but i don’t undertand, fun police

Good morning, Kiddies. Let’s see who’s got their knickers in a twist this week.

Republican Nation Convention? Prince Harry returning to Afghanistan? Badminton ‘cheats’ playing for a better draw? Well, guess any one of these and you’d be wrong.

You’d be wrong because his week, Laura Donovan at Mediaite has got her knickers in a twist over Ronan Farrow and his flagrant use of the English language.

Farrow made a joke on twitter regarding the MTV Video Music Awards. Donovan felt the need to admonish him in a piece on the Mediate website because earthquakes cause a great deal of death and destruction. And they do. And those whose lives are impact but such disasters should never be used as a source of comedy.

But it feels somewhat stupid to actually have to state this out loud, but Laura, that’s not what he was doing. It feels even stupider to say, ‘Laura, dear, it’s called subtext.’

The VMAs have become a little more synonymous in recent times for the onstage antics of some of the artist, rather than the credibility of the award itself. In 2000, who can forget Tim Commerford of Rage Against The Machine climbing the set and being egged on by Fred Durg of Limp Bizkit to stage dive. In 2011 a gentleman stormed the stage but was quickly escorted off by security. And then there was the momentous 2009 grandstanding by Kanye West who stormed the stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to advise us all that he thought the award should have gone to Beyonce. Oh yes indeed, good times.

Now Mr Farrow is known to be a rather bright fellow. A simple Google search will reveal on his Wikipedia page that he is in fact rather smart, and can use his noggin in pretty impressive ways. I suspect (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong) that his tweet was a comment more on the level that the behaviour of some celebrities has descended to rather than a desire to see them plunge into a cavernous rift caused by an earthquake Sunnydale style. (Laura, you may have to watch a couple of episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer to get that reference.)

In 1989 I lived through a devastating earthquake in my hometown of Newcastle, Australia that killed 14 and crippled the town’s economy and infrastructure. Several years later, comedian Billy Connolly performed at our local theatre, and his first words as he tentatively crept onstage were to the effect of, ‘If this place starts rattling, I’m fucking out of here.’ This was met with thunderous applause and laughter. Not that he was mocking the dead, nor the destruction left in the wake of the earthquake. He was using that moment of our history as a way of recognising and connecting with our community and the event we had lived through. And we loved him for it. Because, dears, it’s called humour.

Ms Donovan’s article needed to have a more appropriate headline attached to her article. It should have read, ‘Ronan Farrow makes a joke that I am to literal to understand.’

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2 Comments

  1. In 1989 I was listening to Billy Connolly’s “Dangerous Place” on the Comic Relief LP. He had just finished explaining how he was amazed that Australians made it to adulthood at all since the place was fraught with danger when the Newcastle earthquake hit, shaking the house and tearing the needle across the record.
    If comedy does cause earthquakes… I think that’s a risk we should be wiling to take.

  2. Haha, indeed Brad. Oh indeed. Billy is almost a prophet in that sense! But back Ms Donovan for just a mo. I think there are two competing reasons for her post on this issue. 1. From the quality of the website articles, she is deliberately being literal to be all ‘chicken-little’ about Ronan Farrow because he has been in the media lately due to his tweet regarding his father on Father’s Day. So let’s all just cash in more publicity. Or 2. She really truly madly deeply has no sense of humour and cannot read beyond a literal interpretation of the written word. In either case, she certain deserves a knickers-in-a-twist award.

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