Monday, 25 August 2014
Lancing the Boyle
Frankie Boyle thinks the BBC should sack Jeremy Clarkson, describing him as a cultural tumour. Tumour is, of course, one of Boyle’s favourite words because it arouses quite deep feelings of disgust and revulsion, as do his mentions of celebrities’ sick children and jokes about cancer victims and aids sufferers. It doesn’t bother me at all, but given that a huge amount of his work is intended to cause offence, which is then (usually quite rightly) brushed off as an attack on his freedom of speech, his anti-Clarkson stance is curious.
Maybe it’s envy? After all, JC makes £Gazillions for himself and the BBC and is imitated all around the world while Frankie Boyle is popular in… parts of Scotland. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a Boyle rant as much as the next primitive, misogynist, misanthrope cave beast but it’s an odd request that people a bit like him, but way less offensive, should be cast out. Maybe it’s all just out of context but hey, that’s never been a problem when publicity is what you’re after. I wonder if he has a tour to plug?
But isn’t it staggering, how far we’ve, er, staggered in a couple of generations from a strait-laced world in which everybody knew the form, to this weird, dysfunctional shambles of a society where nobody seems to know how to behave towards anybody else any more? Back in the black-and-white days, without any hint of ‘citizenship’ training, we British knew how to address our elders, our betters, our equals, our family, our peers and even our queers without suffering any more than a clip around the ear for taking the occasional liberty.
Now, however, the offendotrons lurk around every corner. Children berate their parents for displaying what they have been taught to recognise as everyday racism. Grandparents, particularly, come in for some withering looks from the holier-than-thou Midwich cuckoos sent to denounce them. Precocious kids were ever in need of a twatting, but now their naïve observations are likely to be given every credence by the constabulary; this can only ever make things worse. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.
Comedians do, of course, make their living by voicing the hitherto unvoiced thoughts of their followers, by exaggerating life and by reducing, to the absurd, the serious aims of those which whom they disagree. Thus, to a ‘further left than Chomsky’ Frankie Boyle, the Tories and all who have sympathy with them are baby-eating monsters, while Hamas are victims of Israeli oppression. This is the eternal problem with the left – their brains appear to have evolved to forever see things in only black and white.
I suppose you just have to choose your allegiances in life. For my part, the choice between an evening with the socially cancerous Jeremy Clarkson and Jim Davidson as opposed to, say, thirty seconds in the company of the mono-rationally viral Frankie Boyle and Marcus Brigstocke is a pretty easy decision. I’d go with the Technicolor brains every time.