There seems to be a recent rise in hatred for Frankie Boyle recently, due to his new and brilliant show, Tramadol Nights. Honestly, the only reason I can think of to explain this is that the population of Britain are just not intelligent enough to understand satire. The main jokes that have caused complains are:
“The Ministry of Defence? At least in the old days we were honest – it was the Ministry of War! ‘Hello, Ministry of War, department of n*****-bombing, how can I help?’”
“He then started to behave like a newsreader and said: “A bomb went off in Kandahar today, killing two British servicemen, three UN relief workers and a whole bunch of p****.”
Can these jokes really be considered racist? No, of course they can’t. They aren’t making fun of Asians or black people, they are making fun of racist views. Jokes made to shock in this way are simply making a point about the views of society, and the way Britain tends to set itself as the centre of the universe when it comes to disasters around the world. Frankie Boyle himself admits to being extremely left wing in his autobiography, and comes across an an intelligent unprejudiced man. I can’t remember the exact quote from the book, but he is shocked and disgusted when a fan came up to him after a gig, and said something along the lines of “Well done for saying what you say, you just can’t call a Paki a Paki any more can you?” The use of irony and satire to make a point works well, but it seems some people just don’t get it. Similarly, Boyle was criticised for one of his sketches portraying people with mental illness and dangerous nut jobs. Is this prejudice against those with mental illness, or is he making a perfectly reasonable point about the stigma people with mental illness have to face even in this day and age? Good on channel 4 for sticking up for the comedian?
“This cutting edge comedy is clearly intended to ridicule and satirise the use of these words – Frankie Boyle was not endorsing them.
“Channel 4 would not have broadcast these words had they been used in a racist way. All the jokes highlight the unacceptable nature of this language.”
Thank you channel 4, you, at least seem to get the point.