Saturday, January 22, 2005

Laughing Matter

Today Jo took a pair of clippers with a #4 guard on them to Noah's head. Scalped. He really didn't enjoy the experience - though there doesn't seem to be any (immediately obvious) lasting psychological damage...

When I wrote my PhD (begun in 1995 - I'm getting old...) it was on pop/rock songs that re-told bible stories in their lyrics. I was interested in how the Bible was perceived, and portrayed, by musicians. If I were to do it all again today, I'd look at comedians instead.

Recently I've seen Ricky Gervais' stand-up show, Animals; and (the brilliant; genius, even) Bill Bailey's show, Part Troll. Both include takes on the Bible and Christianity. Both are really funny. And the significant 'extra' factor that you don't get with music CDs is the audience reaction - in both cases it is clear that the performer taps-into some shared cultural experience (Sunday School?), which significantly adds to the humour-value for those present. Which I find interesting in itself. And it asks a lot of questions of those of us who believe in the God of the Bible, and who believe that being able to be in a relationship with him is good news that we want to share with those around us.

"What we believe" is clearly no longer a taboo subject (okay for private views, but not the public arena). But the way the church has communicated what it believes in recent generations (in particular, dogmatically) derserves to be satirised...As we continue to shift from a modern- to a post-modern cultural context, how we communicate needs a serious re-think. And stand-up is well worth throwing into the mix.


  1. bill bailey is teh genius :D

    i haven't seen part troll yet.. but i've heard its fantastic...


  2. Oh yes, it really is. Not to give anything away, the encore is officially (in my opinion, granted - but this is my blog) the funniest thing ever. And lots of great satire about USA/UK war on terrorism along the way.

  3. fantastic!!!!

    i look forwards to seeing it soon (a few friends have it... ) i was gutted they'd sold out of tickets at the city hall last year... was gonna take my dad.. ah well...