Wednesday 31 October 2018

On #Satire

I’m still mulling on humour. What are your thoughts on satire? I’ve always been fond of a bit of #lampooning. I found myself – as in what makes me tick, by watching and mimicking Kermit; the voices I heard on the radio in #TheGoonShow; by reading my stepfather’s #SpikeMilligan books – Balls! I exclaimed without looking up from the pages in the presence of my mother, who immediately told me not to say that. What’s wrong with Balls! I enquired.

My stepfather had #MontyPython records as well. I was beside myself and clutching my sides. Later, courtesy of my uncle – the mad one, but not the fiddly one - there was #FrankZappa who sang very politically incorrectly, about Catholic Girls and “goblin girls from a mystery world.”. Everything was up for grabs. Later, at #TheNationalSchooloftheArts, in #South-Africa where I really came into my own, there was the twisted humour of my best friend Jane, where everything was up for spearing. Most fundamental of all I saw myself in the writings of #JohnLennon. I love him passionately to this day, screwed up as he, and indeed I, was.

Years later when I won a national book award and had the luxury of agents approach me, I chose my agent based on the fact that she operated out of Spike Milligan’s offices – I could have wet myself – and practically did at some of those free flowing literary parties amongst the practically wall to wall Cambridge types. I needed to drink to cope with them on account of my own inadequacy. Besides, drinking helped me take the piss too.

But what of satire, and why do we not have more of it in this age, or am I missing something. When I first came to live in the UK, #Blackadder and #SpittingImages totally sent me, there was nothing like Spitting Images for keeping our politicians in their place and the rest of the country on the floor with them – albeit from laughter. Why can’t those puppets come back to lampoon the puppets and the puppet masters of our day? Please direct me to what I’m missing.