Advocates of Ch4 distasteful decision have come out with the most bizarre examples to support famine adoration.
Comparing the idea of a comedy about the Irish famine to a film like ‘Life is Beautiful’ is the strangest opinion trending amongst Ch4’s blind faithful.
The film captured the gruesome environment of the concentration camps, some of the vile acts of WWll, and portrays the Nazi foot soldiers as the evil racists we’ve come to associate with a very dark time in European history.
In fact many films such as ‘The Boy in Stripped Pyjamis’, ‘The Great Escape’ & ‘The Book Thief’ have had comic moments within the dark setting of Nazi Germany, we can use comedic effect to take the edge off of serious topics while examining the atrocities and inhumane acts of war in such films, good writers do it very well .
Movies like ‘Inglorious Basterds’, ‘The Great Dictator’ & ‘The Blues Brothers’ all use Nazi characters for comic effect but we know what they represent and this is basically pantomime.
Advocates of the comedy on genocide have tweeted not to worry, Jonathan Swift wrote a comedy about the famine and it didn’t upset anyone! Again to take a satirical comedy written in 1729, prior to the Great Famine of 1845-1852 as justification for tvcom is absurd. Swift’s essay fully titled ‘A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick’ is a satirical view on bad governance similar to Bulgakov’s ‘Heart of a Dog’. The fact that its written before the famine highlights the trauma people felt under a tyrannical government, a government which drove a million people to death through starvation and forced another million people to flee from their native soil.
Comedies such as ‘The Mercy Seat’ set in the backdrop of 9/11 have been used to defend this famine crime, but setting a comedy around a historical event doesn’t use dead bodies to tell jokes, the play is simply about an individual who lived at the same time as 9/11 who contemplates faking his own death. Dark perhaps but you can’t simply expect to use the Irish Famine as the set of the so called ‘New Shameless. There is no humour to be found in slow starvation, crop failure, or the tears of the dying Irish people. How many potato jokes does this show think will be funny? How will this show tackle the poor governance which lead to a century of hatred towards English establishment in Ireland? Why is it now acceptable for the greatest famine in 19th century Europe to be made subject to a comedy? Are we all supposed to learn to laugh at ourselves, as if we just nearly tripped on loose paving in front of everyone?
The fact is we don’t laugh at the victims of tragedy, there is no 9/11 comedy, there is no Haiti on ice, Chernobyl the musical, or Dancing with Ebola. It’s not censorship to ask someone to have some compassion and decency, it’s not censorship to ask Ch4 if they’re doing this to make sure they do it right, it’s not censorship to say ‘Hey, hey CH4, that’s a show about our history and we don’t think it’s a good idea to joke about it’. If the souls of genocide are treated in some sort of visual necrophilia we will be upset. The famine isn’t Fr Ted, we aren’t going to laugh at a starving Black Adder type Baldrick burying his baby, we won’t appreciate ‘Alo Alo’ dragsters coming up with quirky ways to steal potatoes. If you can overcome all this be my guest, make as many shows as you like, but don’t make light of people who are initially upset because they want to protect their heritage.
The following are pictures from the famine in Ethiopia, I don’t see anyone laughing.