Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Running gag

To show you in concrete terms what I was talking about regarding the different approach to writing lyrics to writing humorous monologue, let's pick a topic.

It struck me that there was potential in this whole idea of our representatives turning tail and refusing to address the issue. Not least because we are seeing this behaviour continue in government as we did when in opposition.

If we wished to be mean we could say that this is the beavioural norm for this lot while in power. Let's write a poem using a phrase used by Amanda Vanstone when she was minister "I'm not answering your question"

I'm Not Answering Your Question

In matters of state
I keep statements 
to a minimum
State your affiliations
State your claim
What other state is there
to live in

[9th October 2013]

Now the thing about this is that it has turned out quite differently to the initial outrage I felt at hearing this servant of the people refusing to explain. I was watching some Grant Morrison interviews after watching him live at the Opera House and in one, he mentions how when writing the Invisibles, he found the characters taking the story in a different direction than he had envisaged. The same thing happens when writing poems.

Well, here's a related phrase "I've Given You the Response You Deserve" - and if you don't know where that quote comes from then this haughty, not to say witless, refusal continues to have wider application.

But to the song:

I've Given You The Response You Deserve

I've categorically stated
the long list of things I hated
ever being debated

Look, I've given you my answer

I've whirred about on the spot
Saying things, I am not
A robot with abs

Turn the cameras off
Shut the recorders down
Why have account ability

I've given you 
      the response you deserve

[9th October 2013]

I feel that to write a humorous essay using this dodging and running away requires a different approach again. You can see that the song stays with the source; it's protesting the fact that this country's preferred leader runs away a lot. Or stands on the spot and says nothing; which is even more disconcerting. I didn't consciously try to stylistically vary from the first piece and this one; that just the form it took.

In our comedy survey of this idea, we could very well note the famous use in Monty Python and the Holy Grail or the repeated motif of comedy characters running away from things - bears, savage dogs, an angry mob they've upset with their shenanigans - but we've done this in preceding entries. I'm interested in a practical example. Should we stay with politicians? with conservative politicians?

You could do a comparison that mocks both major parties:

You ever notice how when a Labor politician gets caught bungling or being corrupt, and they don't have an excuse, they just repeat the phrase that best tamps the damage (or that they fancy will do so). When a Liberal politician gets caught doing the same thing, their instinct is just to bolt for the door or answer contemptuously. 

That's alright as an approach, a premise. But it lacks the funny, it's still just observation. Take it one step further and it may matter less what the ideological make up of your audience is

But, if you're like me, I couldn't find sufficient humour in examining the idea so, if really pushed to pursue this theme, I suggest a  whammy of whimsy instead

It was only a matter of time before our elected representatives starting running away from us. All those babies they've kissed, the pensioners they've sucked up to, an ever pressing aggressive crowd.. If you had to deal with this for months on end, wouldn't your nerves be frayed? Wouldn't you feel like fleeing at the next stupid question?
Well now these most scrutinised of fellows finally get to fly in under the radar and it's all done by adopting a slacker's guide to dealing with the public and the press. Whenever a question is asked that demonstrates the reporter knows more than the candidate, feign hurt or do something that will distract from the question, anything but show your ignorance.

Because refusing to explain an extremely contentious statement you made is not a sign of ignorance.

Well, as you can see, comedy is not my forte. I cannot surmount the strong feeling I have about some subjects to enable me to write humorously about them.

I'd have to turf out the whole association of political masters writing this piece.


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