Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unfunny Ireland is alive and here

The Celtic Tiger is dead. We had hoped that it would take a particular Irish strand of "comedy" with it, that being the assumption that Irishness was a license to make remarks that would otherwise be offensive. Sure we've never done anything to anybody and all that.

Step forward idiot "comedian" Tommy Tiernan --

But these Jews, these f**king Jew c**ts come up to me. F**king Christ-killing bastards. F**king six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that. No f**king problem! F**k them. Two at a time, they would have gone. Hold hands, get in there. Leave us your teeth and your glasses.

If you're not laughing already, then we proceed to a follow-up Q&A at the same event about a complaint he had received for another anti-Semitic joke (sic) --

Have you ever seen people whose eyes are so aflame with righteousness… The whites of their eyes are so pure and f**king white. They're just one-stream people, they're not people that have gaps for more than one train of thought. This one train of thought f**king purifies them. And these people were just that 'the Israelis are a hounded people'. And God, Olaf might have more to say about that than me, but... You know, whatever, I'm not here to hound anybody, but these people come up to me afterwards…

The audience was laughing.

Tiernan has provided further comedy with his "apology" --

In a statement earlier yesterday Mr Tiernan said he was “greatly upset by the thought that these comments have caused hurt to others as this was never my intention”.

He continued: “the things that I said in front of a live audience were in an attempt to explain my belief that one of the duties of the comic performer is to be reckless and irresponsible and that the things that they say should NEVER [his emphasis] be taken out of context.”

At the event he had prefaced “my rant by saying that it should not be taken seriously and as such, the rant took place as an example of my argument. While it is out of context, which it most definitely is now, it seems callous, cruel and ignorant,” he said.

The obvious flaw in this argument, such as it is, is that the comedian's supposed duty to be reckless and irresponsible actually involves finding a safe zone where both he and the crowd can have a good laugh. In Tiernan's case, it further involves believing that of all the things he could be reckless and irresponsible about, he just happened to pick the Holocaust, an event about which he appears to have read quite a bit. He's not in Harlem telling racist jokes. He's not at Ibrox singing The Fields of Athenry. Instead he found a smug crowd and played to their shallowness. Can't we just use some of that bad bank money to pay these people to shut up?

UPDATE: David Adams has more.

FINAL UPDATE: The editor of the rag that had the interview -- and apparently didn't see how explosive it would be -- outdoes Tiernan in the pathetic excuse department:

Hot Press editor Niall Stokes comments ... "The way I see it, he is satirising anti-Semitism, while making a more general point that we should all be able to laugh at ourselves."

Note: Tiernan has gigs in California and Canada in October.

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