Frankie Boyle’s American Autopsy: A Crusade Against Political Correctness

Frankie Boyle has always been the mortal enemy of political correctness; his shock value humor always  put him at odds with his co hosts on Mock The Week before he leftand he launched an attack on Right Wing Theresa May’s cabinet that was so scathing (and totally true) that the left wing Guardian refused to publish it. Frankie Boyle’s humor is black and brutal, whatever his mark. However, Frankie Boyle is at his sharpest when his uncompromising, savage tirades become politically charged. And on Frankie Boyle’s American Autopsy, we see his most devastating dress down yet: the circus of scandal and bigotry that was the American elections.

The BBC is oh so diplomatic and so obsessed with balanced that in a debate between William Wilberforce and Satan himself they’d make sure to mention that Satan always provides his residents in hell with reliable heating for the sake of being non partisan; Frankie Boyle, on the other hand, doesn’t give a fuck. Free to say what he wants thanks to being placed directly on iPlayer, right out the gate he pulls no punches with Trump:

‘It’s not that he’s the worst person for the job, he’s the worst mammal.’

And he only becomes more scathing  as he relentlessly rips into what happened at the election. Don’t think Hilary gets spared any rough treatment, because he destroys her as well:

‘People said well, er, Hillary was the best qualified candidate ever […] that’s not the problem. Peter Sutcliffe was an excellent truck driver.’

He goes on to criticize her for her total lack of charisma and described her as the worst candidate ever. His American guests are there to help him discuss the events surrounding the elections, and they’re amiable and entertaining enough. Sometimes it slips into political talk rather than comedy, but when the president is a man who has the world fearing that he’ll accidentally lean on the ‘Nuke the world’ button when he’s reaching for a pussy to grab, venting a little shock, horror and bemusal is the sugar that’s needed to help the anthrax go down. Still, Frankie Boyle is absolutely best when he’s raging solo, and when it’s just him laying into his target he’s hilarious and never loses its momentum for even a second. But even though he’s insulted everyone and everything at some point in his career, there will no doubt be many who think his show is a left wing conspiracy.

Even though Frankie Boyle is the man who drinks the tears of the Offended Class like a fine wine, people will accuse the misanthrope  who compared Palestine to a cake being ‘punched to pieces by a very angry Jew’ of being ‘politically correct’, because we’ve barely started legitimately criticizing that culture and we’ve already devolved to a point where we’d scream that phrase at Atticus during the scene in To Kill A Mockingbird where he tries to stop a lynching. Let’s be clear. Being suspicious of a man who’s strangely unwilling to rebuke support from the KKK is not being politically correct. Thinking it’s hilarious that a wealthy billionaire , who ruined the  Scottish countryside and placed working class  locals under risk of compulsory eviction for the sake of building a luxury golf course, is somehow an anti establishment hero, is not political correctness; it’s having a sense of irony. Attacking politicians and refusing to be entirely swept away by either party is vital, because raising any politician- even the most virtuous one in the world- to the level of Messiah is deadly and leaves you wide open to being manipulated.

And that’s one thing Frankie Boyle realizes too; he takes no prisoners, won’t introduce ‘balance’ arbitrarily if one side’s full of shit, and that’s why so often his political opinions are more honest and spot on than most journalistic articles.

 

REVIEW: MANGA SHAKESPEARE, A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTS DREAM- illustrated by Kate Brown

Shakespeare’s enduring characters are set adrift in present-day Athens, but a present with a massive difference – an alternative history. Rigid class systems and `god given’ monarchies of the past have not been lost. Modern technologies meet ancient tradition; and the citizens of Athens are frustrated by continuing restrictions and hierarchies. Only the forest, home to the fairies and fey spirits can offer the illicit lovers what they seek.

You would never think that ‘manga’ and ‘Shakespeare’ would go together hand in glove; however, Brown’s work on A Midsummer’s Night Dream demonstrates why manga is the the perfect medium for studying the work of the Immortal Bard. It allows you to read all the dialogue of the play and also gives it accompanying visual imagery. Unlike with the theatre of movie versions, the manga incarnation allows you to take it in at your own pace and to flip back to previous pages at your leisure. Continue reading REVIEW: MANGA SHAKESPEARE, A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTS DREAM- illustrated by Kate Brown

REVIEW: DINNER WITH FLEXI- by Jason Werbeloff

It’s not often that a book has me stumped. When it does, it’s  always a surrealist piece or some post modernist crap that attempts to be experimental but just ends up being tedious and less thought provoking than if they’d wrote out their message flat out. But I honestly don’t even know where to begin with Dinner With Flexi, or even what I just read, where am I, or where Werbeloff is getting his crack from. I think if I knew the answer to the last one, I’d either have some awesome hallucinations or be in a better position to review this short story.

Okay, the plot. Flexi is a sex-bot (a must have in every cyber punk story ever written). And she services men. Not just with sex. No, she serves the men by allowing them to eat the flesh of human women. You see, this is a world where all other food sources have been destroyed and the only solution is eating human women. Of course it is. This story from the mind of a man who decided the most logical solution to a lack of the metal required for internet hardware was to replace search engines with human brains- in that context it makes perfect sense.

As you’d imagine, I have so, so many questions about thhis premise: what condition could humans survive that hardy creatures like cockroaches or rats could not? Unless they stole the insta-pregnancy solution from Hedon, how could women reproduce fast enough to keep up the food supply?But I’ll and turn my brain off since this is meant to be farcical and only ask this: wouldn’t fucking and feeding at the same time be distracting and the cause of a lot of heartburn?

But of course, though Dinner with Flexi parodies a lot of Philip K Dick, it primarily parodies the objectification and commodification of women’s bodies. As for the latter, It’s either parodying the way women’s bodies are commodified, or the language that is used when talking about objectification.

It’s a very bizarre reading experience, which falls into a standard ‘taking the red pill’ narrative until its ending. Is it sexist? After all, women are reduced to cattle and a lot of horrible things happen to them for the sake of black comedy. Then again, women are the only ones who are sympathetic and have any kind of depth while all the men are the most over the top evil patriarchal moustache twirling monsters imaginable. Is it feminist? It’s clearly not making a deep statement or about women overcoming the patriarchy because of the endng. And speaking of…

What I really have to give it credit for is its ending, which is somehow perfect in a terrible, bleakly comic way. It’s so over the top, so cruel and such a downer and yet told in such a blase way that the only reaction left is laughter.Maybe it’s meant to be subverting the ‘downtrodden rebellion against dystopia’ narrative.Maybe it’s just meant to be fucked up. One thing I can say about Werbeloff though; whether he’s on form or just missing the mark, he is never boring and never less than completely memorable.

REVIEW: Visiting Grandpa’s Brain- by Jason Werbeloff

Grandpa doesn’t regret donating his brain to Zoogle. But when Judgment Day arrives and the Vatican possesses the world’s largest search engine, Jesus meddles with Grandpa’s search results. And Grandpa is not impressed.

Visiting Grandpa’s Brain is an irreverent sci-fi comedy horror that will dissuade you from keeping your brain anywhere but in your head.
Okay, Jason Werbeloff, who’s been supplying you with the crack and where can I get some? Like with Werbeloff’s other short stories, Visiting Grandpa’s Brain is buzzing with so much mad energy that regardless of whether you think  Visiting Grandpa’s Brain is good or heretical, you’ll definitely never forget it. Continue reading REVIEW: Visiting Grandpa’s Brain- by Jason Werbeloff

SHORT STORY REVIEW: The Photons in the cheese of lost- by Jason Werbeloff

Chris wakes to find that every message delivered to his spam folder comes true. What could possibly go wrong?

After I saw the blurb I had to read this. I mean, we’ve all had chain messages and spam that were absolutely insane (I’m still waiting for my Nigerian prince to come). So, a world where we were the foolish ones for ignoring those bizarre messages was something I just had to see.

The photons in the cheese are lost is a comedy and a lot of the humour derived from poking fun at its narrator, Chris Popadopolis, an overweight, nerdy unemployed loser who might as well be living in his mum’s basement. The humour is acerbic and often crude; it made me smile once or twice, but it was far from hilarious. I liked a lot of the crazy scenarios that Chris found himself in, but felt like it jumped from scene to scene way to quickly and it would have been better if it slowed down a bit to allow it to sink in just how crazy these situations were.

A lot of the criticism around this short story centred on it ending too quickly and nothing being resolved. When it comes to short stories, I feel that you cannot hold them to the same standards of novels. You cannot expect a fully realised world with all the possibilities to be fully played out in a short story; it doesn’t have the time or space.  However, I have to concur with the general criticism of the ending in this case; it felt like it was meant to be a punchline to a joke that didn’t quite land. The whole story felt a bit too frenetic, and even if Werbeloff didn’t want to turn this into a full novel, this short story should have been a bit longer if for no other reason than to give the reader and narrator a bit more time to breath and digest what’s happening.

Overall, The Photons In The Cheese Are Lost was entertaining in places, and I liked the writing, but it didn’t quite reach its massive potential. However, I am drawn to Werbeloff’s writing style and will definitely be reviewing more of his work in the future.

RATING: 2 ½ thousand grands worth of inheritance from a Nigerian Prince if you just call this number / 5

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