Thursday 13 June 2019

Straight faces and unfunny jokes

I think they invented the face veil to protect the world from gurning women. 
Yasmin Alibhai Brown says she doesn’t support the face-veil, perhaps because it would inhibit her most effective means of self-expression, which is gurning.
I saw her on Sky this morning performing facial and full-body histrionics at the possibility of Boris becoming PM. “He’s a cad,”  she said “and a liar” but she adamantly denied ever having promised to leave the country if Boris got to be PM. When it was pointed out that she had indeed made such a promise she airily brushed off her own little lie, saying “Well, I’m not!“ [leaving]  
YAB not leaving the country after all? Phew!! sighs of relief all round.

Watching Faiza Shaheen gurning her way through Politics Live and Ash Sarkar making faces and waving her hideous talons around on consecutive episodes of that programme, one might wonder why so many men of that particular faith suffer from verbal incontinence and women from involuntary facial gymnastics.
A video of the Danish version of Geert Wilders - (Rasmus Paludan) being interrogated by a young elfin-like BBC reporter who says her country of origin is Iran, demonstrates the personification of ‘bias by gurning’. (H/T Biased-BBC) 
She started reasonably well, but dissolved into a display of petulant facial antics, including feigned amusement and an exaggerated “I’m listening to a moron” face, which ultimately came across as feigned bravado in the face of humiliation. When excessive gurning comes back to bite you on the bum.

Mr Paludan’s repertoire includes provocatively burning a copy of the Koran in a “Muslim area” to illustrate his right to freedom of speech and to challenge the basic concept of ‘Muslim areas’ within western democratic countries like Denmark and Britain; areas in which freedom of speech is tacitly curtailed through a collective, ultra-politically correct respect for all things Islamic, such as manifestations of Muslimness. I understand Paludan sometimes adds insult to injury by wrapping the Koran in bacon, (which, as you know, is carcinogenic) before setting fire to it. 

I hadn’t heard of Mr Paludan before I saw that video, but I now know that he happens to be a lawyer and (in this video at least) he makes a serious point, which is that the Muslims have managed to create a new norm, predicated on the premise that the sensitivities and taboos of Islam must be respected by everybody, no matter who they are or where they happen to be. I assume it’s because of these views that Mr Paludan has been pronounced “far right’ and no better than Hitler. 
Some say he’s an actual Nazi and a Jew hater, but that might just be wishful thinking on the part of his critics.
He says ”The BBC is renowned throughout the world as being a complete shit-hole media”

I’m keeping a straight face about this.


I saw our old friend David Vance coming head-to-head with the comedian whose alias is ‘Jonathan Pie’ on Sky just now. The issue under discussion was Jo Brand’s tasteless battery acid quip.

Vancey was keen to point out the hypocrisy of the BBC. He brought up the incident of Carol Thatcher and the golliwog and compared the intolerance heaped upon Carl Benjamin by people who couldn’t get their heads round the difference between the ‘joke’ in a historic threat (not) to rape an MP  and a ‘joke’ to throw battery acid over Nigel Farage. Double standards.

‘Jonathan Pie’ used the ‘context is all’ argument; he’s smart enough, but I think he was on shaky ground. In the end, they didn’t fundamentally disagree about ‘when is a joke not a joke’. The Sky anchor was obviously on the other guy’s side, but David Vance is no doubt used to being in a minority, and he copes with it well.

Of course there is a kind of a joke in Jo Brand’s quip, but unfortunately, it’s based on a misreading of the entire business of milkshake throwing. It’s a very poor joke because it’s so banal and unoriginal.

This is my take on it. Milkshakes are not an accidental choice of weapon. The substance itself is comparatively harmless, (apart from the cost of the dry-cleaning) it makes the victim look foolish, and it’s a kind of visual play on pouring liquid over someone’s head - usually pints of beer - which of course alcohol-free Muslims aren’t predisposed to do. It expresses disgust in the most visual and slapstick way and saves the perpetrator the trouble of trying to articulate their grievances verbally, which they’re very likely incapable of doing nearly as effectively as covering their opponent with goo.

As well as the above, another reason for choosing milkshakes as a weapon is as an indirect reminder that  “it could be something more harmful, but this time it isn’t”. If you like, it’s an unspoken threat. We’re all well aware that actual acid-throwing is gruesome and depraved and only too real. 

So Jo Brand’s quip is a statement of the bleeding obvious, which instantaneously sucks the humour out of the whole thing  - the opposite of injecting humour into it.

Kudos to Vancey for being asked to join the fun.


Extensive Boris-bashing continues throughout the day. I have nothing extra to contribute on that topic so please continue to use the open thread to your hearts’ content.  


  1. Boris 'is a cad,' says Yasmin. Strange the way so many former colonials cling to the archaic vocabulary of an age the values of which they despise!

    The "full-body histrionics" - yes, it's the flapping arms that get me; she's definitely not someone to sit next to if you wear glasses. This business of extravagant arm gestures, invading other people's space is something she shares with Alastair Campbell - perhaps they learned it at the same indoctrination camp.

  2. ".....another reason for choosing milkshakes as a weapon is as an indirect reminder that “it could be something more harmful, but this time it isn’t”. If you like, it’s an unspoken threat. We’re all well aware that actual acid-throwing is gruesome and depraved and only too real.

    So Jo Brand’s quip is a statement of the bleeding obvious, which instantaneously sucks the humour out of the whole thing - the opposite of injecting humour into it."

    Yes. Thanks for nailing that down.

  3. The wider context of Jo Brand's joke is that it is part of inciting a pogrom of intimidation against non-lib-mob voices
    and denying them freedom of speech.
    .. and that since they are denied BBC platform they cannot speak back.

    Pye was weak .. cos he opened by saying
    "This is the first time I have heard this Jo Brand clip"

    1. I agree. That was the serious intent behind it.

      Remember the Lib-Left also "joke" and "fantasise" about the assassination of Donald Trump in an attempt to normalise the prospect. They do it in the full knowledge that Presidential assassination is an ever-present danger and there are many mentally imbalanced people who could be encouraged to think in terms of assassination by such discussion.

  4. Pie on Carl's joke
    He calls it "a rape joke" when it wasn't etc.
    There is probably somewhere else where he condemns it
    Cos he has other videos ripping into UKIP

    1. PJW sees that Pie is after BBC money
      \\ Is a temporary gig on a tiresome leftist BBC comedy panel show really worth selling out for? //

    2. Pie after BBC money ?
      That was obvious since he quit RT. He just timed it wrong. He didn't realise the BBC wasn't quite ready for him, but it will be soon.

      And when it is he'll be swamped by assistant producers until what comes out of the pipe is a hysterical and embarrasing facsmile of what he did on RT.
      It will make you squirm and it will win awards.
      In my humble and cynical opinion.

  5. So Newsnight have a hard-hitting report on the Jo Brand joke scandal...who do they go do for a lengthy comment? Er - David Baddiel - creator of "Heresy" and friend of Jo Brand...nothing dodgy about that. Hmmm...

    So far so typical. BBC Bias is the sea we swim in. But what annoyed me was they allowed David Baddiel to misquote the joke. Baddiel claimed she said "It won't happen..." But that's not the case - that is a misreading of the joke. Jo Brand has never thrown a milkshake at people she dislikes. She wasn't primarily commenting on her actions, she was commenting on the use of milkshakes as the offensive weapon.

    She commented that she wasn't going to throw battery acid. But her conclusion was "I think milk shakes are pathetic, I honestly do"...So whether she would throw battery acid is irrelevant. She was telling people who throw milkshakes that that is pathetic. It is left entirely open to such people to conclude from her remarks that they shouldn't use a "pathetic" weapon, they should use battery acid.

    That's why I think this "joke" genuinely stepped over a line and amounted to incitement to (serious) violence because (a) people have been assaulting political opponents with milkshakes (b) she made clear she thought milkshakes are a pathetic weapon (c) she did not condemn the assaults as assaults and (d) it would not be unreasonable for a potential milkshake thrower to read her remarks as incitment to use a more effective weapon that would seriously injured someone.

    If Brand had not wanted that possibility to be there in her joke she could simply have said "Of course, I don't want anyone to throw acid." or "Best not to throw anything, really."

    Here's the joke in full:

    "Certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore, and they’re very, very easy to hate, and I’m kind of thinking, why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?

    That’s just me, sorry, I’m not gonna do it, it’s purely a fantasy, but I think milk shakes are pathetic, I honestly do. Sorry."


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