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Edgy comedy and censorship today

Edgy comedy and censorship today

Have you ever debated censorship? You know, the way movies are rated or the way certain expressions cause offence and have to be avoided in some contexts?
Newspapers on both sides of the brutal American Civil War in the 1860s indulged their readers in rather edgy comedy. They printed offence giving amputation puns with titles like “An ‘Off-Hand’ Joke.” Was that just bold and honest comedy or insensitive mockery? It’s a matter of opinion, but probably of passionately divided opinion.
Do you remember the recent spat about a certain slang word in Kirsty Mc Coll and The Pogues’ Christmas Song, ‘Fairytale of New York’?

https://www.joe.ie/music/rte-dj-like-lyrics-fairytale-new-york-censored-650673


Freedom of speech is a high principle, essential for a free society one might say.
‘Hold it’ says another. Are there not some ‘taboo’, that is forbidden’, words and phrases that would get you in trouble if used carelessly, casually or deliberately?
Most upholders of free speech would qualify that idea a little, in the interest of fairness if nothing else. There are rules of public taste, rules of respect in schools, sensitivities of certain members of or groups of society to be protected and respected.
Yet another person might argue that freedom of thought is necessary for, say, scientific investigation. Boundaries would strangle discovery and investigation.

Artistic Freedom
But what about art? Isn’t artistic freedom at the heart of creative expression. Are there any themes or subject matter that art cannot treat or explore?
Does art transcend ordinary social rules and mores? What do you think? Take the current raging debate about the topics and language use of comedians. ‘Comedy is a rough beast. It’s a transgressive, provocative, censorious tightrope act …’ says Brian Boyd in an interesting article in The Irish Times. You can find it at this link:

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/jokes-are-being-weaponised-in-culture-wars-1.3746889


Pushing the Boundaries
It is interest to follow this debate about whether comedy, as a public art, has a duty to question, puncture and push the boundaries of public taste or whether it ought to simply entertain without offending. To help you brief yourself on this current topic, here are a series of links to other articles and some videos.
Take a look at this skit on the Oral Irish Exam by Shifts, an independent outfit of comedians who often feature on Joe.ie . Do you think it is acceptable or do you have a reasoned objection? One persons meat may be another’s poison, as the old saying went.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHibxvLTgms


It is interest to follow this debate about whether comedy, as a public art, has a duty to question, puncture and push the boundaries of public taste or whether it ought to simply entertain without offending. To help you brief yourself on this current topic, here are a series of links to other articles and some videos.
Take a look at this skit on the Oral Irish Exam by Shifts, an independent outfit of comedians who often feature on Joe.ie . Do you think it is acceptable or do you have a reasoned objection? One persons meat may be another’s poison, as the old saying went.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHibxvLTgms


Next up is a link to a hilarious comedic news cast by Jonathan Pie. Btw if you take offence easily, just don’t watch! He is reacting to a media feeding frenzy that’s going on over Louis CK.

According to Wikipedia ‘Jonathan Pie is a fictitious British news reporter, created and played by British actor and comedian Tom Walker who co-writes the character with comedian and journalist Andrew Doyle. Pie appears in a series of video clips where he rants about the state of politics in the United Kingdom,and the United States presented as if he is a real reporter speaking his personal opinions to camera before or after filming a regular news segment.

https://www.facebook.com/JonathanPieReporter/videos/231876194390880/

Here’s a short video comedy of a political kind that pokes some fun at Brexit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwslRDTyzU#action=share

And this is an article to accompany that video:
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/aug/18/titanic-success-viral-video-satirising-brexit-10m-views


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