Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
This was the description of Australians on a local radio station. A bit cruel but very funny, I thought. It led me to wonder about a few things:
• why do we love taking the mickey out of people we are affectionate towards?
• How are New Zealanders referred to in Australia? (No rude replies, please. Cleverness is of the essence here.)
• What are the dangers of ethnic humour?
• Borat, for example, makes me uncomfortable. What about you?
I'm thinking about this because, by all accounts, I'm quite humorous in person - sometimes intentionally. But I find humour extremely difficult to write into my novels. I do think there are types of humour almost impossible to render in writing. Well, there's gurning, of course. But most forms of word play don't work well. I'll keep thinking ...
I've not see Borat and don't plan to. I'm sure I'd laugh in places but I don't think it's my sort of thing.
I couldn't possibly call you all the names I do if I didn't like you so much, although I do like that West Island comment *g*
The humour I like in novels is the quirky dialogue that some authors use. Forced lines are no good. Borat was super funny but he didnt take it to that "cringe" extreme. I don't see how people didn't see they were being "set up"
Ethnic humour treads a fine line and unless we are making fun of our own race.....as Billy T did so well, I think it should be left alone.
I know we Love to hate the Aussies, but when push comes to shove I would rather support them then any other country after NZ. Its a place I love to visit, and luckily it is so close.
You need to realise something very important about Aussies. We hate Kiwis. This is why we have no evil names to call you. About the only time we don't wonder how we got landed with neighbours such as you is when we beat you at cricket or swimming or... hang on, that's mostly. We don't hate you. We love you to pieces and call you vile names. I just can't think of any right now.
Ethnic humour comes in two types - affectionate and hurtful - and because it is based on stereotypes that are usually negative the line between the two is so fine that falling over is really easy to do. On the other hand, when people from the particular ethnic group make fun of themselves it can be really, really funny (this doesn't just apply to ethnic groups, Jeff Foxworthy's 'you know you're a redneck when...' crack me up!!).
Malaysians, for example, have little sense of humour when someone else from outside pokes fun, but they can laugh at themselves when it comes from one of their own. If you are confident as an individual, or a group, or a nation, then you can laugh at yourself - otherwise you see the joke as an attack from someone who makes you feel inferior.
In other words, I'm funny in print and not in person ;-)
Actually, I'd go with that. I'm deadly serious about writing, publishing, editing and all the other ings associated with novels. If I speak on a panel I feel I'm there to impart hard-won knowledge, not for comic relief. If they want funny they can buy the books. (And I'm much more fun between the covers.)
"It's just not fair but I don't care
It's just not fair but I don't care
As long as we beat
As long as we beat
As long as we beat New Zealand!"
Kinda sums it up, I think :)
Borat is not about Borat - his ethnicity is just a vehicle for the set-ups. But you know that!