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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Hiding Things Behind Humour.

Near the end of last year, I went to see a show with my mum and little sister. It was quite a big show, that had been advertised all over the place. Big acts, lots of them; and it had come to Sydney, after travelling around the world. It was a variety show, so there were plenty of different things happening, all run by an MC comedian who came in between each one. And it's him that I want to talk about for a moment.

While he was quite jovial, wisecracking, etc.; many of his jokes were rather - tasteless. No, sorry, that's not the right word. They weren't okay. They were demeaning, disparaging, derogatory. He gets an overall 'D' for Dreadful.

One particular one I can recall was just after the opening act. The performer had been on the silks, and she was quite stunning. While I don't remember the exact words, it was something to the effect of - "You know the hardest thing about that performance? Me, actually." He sat on an elder patron's knee a couple of minutes later, and then commented, "Oh, you were hard too!"

It was rather....disgusting, bluntly. But the thing is, he - and people like him - aren't the problem. Which is why I haven't been calling him out here, or saying what the performance was. Because that's not really the focus of this post.

Because, despite everything that he was saying - everybody laughed. People were smiling. There were no boos. And that's the problem. "Oh, it's just a joke, so that makes it okay!" But no. No, it really doesn't.

We're still in a society that considers this acceptable. I was at the final performance that they had, after quite a number of shows, when they'd already been to many different places in other countries, and were going on to other places in Australia. I can pretty much guarantee you that his jokes would have been rather similar - or of a similar tone - in the other places he went to. But there hasn't been - as far as I know - any news or stories condemning the comedian, and in the program, it listed many influential people that commended him, or awards that he had.

This is the same problem we've had with #MeToo. People think it's not that big of an issue. It is. This isn't okay, and we need to change. We've got a long way to go, folks.

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