I’ve been doing some readings lately, the favourite so far due to its intimate size being grit lit. Personally it has been so much fun offending people on an industrial scale again, and still amazes me how shocked and offended some people get when listening to Malice in Blunderland. I’ve also performed some readings of my new non-comedy ‘Remember to forget’ and while it seems to get a lot of love, I have been asked quite a bit “Why are you turning your back on comedy?”
Who the fuck said I was?
What strikes me as funny is those who bitch at the content of Malice are the first to bemoan its passing. When I do read ‘Malice’ I usually give a long disclaimer speech about how it isn’t me, it is fiction, and that there is a context that is lost when reading an excerpt, but man is it so much more fun to leave the warning out. It is like leading folk into battle, in that not everyone will be there in the end.
I think though, my favourite part of performing Malice is having to explain to those who appoint themselves as intellectuals that, well, if I need to de-construct the content, they can’t be that smart. I am all to aware that I’m not particularly smart and I think that pisses them off more. I had a guy who was offended at Malice, because he felt the part I read was homophobic, so he took his gay friend to another reading so he too could be offended and thus they can both complain. The piece I read is a bit where the protagonist picks up a girl who turns out to be a transvestite who subsequently tries to rape him.
“I find your work homophobic and offensive, so I’ve brought my gay friend to hear it and he is offended too. I was wondering if you would want to apologise to him?” was the question I was presented. Bearing in mind I was sat in Brighton, the gay capital of England with a gay best friend and his gay mate.
“Oh, so, what about what I said, specifically, was homophobic?”
“Well, the transvestite bit.”
“Okay, so what about it was homophobic?”
“All of it!”
“How so? What did I say that was anti-gay, or anti-transgendered or in any way hateful towards LGBT communities?”
“Well, uh, well you didn’t show gay people in a positive light were you? It’s not like you were pro gay!”
“I didn’t show heterosexual people in a positive light either, does that mean I’m anti heterosexual too?”
The mad thing with what I do, if I was performing stand-up comedy, people would be able to separate artist from content, but as it is written and performed in fist person, it is assumed I am the devil. It crazy that the intellectuals cannot separate the two – and these are the ones to profess to be smart. Recently a guy who was offended by my book he sent it to a person who they know will be even more offended. Why? If they knew they would be offended, well then it wasn’t fucking for them was it? It is a fucked up logic, a sort of offence by proxy. If someone put pages of the porn magazine Playboy in the pages of children’s books in library’s, they wouldn’t sue Hugh Hefner would they?
At the reading, one read of murder, but that was okay, as it was art. Another of torture of a unfaithful husband, again, it is art because it isn’t funny. One was deeply sadist sex and – art. But make it funny, alter the context and it is offensive? I love my new book ‘Remember to Forget’ but I wonder if it will be as much fun at readings?