the Down's syndrome lefties who were busy with some chocolate). It was a Terrible Thing he did.
Okay, he does go well past the bounds of good taste on occasion. Well, most of the time actually. But he does not mean it maliciously, he's just an outspoken sod. Sometimes he's really funny even if some of his jokes make even me go 'Ooooo'. We don't have to watch him but enough people do to let him make a career of it and if you pay to go to a show or tune in to a TV programme knowing you're going to be offended then you're an idiot and you'll get no sympathy here.
Frankie Boyle is joking. You might not find it funny. I might not find it funny. But he is joking.
So, you can argue, are those who have decided to depict Maggie the Thatch as deranged enough to sleep with the Tiny Blur. It's not realistic, no woman could be that deranged which is why he married a postbox.
One comment points out that Spitting Image used to rip the piss out of her every week so why is this different?
It's different because she is no longer Prime Monster, hasn't been for a long time and indeed has no official public role. It's different because she is old and frail and a bit loose in the head these days and cannot defend herself. When Spitting Image made their puppets, the Thatch was a powerful woman with a mind so sharp it could perform surgery on itself. She was Prime Monster and in charge of the country. She made no move to silence Spitting Image even though it deliberately denigrated her and all of her allies as well as all of her foes. The Hattersley puppet was responsible for several hosepipe bans and the Tebbit puppet made leather fashionable.
When Frankie Boyle picks his targets he knows they can defend themselves or that they have people to defend them, or that they won't be watching or won't care. He is not malicious. When Spitting Image indulged in caricature they were also not being malicious.
This depiction of the Thatch is malicious. It is different from 'funny', it is different from 'taking the piss', it is simply vindictive.
If the Thatch was in power or even in parliament now, I would be among the first to deride her efforts, but she is not. She is a confused and vulnerable old woman in the last days of her life.
The Tiny Blur still babbles his nonsense as if anyone was listening, 'Kicker' Tebbitt is still compost mental and blogging, the Brown Gorgon can still hide in a jar of prunes and blame it on the gherkins, Red Ken still pops out idiocies to delight the news, Boris the Spider is the best comedy mayor since Red Ken, Monochrome Man, the Prime Monster nobody can remember except that he dressed as a walrus and had an affair with the Eggwoman, is still there in black and white, and Drooling Kinnock is still available for derision and probably always will be because I grew up in that arse's constituency and he convinced me never to vote Labour. The Cleggy and the Cameron have a poem being devised just for them, even now.
The last short story collection had a poem at the end, and this next one will too, in the interests of balance.
When they are too old and too frail to be derided, it's time to leave them alone. Come on, she is five prime monsters in the past and has had no effect on anyone's lives since Monochrome Man took over. She is just an old woman now.
Even Frankie Boyle knows when to drop the sick jokes. It seems his most vociferous critics don't.
But then it does seem to be a particular blind spot with socialist control freaks.
Posted by Leg-iron at 03:55