Tags: edge concept

25 Jan 2006, Comments Off on He Died with Fluffles in his hands

He Died with Fluffles in his hands

Author: Helen

What a sad piece of mediocrity coming from John Birmingham, author of Leviathan, which was a great read. (Thanks to Flute for the link.)

I can’t believe people- people under 50, at that- are still using “PC” like it’s some kind of devastatingly cutting edge concept, instead of a woolly spin-doctoring cliche. If you expand it to its literal meaning, “politically correct”, then you would be referring to a low-tax, anti Social security, hawkish neocon. Because that’s what’s “correct” in today’s political milieu. Even the supposed “opposition” doesn’t really argue about it. But I digress.

This article is deeply embarrassing – to the writer. He seeks to prescribe what we should and shouldn’t find funny – and then claims the Left is over-earnest and over-prescriptive. O-kaaaay. Worse, the people he finds funny are such thigh-slappers as Imre Saluzinsky, Tim Blair, and this guy who Birmingham quotes approvingly:

“When it comes to taking chances, some people like to play poker or shoot dice; other people prefer to parachute jump, go rhino hunting. or climb ice floes, while still others engage in crime or marriage. But I like to get drunk and drive like a fool. Name me, if you can, a better feeling than the one you get when you’re half a bottle of Chivas in the bag with a gram of coke up your nose and a teenage lovely pulling off her tube top in the next seat over, while you’re going a hundred miles an hour
down a suburban side street. You’d have to watch the entire Mexican air force crash-land in a liquid petroleum gas storage facility to match this kind of thrill.” (My emphasis)

Birmingham goes on to say

There’s a certain judgemental type who’d recoil in horror from this sort of thing; a gimlet-eyed punisher and straightener, who would suppress such recklessness on the grounds of sexism, racism, cruelty to endangered rhinos and Sending The Wrong Sort Of Message To Our Kids.

Well, who’d want to be a judgemental, gimlet-eyed punisher and straightener? Right-wing humour obviously wins, whoa yeah, wheee-hoo! Only, it’s not really funny. What’s funny about a drunk guy driving too fast? Come over here to Melbourne’s western suburbs, they’re a dime a dozen. We simply roll our eyes as they scream past and hold up our hand with the finger and thumb to indicate the probable penis size of the puerile wanker. The statement might raise a weak laugh as hyperbolic satire on these people, but the problem with us lefties is our damned imagination.

I admit I can’t help wondering whether Birmingham would like it so much if this charismatic drunk driver came roaring down his suburban side street just as his curly haired toddler, white haired old Dad, or cat Fluffles came wandering out (the last of which could lead to a laboured pun which is also completely unfunny.) And, as is so popular these days, perhaps the guy woudn’t even stop! Oh, hold my sides.

The rest of the unfunny stuff in Birmingham’s article just confirms my suspicion that people just find different things funny. Some people laugh at Jimeoin, Billy Connolly, Judith Lucy, Lano and Woodley. I like some ber-loody feminists, who Birms says are merely “angry” (original, isn’t he?)… like Ms Fits and Twisty Faster. But also Father Ted and The Office and the list goes on…Some people, in contrast, think Anne Coulter and Kevin Bloody Wilson are funny. Why can’t I just say Imre Saluzinsky and PJ O’Rourke don’t amuse me and leave it at that? Who’s the one seeking to impose the jackbooted uniformity, mmm?

But on the whole I find the whole “we vill define what’s funny” thing a complete turnoff; Like sexual desire, if you sat around and talked endlessly about it (in a competitive, nerny-ner, boys in the locker room kind of way) it just would evaporate. By making their own brand of humour compulsory, the rightwingers bludgeon laughter to death.