steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

All You Need Are a Couple of Giant Comedy Foam Quotation Marks, and You're Dandy

Remember how Top Gear was racist about Mexicans? I hope so, because the BBC has made sure that all videos of the relevant passage have been pulled from the net, and that that part of the show wasn't broadcast when it was shown in the USA. You'd almost think that they knew it was offensive, wouldn't you? But it seems not! Ofcom, which famously ruled that transphobic comedy is just fine because (and I quote) "Hey, you're all a bunch of freaks anyway and can't you take a joke you freaking hairy-handed freaks?", has taken the sarcastic line from my post ("I'm not a racist because I'm racist about everyone"), and written it into case law:

Ofcom said Top Gear "frequently uses national stereotypes as a comedic trope and that there were few, if any, nationalities that had not at some point been the subject of the presenters' mockery throughout the history of this long-running programme".

So that's all right then. As long as you're offensive about everyone, you're not offensive at all. Take note, Jim Davidson.

See, this is where comedians of the old, pre-postmodern generation go so wrong. Like Joan Rivers on Live at the Apollo last night. She did a routine about a gay farmer, whose animals had all learned to bend over so that he could take them from behind. Hilarious! Gay sex, y'see, it's just like bestiality, y'see? But she unaccountably neglected to "balance" this with a joke about a straight farmer, whose sows and cows and ewes had all learned to lie on their backs in the missionary position with their legs open. Hilarious too, right? And just as likely to get belly laughs from her largely-straight audience - right?

Well, no doubt she'll put that joke in her next tour. And no doubt they'll put that on prime-time too. And no doubt the next time I see a flying pig, she'll be wearing a secret smile because Jeremy Clarkson has just given her one.
Tags: current affairs, gender, maunderings
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