Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Just Having a Laugh 2:

Really Not Funny

When comedy broadcasting is not a theatre of cruelty it seldom reverts to what might be called natural humour, by which I mean simple good fun, instead it falls back on social and political manipulation, some of it quite subtle, some of it very crude indeed. To begin with, the comedians and comic actors are chosen because they are people who fit in with the ethos of the production company or the broadcaster's in-house team; an independent company that hires people who fail to fit in fails to sell its programmes to broadcasters, so their ethos is indistinguishable from that of the TV channels themselves. Then there is the material broadcast, this presents a specific worldview in which certain attitudes are normal and good, and others not simply bad, but so abnormal as to be ludicrous. Where such an approach would be too obvious, or the public has been insufficiently prepared for its crudity, more subtle means are used to normalise the preferred liberal left viewpoint and denigrate more traditional alternatives. Comedy interacts with broadcast drama; sometimes one leads, sometimes the other, and they are combined from time to time in comic plays and sitcoms. Of course, when it comes to radio broadcasting, the BBC has an effective monopoly.

(c) From Crisis Magazine
An obvious example of the crude method of propaganda is the way in which Brexit and its supporters have been treated. Whilst news programmes and current affairs documentaries preserved the legally required neutrality before the referendum and remain somewhat cautious in their Europhilia, the comedians never ceased in their mockery of Brexit supporters and politicians, many of whom had been figures of fun for many years. Since the vote comedians have repeatedly claimed (without being challenged because they seldom appear on programmes requiring balance or accuracy) that Leave supporters lied, are unintelligent and are racists. There has been a radio play satirising the three Brexiteers, and have been a couple more at least on the theme of an apocalyptic Britain from which refugees have to escape to civilisation in France or Ireland. I can only conjecture that the purpose of this propaganda, which is combined with partial and selective news reporting now that the level of scrutiny in the pre-referendum period has been relaxed, is either somehow to thwart the Brexit process or else to create a public mood in favour of an application to re-join the EU at some future point.

The most glaring example of the more subtle method of social engineering via broadcast propaganda is, of course, the normalisation of homosexuality to the point where same-sex unions have become commonplace and are legally dignified with the name of marriage. This all began with radio comedies. There were novels and feature films, but it was the weekly encounter with wireless favourites that made people who had never knowingly met any homosexuals think that they were not uncommon, and that their peculiarities are harmless. At first they were figures of fun, but that in itself established them as an ordinary element in society so that people would expect a group to contain a clever one, a dim one, a crook and a queer. Then they became entirely ordinary characters rather than being the subject of jokes; then sympathetic figures, the victims of discrimination in serious dramas. Finally we reached where we are today with any challenge to gay rights and gay marriage portrayed as intolerable bigotry – and it all began with “I'm Julian and this is my friend, Sandy”.     

All of this political propaganda and social engineering draws its strength from our natural openness to humour, our instinctive expectation that what is presented as comedy really will be comedy, a sharing of goodness and joy. Because true humour is a reflection of the divine, we expect the comic to be deeply and innately good, somebody who is always on the right side and a friend to all. These people are not like that, not at all. Of course, there are some good people in broadcast comedy, allowed to slip through and spread some true joy so the ideological character of the rest of it does not become too obvious; they might even be allowed to poke a little gentle fun at the prevailing orthodoxies as long as they pose no real threat. The majority, and it is now a majority, however, are quite simply not the kind of people we would care to invite into our homes. They are no friends of ours, they are the shock troops, the Red Guard, of a cultural revolution, they are radical feminists, camaigning atheists, 'out and proud' homosexual activists, supporters of far left organisations and drug-addled libertines. Just look at the TV and radio listings, and look up some profiles and CVs – see what I mean? 

By Prayer Crusader St Philip Howard

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