ACAB includes the joke police
My gigs for Feb 2022; comedy course news; Boris unlocked
Everyone’s mad at Jimmy Carr because he told a sick joke about the Nazis murdering Gypsy/Roma/Traveller people in a Netflix special.
A Labour MP has called on Netflix to remove the special. I’ve seen people calling for Carr to be prosecuted.
I’m not going to do a proper post about this with links and embedded tweets, but suffice to say that if you watch the joke in context, it’s very clear that he’s not actually celebrating the deaths of Gypsies.
It was a sick joke, where you say something terrible that you don’t mean for comic effect.
Of course, if you want a cheap way to show everyone what a good person you are, it’s easy to pretend that you don’t know full well what a sick joke is. It’s easy to take the clip out of context and post it on TikTok for likes (even as you argue that it’s criminal hate speech which should be illegal to spread, in which case, shouldn’t you go to jail too?). To avoid having to think about it too much, you can resort to parroting dumb thought-terminating cliches like “No context could justify joking about the Holocaust”.
The special came out in November, so it’s weird that all these committed defenders of GRT rights only just noticed this joke was bad after someone took it out of context to incite a pile-on.
In the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto, the Conservatives called for the persecution of “travellers”, forcing them to live only in “authorised” camps:
We will tackle unauthorised traveller camps. We will give the police new powers to arrest and seize the property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised encampments, in order to protect our communities. We will make intentional trespass a criminal offence, and we will also give councils greater powers within the planning system.
13.9 million people voted for that.
I would suggest that if you care about GRT rights, that is a much bigger problem than a joke. Yet, weirdly, most of the people belling about the joke weren’t marching for GRT rights when that manifesto came out. I know for a fact that some of them were busy smearing Jeremy Corbyn for imaginary anti-semitism, which effectively means they were working to elect the Conservative party that was making open threats to crack down on an ethnic minority.
You can argue that Carr’s joke ‘perpetuates hatred’ or some shit, but even if some dimmer viewers do take it at face value, his 2021 joke couldn’t affect the 2019 Tory manifesto. Do you think Boris Johnson watches Jimmy Carr to get policy ideas? I’d guess he’s a big fan of Michael McIntyre. And I bet Boris has hated gypsies his whole life, regardless of what jokes he’s heard about them.
Also, I bet Michael McIntyre secretly hates gypsies because some of them trespassed on the grounds of one of his homes once. That seems right, doesn’t it?
We’re at a point where it looks like there is some faint hope of getting the Tories out of power, yet Labour MPs are once again getting sucked into culture war bollocks. My political advice to Labour is to appeal to working people by offering them policies that will benefit them, rather than wasting time on joyless scolding which turns off normal people who don’t live in London.
Anyway, let’s get my gig dates for the rest of this month out of the way, and then enjoy some fun and entertaining links, including more about Boris.
Sunday 6 February 3:30pm - Growing Old Disgracefully, G&B, King's Cross
A full bill of acts aged over 40. I am going to do some Gen X material, but the references will still work for young people because mainstream culture has stagnated for the last couple of decades. Free.
The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, London N1 0AX
Wednesday 9 February 7:30pm (doors 7pm) - We Are Funny, Dalston
I forgot to put this in my calendar. Good thing they sent me a reminder.
Farrs, 17-19 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
Monday February 14th 7:30pm - Ivor Dembina Valentine's Night Comedy Drop-in Show, Kentish Town
I still need someone to confirm they’re coming to this. This is a real Valentine’s gig - I’m not hitting on you, I swear.
Buy a ticket for £4 from here and I’ll reimburse you and buy you drinks:
Aces & Eights Saloon Bar, 156-158 Fortess Rd, London NW5 2HP
Thursday February 17th - Edgware Comedy
Details TBC. I think it’s in Edgware.
Friday February 18th 8pm (doors 7:30) - T-Bird Bar, Finsbury Park
I’ve never done this before but it’s a Friday night gig which is exciting. Free entry.
T-Bird, 132 Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DX
Monday February 21st 7:30pm - Double Bubble, Dalston
Fun format where the audience gets to vote for which act is best.
Free, reserve your seat here:
The Victoria, 451 Queensbridge Road, London E8 3AS
Tuesday February 22nd 7:30 pm - Dark Delights, G&B, Kings Cross
This is officially described as “an evening celebrating the darker side of comedy. Definitely an evening not for those who are easily offended or who love to take offence on behalf of someone their neighbour’s sister once met on holiday.”
I’m going to be doing some material here that I’ve only done in front of other comics before, and stuff that I’ve stopped trying to do because it’s too dark for a normal show. I will definitely mention (but not celebrate) the Holocaust. If you’ve seen me live and been disappointed about how tame and anodyne the material was, come to this.
This is a bringer show so if you want to see me go pedal to the metal, please let me know that you’re coming.
Thursday February 24th 8pm (doors 7pm) - Monkey Business, Camden
Upstairs room above a nice cocktail bar.
All About Eve, 31 Jamestown Rd, London NW1 7DB
Some World Wide Web hyperlinks and a JPEG format image that may be relevant to your interests
My Boris Johnson, reconsidered as a hack comic article is now unlocked so the full article is free for everyone to read. Read it while he’s still PM.
I missed it when researching that Boris article, but here is the cartoonist Martin Rowson’s account of what happened when he told Boris to drop his fake Bertie Wooster comedy persona:
This is an interesting podcast episode: Racist Orcs, Ableist Adventures, and Non-Binary Monsters: Can ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Survive Wokeness?
The title of my Boris piece was inspired by a chapter heading in the novel Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff, which is brilliant. I struggle to get through most novels nowadays but this is a real page-turner that I have read several times.
That also reminds me to plug the free text adventure game Counterfeit Monkey where you have a device that can transform objects using linguistic manipulations, like adding a K to turn money into a monkey. It’s like an old school text adventure game where you do things by typing in stuff like GO NORTH, except way better designed. If you’re bored of Wordle, you should definitely play this. [The easiest way is to play it online here - may take a while to load initially].
Following reader feedback, I’m going to make it so that the latest post, with the current gig dates, is the first thing you see when you come to the website. That way you can check the dates without digging through your email archives.
I’m also working on fixing the fact that
https://sorryisaidthat.biz doesn’t work; you currently need to add the
Let me know if there’s anything that bothers you about this newsletter/website or if there’s anything I can do to to make it easier to use.
I’m not so desperate to monetise the site now, as I will have a new job soon (fingers crossed). As a result, I’m not going to email out previews of the paid content (including Anne Much) any more. If I put up a paywalled essay or video, I will just link to it in the regular weekly newsletter. (Paid subscribers: if you want to get an email as soon as paid content comes out, you can opt in here: https://www.sorryisaidthat.biz/account.)
21 Soho is doing a Comedians’ Workshop course in conjunction with Soho Theatre. It’s 8 Saturday morning sessions running from March to April. They say it’s aimed at ‘early professional and semi-professional comedians’ but also that you ‘must have performed an absolute minimum of 50 gigs’… I’ve earned a grand total of £25 from performing comedy (not including from this newsletter, thanks valued paying subscribers!) - I wouldn’t say I’m semi-professional, but I have done over 50 gigs now. It’s £350 but you can pay in installments, and they have a bursary scheme to do it for free if you can’t afford that. The application is just sending them a video link and writing 200 words about why you want to do it, so I’m going to give it a shot and perhaps you should too.
You might have noticed that, by accident, I haven’t booked any gig dates next week. If you have a spot I could do next week, or you can suggest likely walk-ups, let me know. Don’t make me resort to trying to do Li*n’s D*n again.
Also, don’t forget, if you want me to plug a show you’re doing on here, just let me know.