I never like socially aggressive comedy and regard its existence as a big social problem, and 1980s alternative comedy particularly as a big brutaliser of society, that made life oppressively harder for all interactively disdvantaged groups, including us aspies then unrecognised. But when the Fringe is on I have found it worth going to see Free Fringe stand-up comedians whoee shows are about politics. Not so much to laugh as to observe seriously whither the wind is blowing, and if they come from another country or perspective, pick up insights.
This year that has had 2 particularly bad results. The culture of comedy offensiveness may have made it no longer worth doing. 2 SHOWS NOT TO GO TO:
"Australia still fucked" by Kieran Butler. It starts off as promised, insight into the tragic racist trends in Australian politics and where they came from. But at the end it turns offensively graphic about child molestation, and then he made fun of Madeleine McCann. I showed the collection bucket person exactly what I thought of that. This is a comedian _ who MADE FUN _ of Madeleine McCann.
"I can make you Tory" by Leo Kearse. I am complaining to the Fringe in support of the person he victimised: and for aspies safeness of social space so that hooligan injustice can't happen is a matter of accessibility. The Fringe bills itself as caring about accessibility. Never seen anything remotely like this before.
Hardly 10 minutes in, he started having an unduly nasty go at an audience member for nodding! Actually for nodding! how bullying is that? Even though the person explained that his nodding had been a sign of agreement! Kearse refused to feel complimented and insisted the nodding was offputting, and several times mockingly asked if the person had a neurological disorder - itself not an attitude favouring accessibility. Then he switched his hostility to another audience member some distance from the alleged nodder, who had defended him. This person defended himself to banter rubbishing, which annoyed Kearse, and rightly would not accept having bitingly worded fault or blame pinned on him by Kearse. Kearse would not drop it without having an insulting closing jibe at the person, yet started blaming this person for disrupting the show, by an exchange that Kearse had started.
I was the first uninvolved audience member to promptly walk out in loud solidarity with the wronged person and his friend.
The exchange eventually stopped but not for long. Kearse delivered a couple more lines of his act, then rounded them off with another jibe at this person. A total treacherous contradiction of having claimed to be disrupted, to go after the person again. Obviously rightly the person objected. Straight away another man at the back stood up in an apparently official capacity and ordered "Leave now" ! An audience member targetted and bullied by a performer, then accused of disruption for taking the performer's own goading bait, then insulted by him again then thrown out for saying anything. This performer is a hooligan bully and audience abuser.
Aug 12 update: Today in the parade in South Queensferry's annual fair, a brass band was playing Waltzing Matilda! In a world of growing mutual apartheid closed doors between countries and anti-outsider nastiness, of Brexit and Manus Island, we casually play music that evokes other countries and think of it as part of a happy occasion, without spirits dampened by the tragedy. We still like to immerse ourselves in the world musically, when we are cutting each other off in real travel.
Aug 17 update: on Kearse's show: a stamen is part of a flower, btw - "Thank you for bringing this to our attention I have had a stamen form the performer who has stated he feel it was a forum of heckling. As we are a free festival venue we host the show but don’t run the programing etc. We are sorry this was not in the taste of what the festival is all about but our performers are free to remove anyone from the show they feel are heckling etc. " ... " I hope this has not put the venue in a bad light with yourself and we would be saddened by this."
Ludicrous end line. Patently it puts the Three Sisters venue in a bad light with any thinking person. They merit and need some being saddened! they need to cry over whether it's worse to ve saddened or publicly maltreated.