The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
But all comedians satirize from the inside...That's what they do. That's their audience. To the extent that other cultures impinge on the inside, they satirize that too.
Not having any time to do more, I put in a <citation needed>.
That meant, do you have an example of a humourist, jester, cartoonist, satirist, who usefully mocks an "impinging" minority culture?
In contrast, they struck out at everything in sight, sparing no stereotypes, within an implicit humanist framework. The overall thesis is something like : hey, we're all humans here, whatever the shape of our noses.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
If we follow the logic of insider satire, they would have confined themselves to lampooning American Jews and the Italian minority in France, respectively.
Lenny Bruce was deprived of being American because he was Jewish? Coluche, though of Italian origin, was entirely French. His send-ups, in which he often posed as a dumb Frenchman, satirised the French -- with a fair whack at their racist attitudes. I'm at a loss to see where he stigmatised a minority group.
Any comic has to do this - to get this rapport generally involves pointing out shared attitudes to life with that audience majority (shared experience). And this sharing is often accomplished by pointing out the ways in which other minority cultures (perhaps in the same audience, or next city, or region, or country or class, or whatever) have different attitudes.
An audience will laugh at jokes about politicians, for example, because as a class they are in an external minority, and they impinge greatly, and 'obviously' have a different attitude to life than you and me chum. The comic exploits the perceptual stereotypes of the audience in order to draw them into a conspiratorial rapport.
But then you included 'usefully'! In this context I don't know what that means. Is laughing useful?
You can't be me, I'm taken
Politicians are laughed at because they hold power over those who laugh.
Is laughing useful?
To you as a clown, it earns your keep.
I see a total absence of power dynamics and politics in your analysis. It's almost like economics.
Politically, humour can be socially useful if it keeps the powerful honest. If it is used to belittle te powerless, humour is not being socially useful. IMHO.
I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
'acted position' in order to provoke a discussion, or question an audience.
My point was that comedians do this from the inside of the culture, not outside - isn't that what you're saying about "shared attitudes" and "audience majority"?
Now, what you go on to say about humour arising from comparing stereotypes and different attitudes may be true. But I suggest we would find it a lot less funny (and socially useful) if that humour doesn't question majority attitudes by making the audience laugh at themselves, not just at the minority (politicians and people in power one way or another not included, that's a different kettle of fish).
So I'm sure you could think of lots of examples (though you don't offer any) of humour arising from comparison or dissonance of cultures. But an example of humour, that we find funny, that simply mocks a minority group's accepted beliefs and attitudes from the outside?
As I said there are minority groups everywhere. Many comedians do characters - I surely don't have to name them? - and typically the act will at least partly mock the attitudes and beliefs of the adopted stereotyped minority: the scouser, the punk, the minister of silly walks, the welsh, the cockney, the Staines crew etc etc.
And of course mocking humour formed a very important of WWII, at least as far as the British were concerned.
As usual here at ET it's the inexact or unshared meanings of words that cause many a trip up the garden path. 'Mocking' comes to me as a tad nasty, but usually understood by both ends of the dialogue. It is not far up from teasing or joshing as the temperature of invective rises.
In Funland, bullying is mobbing (translated), which seems to me a milder version of bullying.
But back to the point: IMO, though there are usually sharper cultural differences across borders, there are lots of minorities (cultural isolates) within national cultures. Thus I am referring to all examples of minorities within, and without national boundaries, whereas I realise now that you were referring back to the main thrust of the previous diary. It wasn't a very useful diary and conversation, but there were some issues that came up that I thought worthy of further discussion.
Perhaps we can no longer enjoy the sometimes vicious mocking of political cartoons of the past that were full of the kind of racial stereotyping (mocking) you are talking about. But to me, a cartoon of a Islamic man with a beard with a bomb in his turban is no different from the Pope depicted with young boys. Those cartoons speak to power (misuse of), and thus to leaders who promote, defend or conceal gross acts against a society. The 'collateral damage' is that millions of followers take offense because they think it depicts them personally. My guess is that the Danish cartoon was addressed to an internal audience (which includes a minority who might see themselves as depicted), and the actual worldwide effect of dissemination was not at all predicted.
On the whole though I am in favour of total freedom of expression - except where against the laws of the particular jurisdiction where the freedom is expressed ;-).
You can't be me, I'm taken
So, my only aid is adding a Dutch example of 'cabaret' - these days largely performed as humorous story-telling. The current segment, by lauded, gruff 'cabaretier' Theo Maassen has created the past week a bit of a dust-up:
The joke that caused the stir is made in the first 20 seconds. Because this is an 'inside' joke (?), let me go through it verbatim:
Volendam, both tourist attraction and famous fishing village, is a close-knit and deeply religious community amidst the fabric of Dutch society. People in Volendam adhere to their own traditional culture and family values and are also (in)famous for their interbreeding - which has resulted in a distinguishable gene pool, also used by scientists for genetic mapping.
As known, the PVV is the anti-Muslim, populist party of Geert Wilders.
On New Year's in 2000 - 2001, a fire in a local café in Volendam ended in a deadly tragedy - with 14 people dead and hundreds of young people scarred for life with dramatic burn wounds. More here.
Thus the 'joke'.
In his shows, Maassen spares hardly anyone - himself, his girlfriend, his audience, waiters, Geert Wilders, atheists, the Queen, etc. He's been criticized for tiptoeing around coarse jokes on muslims and Islam - but he hasn't spared them either. And now he targets people in Volendam. Maassen is not from Volendam - he's an 'outsider' in that respect. But he's also Dutch and he's as white as the traditional people in Volendam.
His show, launched last year February, is called 'With all due respect' and was rated by critics as one of his most poignant and best ever seen. It was broadcast last December on a public channel for the first time.
Only then, after more than a year after the try-outs, someone in Volendam said: 'Wait, I'm offended by this!'.
Which probably says more about Volendam than it does about Maassen.
I'm not going to touch whether Maassen is 'impinging' enough to mock a minority culture or whether he's too much of an outsider - or whether it is altogether useful.
Still after this segment, he does go on extensively mocking Volendam people, and to great success of the audience - and myself, I should add in all honesty.
by Bernard - Jul 16 31 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 14 13 comments
by ARGeezer - Jul 10 18 comments
by Oui - Jul 14 2 comments
by eurogreen - Jul 8 8 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 10 27 comments
by gmoke - Jul 4 39 comments
by Oui - Jul 9 8 comments
by Oui - Jul 181 comment
by Bernard - Jul 1631 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 1413 comments
by Oui - Jul 142 comments
by ARGeezer - Jul 1018 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 1027 comments
by Oui - Jul 98 comments
by eurogreen - Jul 88 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 532 comments
by gmoke - Jul 439 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 252 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 26106 comments
by Oui - Jun 219 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 2032 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jun 2013 comments
by gmoke - Jun 187 comments