Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, August 29, 2011

A good start

I was very lax about reviewing last year's festivals, so never mentioned Shappi Khorsandi whom I saw in the Book Festival promoting her (very funny and very interesting) book A Beginner's Guide To Acting English. Shappi was born in Iran but her family had to flee after the Islamic revolution because her father's branch of political satire made him a likely target for assassination. Shappi tells in her book how as a child she wrote to Ayatollah Khomeini asking him not to kill her Daddy, in particular because a bomb in his car might hurt her big brother Peyvand or her Mummy. In her festival talk she said that years later, when some member of an Iranian hit squad was being interrogated, he said that he'd had instructions to kill Hadi Khorsandi (Shappi's father) but that the children were not to be harmed: her first thought was "Aww, bless, the Ayatollah got my letter!"

What reminded me of that story was not the fact of Shappi Khorsandi's appearing on this year's Fringe (undoubtedly one of the good acts, and if I'd been better organised I might have booked to see her, stand-up though she is). No, it was the fact that Uncle Jimmy clearly reads this blog. Why else, after studiously ignoring Tony Blair's excellent article on the recent riots, would he suddenly post a link to it? Of course, he has to downplay the fact that he utterly disagrees with TB's trashing of the "moral decline" theory to which Jimmy is so wedded, pointing out merely that he thinks a forthcoming Channel Four satire about Blair demonstrates such a decline.

Still, there we are, he's been shamed into acknowledging the article. And FWIW, Jimmy, while I don't think the forthcoming "Comic Strip" satire demonstrates moral decline, I do think it demonstrates a decline in comedy standards. I didn't like the "Comic Strip" bunch the first time round, so why would a reunion be any better? I won't be watching it, not because it's unfair to Tony Blair but because to me it doesn't sound even slightly funny.

Now I'm left wondering whether his hate piece on Robert Fisk (a brave journalist whose boots Jimmy is unworthy to eat) is likewise a response to my poking fun last year at his total misunderstanding of what "fisking" meant.

Anyway, happy to see that you pay attention, Jimmy. Now how about a "moderate" Islamophobe like yourself coming right out and dissociating yourself from the violent extremists you espouse,such as BareNakedIslam, who on Sunday wrote that she/it would like to see New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who just happens to be Jewish, and whom she/it considers insufficiently filled with hatred of Muslims, beheaded on YouTube?

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