As someone said, or maybe I made it up, it is about time that we narrowbacks became the focus of a self-pitying whinge about being “othered” and “stereotyped” and what not.
The source of the outrage is, of course, the sketch on last weekend’s Saturday Night Live taking the proverbial out of the two lead actors in the Oscar nominated Banshees of Inisherin.
For anyone not familiar with Saturday Night Live it is the American mainstream TV comedy show, on the go since the mid-1970s. It has featured quite a few of the writers and comedians that are responsible for the mostly dreadful crap that passes for comedy on TV and in the cinema. It is generally well worth avoiding.
SNL is unashamedly leftie liberal and has been credited with boosting the poll ratings of several Democratic presidential candidates. As with many of the ilk – including recently of this parish -who pander to the sensitivities of almost invariably humourless leftie bores, the show has ironically been attacked for its alleged dissing of all of the big names in the Intersectionality Caper.
Prior to the current controversy, the only other time SNL impacted on the consciousness of the Irish people was when Sinéad O’Connor tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on a show in 1992.
In case you have not seen the current “offensive” sketch, Gript in the spirit of open mindedness will give you that opportunity here.
All the stars are out at the Oscars pic.twitter.com/BHKygkLJPW
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) March 12, 2023
It is always good, I find, to know what is supposed to be offensive, particularly towards oneself, before losing the plot about something one only knows about second hand.
Personally, I fail to find the sketch generically offensive to the Irish as a people. It is also not funny, which ought to be the standard for comedy, so it fails on that level. That’s how it struck me anyway, and seemingly lots of other folk if the Twitter machine is any guide.
And in fairness it was followed by another unfunny sketch featuring a Jewish stereotype complete with an avatar which an Hassidic Jew – who probably would not be watching anyway – might find offensive. Although perhaps liberal Jews believe that the more orthodox of their community are legitimate targets for ridicule in the same way as Catholics have been an unending source of puerile amusement for Irish comedy over the decades? So much to unpack here….
Of course, the objects of the sketch were two individuals, Colin Farrell and Brendan Glesson, rather than the “Irish people” as a whole, and neither have commented other than Farrell responded to a question at the Oscars about his being hard to understand in the film with a quip “Watch SNL from last night.” Some have interpreted this as Farrell “calling them out” – and by God that is social death in the world of Wokedom – but you may decide yourself.
Twitter is as reliable a source as any I suppose to see how these things are playing in the sticks and personally I like the one from a chap who has some connection with Kells GAA.
Le mot juste, as they say down the road in Nobber.
Which appears to be the general consensus although some chose to find it to be racist.
When the R word is togged out, then the spidey senses of those who partly have made a career out of being offended, mostly on behalf of others, immediately tingle. Thus, Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin went to bat for us in the week of Patty’s Day.
She is in New York with the rest of the establishment party leaders and responded to a question about the sketch by stating that she does not like “casual references to the drunken Irish,” and admonished people who might be thinking about using that stereotype for comedic or other purposes to “just consider that before saying it.” Whatever.
When I knew Mary Lou she had a good sense of humour and appears to have retained it, so I doubt she was offended herself. Still, that’s the currency and you are not going to lose the dressing room by affecting to find anything at all offensive these times. Unless, it’s mocking uncool stuff obviously.
My “That” Oscar goes to Carrie O’Connell who pointed out that on the same night as the Gleeson/Farrell movie was the centre of attention that a much more notable occasion in Irish cinematography took place when An Cailín Ciúin was nominated, but did not win, an Oscar for Best International Feature Film.
I haven’t seen either An Cailín Ciúin nor the Banshees – nor darkened the door of any cinema since not long after my main man Spencer Ó Treasaigh was delivering one armed karate chops to blackguards in Black Rock – but those who have seen both assure me that An Cailín Ciúin is of far greater merit. One also made the point that you are holding out your arse to be delivered of a stereotypical boot for Paddywhackery if you make some sub Quiet Man skit like the Banshees.
But there you go. All a matter of opinion.