Nothing “right on” about rape jokes, Jan

Michael MacintyreMichael McIntyre endures jealousy of rival comics | Mail Online

I’m not all that familiar with the comedy of Michael Macintyre, who has a reputation for being the “nice guy” of British comedy at the moment — a routine which is actually funny and is not peppered with rape jokes or derogatory comments about disabled children or whoever. It seems that another comic, one Stewart Lee (who I’ve heard even less of), had a pop at him at an awards ceremony earlier this year, accusing him of “spoon-feeding his audience warm diarrhoea”.

Jan Moir claims, in today’s Daily Mail:

Through no fault of his own, McIntyre has been vilified by the usual cabal of foul-mouthed Left-wing comics determined to do him down. Their devious resolve and bottomless capacity for nastiness reveals what deeply unpleasant people they are.

… Elsewhere, his popular routines have been described as unchallenging, safe, predictable and clapped out. And those are the more polite insults.

Reading between the lines, perhaps what the slurs actually mean is that McIntyre doesn’t swear (much), doesn’t make jokes about cancer or rape, and doesn’t do ‘edgy’.

He is a family entertainment man, much more likely to joke about spice racks or Post Office queues than Baby P and paedophilia.

In the eyes of his bullying peers, this condemns him as a comedy milksop. He is not ‘edgy’, therefore he is a failure.

Frankie BoyleI’m not aware that making jokes about rape or paedophilia has anything to do with being “left-wing” or “right-on” — it just has to do with being an unpleasant boor, and they can come from any background or have any politics, particularly when they have had enough to drink. Most of the friends I have online are what might be called left-wing — many of them are disabled, quite a few of them are gay, they’ve been active in opposing recent government cuts to services for disabled people (where was Jan Moir when all that was going on?) and other recent government cuts, and almost all of them object to some of the obscene jokes peddled by some well-known comedians because they encourage (whether intentionally or not, although I suspect the comics don’t care) hostility towards disabled people.

I am not sure what Moir’s definition of “left-wing” is — quite possibly, anything that does not suggest a return to the 1950s (which is strange, as she was only born in 1956) — but although I’ve had to point out that, say, a pro-Palestinian stance doesn’t excuse jibes at the expense of disabled children, or an act which is both intrusive and disrespectful, a lot of people on the political left condemn this as counter to their principles as well. It’s a question of right and wrong, not right and left.

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