Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Just Answer the Question

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  • Joe Wylie,

    Che: when they came for the gingas, i was silent...

    LegBreak: Ah yes gingas; the world’s only true minority.

    Do moral pygmies outnumber gingas, then?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    2/ If you were secretly an Arab terrorist, what would be the first policy you'd enact on taking office?

    Y'know that's a good question... no seriously, what would be United Future's first policy?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Do moral pygmies outnumber gingas, then?

    depends. how important is morality to pygmies, anyhow?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Emma, the debate is on at the moment and not one of your questions has been asked so far.

    One guy came close when he basically asked "which candidate has the balls to deny climate change?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I am yet to meet an immoral pygmy. Politicans on the other hand - and I haven't even watched teh debate yet..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    depends. how important is morality to pygmies, anyhow?

    They're the only race I could raise any kind of objection to - after all, they're hardly likely to speak up when the gingas cop it. BTW, My next door neighbour is an intellectual pygmy. As he's not sure what the internet is I feel quite safe in posting this. Apart from a tendency to rabbit on about the doings of the Black Caps he's a model citizen.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    17/ How much did a one kilo block of Anchor cheese cost at Pak 'n' Save Moorhouse Ave last Tuesday?

    This is, of course, a trick question. They dropped their blocks to 900g and hoped nobody would notice.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    I'd seat Tame Iti next to Graham Capill. He'd punch Capill hard in the gut and then stand over him and piss in his mouth while he's gasping for breath. Damned paedophile deserves nothing less. (Lest anyone forget why he's in jail).

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Points to Haydn too for his hilarious ironic post-modern anti-Semitism.

    Do excuse me for not joining in the laughter, won't you.

    I'm not seeing the funnies either.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Points to Haydn too for his hilarious ironic post-modern anti-Semitism.

    Do excuse me for not joining in the laughter, won't you.

    I'm not seeing the funnies either.

    Comedy can come from many places. Some of the more common situations are juxtaposition, irony, awkwardness, obvious (blunt tool), and shock.

    It is clear from Emma's post that the question,

    7/ If you had to ban one race from entering New Zealand, which one would it be and why?

    has no correct answer and would create an awkward situation for any politician who had been asked it.

    Many others answered the question using some of the techniques above (my favourite was "The Amazing Race") and they were funny. I chose to use a combination of obvious, shock and awkward.

    The answer "Jews" with a lengthy silence and follow up question is funny because it is exactly what you don't expect [shock] while it being the obvious answer that any evil, racist politician would answer [obvious], while the situation that follows is funny because the politician is unaware that they have made a gaffe.

    In many sitcoms you have situations where the obvious joke is a dirty one and the humour is derived from seeing how they get out of that situation. So the surprise of someone actually making the dirty joke can, oftentimes, be funnier.

    But why "Jews"? Firstly if the joke had been a racial slur there is no way that would have been funny. Secondly if the joke had been "Arabs", "Negroes", or "Chinese" it wouldn't have been funny because currently those groups are still being persecuted. However, while the Jews have suffered lengthy discrimination they are not the target of extreme racism (at least in this country*).

    Now I will say that if you find yourself laughing at the joke for hours and saying things like "yeah, take that Jews" then you maybe missed the joke and should rethink your position.

    Other than that it was just a very common comedic device, that you'll see in many primetime shows.

    *other than skinhead retards, but no one here is one of those.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Now I will say that if you find yourself laughing at the joke for hours and saying things like "yeah, take that Jews" then you maybe missed the joke and should rethink your position.

    i still say we lynch the fast-talkin' ginga.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Emma, the debate is on at the moment and not one of your questions has been asked so far.

    Pff, do I have to do everything myself?

    No wonder so much stuff doesn't get done.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4379 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Gingas, by NZ's own Simon O'Leary, from Australian Motorcycle News's Fred Gassit (click on image for full size) :
    http://dem0n.qgl.org/images/gassit/fred017.gif

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    i still say we lynch the fast-talkin' ginga.

    Have to catch me first Tibby! fast-talkin' and fast-runnin'

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    they are not the target of extreme racism (at least in this country*).
    ...
    *other than skinhead retards, but no one here is one of those.

    So it doesn't count if the people doing it are retards? Wow.

    Just in the last five years or so the retards have been responsible for graveyard vandalism, grafitti, firebombing, and websites publishing detailed and inimidating profiles with address details of prominent Jews. I invite you to inspect in person the various Jewish places of worship and community centres in this country, and if you can find them you will see that they are locked down good and hard for the simple reason that they receive consistent threats. If nutjobs aren't attacking us on the street it's only for lack of opportunity, not motive.

    Extreme racism is real, is current, has an impact and the fact that the perpetrators are, as you say, "retarded" does not lessen that impact. If you were on the receiving end, maybe you would take it more seriously.

    Actually, New Zealand historically did have a de facto whites only immigration policy which did not include Jews, which is why we had so few refugees from 30's Germany. The architect of our early 20th century immigration policy had studied "racial science" in Tuebingen.

    The Social Credit party, which was not unpopular in New Zealand, started out blaming the Jews, and through them the NZ League of Rights quite respectably and openly distributed anti-semitic material up until the 80s. And their intellectual descendants are alive and kicking and talking to Karyn Hay every week.

    Anyway, if your defence of your joke is that you wanted to create feelings of awkwardness, shock etc, surely you actually want to use groups that you feel are "currently being persecuted." That would be even edgier, wouldn't it?

    If you made an equally hilarious joke about Chinese people, Tze Ming & co would kick your arse, if you made a sexist one the PA Women's XV would come after you. Jews are a safe target for you hilarity because the odds of having an offended Jew in the audience are low. Well, you lost that game of audience roulette and here is your spanking. Now don't do it again.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2977 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Well, you lost that game of audience roulette and here is your spanking.

    Well said. I must say, I didn't "get" the question either. Was it supposed to be funny or ironic?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1620 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Seems there are a couple of ways that blatant racism-for-laughs can work:
    In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life Terry Jones, as a cleaning lady swabbing up the remains of the disgusting Mr. Creosote, offers: "I feel that life's a game, you sometimes win or lose / And though I may be down right now, at least I don't work for Jews". She's immediately denounced as a racist by John Cleese's waiter character, who emptys a bucket of vomit over her.

    You can be Jewish, like Sacha Baron-Cohen's Borat, which I guess gives you a kind of "my nigger" license.
    Maybe Haydn could out himself as being Jewish?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    a kind of "my nigger" license.

    I'm not going to get into who has permission to say what.

    I'm just pointing out why I don't join in the laughter.

    Maybe Hadyn could out himself as being Jewish?

    That's funny. He doesn't look Jewish...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2977 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "Actually, New Zealand historically did have a de facto whites only immigration policy which did not include Jews, which is why we had so few refugees from 30's Germany."

    Stephen, what of Vogel and his immigration policy that let many (my family) Prussians/Germans/Poles in to NZ. I think Blumsky claims Jewish heritage and Mums family were on the same boat as his?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    So it doesn't count if the people doing it are retards? Wow.

    Not to kill a funny thread, but, no it doesn't, not in comedy. First of all though, I never did actually apologise for the offense: Stephen, I'm sorry

    Now, it seems as though you believe I think there is no such thing as racism against Jews. Quite the opposite. If I did I never would have made the joke and if there was no racism it really wouldn't have worked.

    If my answer had been "Martians", it's not going to get the reaction I want because there is no racism towards martians (that I know of) and hence the joke doesn't result in the desired awkward situation. Instead you might get some canned laughter and move on to the next joke.

    The point of my joke was to highlight the awkwardness of the question by giving the answer it was supposed to "accidentally" illicit. You are right that I picked Jews because the chances of actually offending someone was lower but also because of the history of Jewish persecution.

    Extremism is going to happen everywhere. And I perhaps used the word "extreme" when I meant "current". If you were to make no joke where that joke is actually represented by a group of crazies you'd end up with Full House.

    Remember the question was to create an awkward situation, so the answer has to illicit an awkward response, and you want to make the situation as excruciating as possible so you go "big". Jews and blacks are the traditional victims of racism. The majority of people know that and so when playing the role of the racist politician one would naturally select one of those groups. And remember that the joke wasn't just "the Jews". There were two long pauses, a cough and another question: "was that right?"

    But (after some further dissection in my head) the reason I went with "Jews" for the joke was more because it's a single syllable. "Chinese" just isn't funny, I'm not sure why.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    That's funny. He doesn't look Jewish...

    See, I laughed at that! (it was a joke right? with complex layers?)

    Oh and I just love pulling jokes to pieces (seriously). It's what I do if/when I write comedy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Shep: yeah, after Vogel, things tightened up considerably on all who were not English-speaking or British-born. The oldest families in NZ arrived before the 20th century.

    Hadyn: I love pulling jokes apart too.

    /manly handshake.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2977 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    /manly handshake.

    Ah, I go away for an hour's yoga (cue hippy jokes) and I come back to a man-love moment. What a nice warm-up for next week, when I shall be making some gay jokes. Only I shall be super-funny and not all offensive, just like the most recent Charlie's ad, only the other way around.

    I find it interesting that the ginga jokes can go unchallenged, though. (This is NOT, gods, intended as a dig at anyone, I mean I genuinely find it interesting.) When Mick Hucknell complained it was because he was genuinely offended. Ginga-bashing has its origins in genuine racism: that of the English against the Irish. And yet the general consensus seems to be that it's 'okay'. I also find it facinating that it only applies to men, in the same way that slagging off blondes mostly applies to women.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4379 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Cheers Stephen.

    WWI & the Depression G/Grandads Dairy farm operated under the name "Sweeny". German Bay , the Bay before French Bay reverted back to its original Maori name (Takamatua I think) during this time.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    When Mick Hucknell complained it was because he was genuinely offended. Ginga-bashing has its origins in genuine racism: that of the English against the Irish.

    I’d never thought of that angle, but lets face it; Hucknall was a whining git.

    Instead I always felt that Ginga jokes was a nice subtle way of having a go at (male) Cantabs.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

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