My column this week at BitchBuzz delves into the particularly terrifying notion of… FUNNY WOMEN! Why is it that funny women are so intimidating? [waves hand in the air wildly, waiting to be called upon] Humour is a weapon as well as amusement. Angry women scare people (hence the inevitable “Come on, smile!” if you are not wearing a disarming grin 24/7).
Daisy Goodwin made headlines this past week when she complained, “There’s not been much wit and not much joy, there’s a lot of grimness out there,” when referring to the Orange prize long list.
Apparently the novels submitted contained a lot of misery and rape; Goodwin concluded, “Pleasure seems to have become a rather neglected element in publishing.”
Predictably, there was some hand-wringing about the unfunniness of women, which the Guardian quickly addressed via Jean Hannah Edelstein’s piece placing the blame squarely on the publishers who do not submit those funny books for prizes. Underneath there is the whole undervaluing of comedy. As tragedian Edmund Kean’s dying words supposedly attest, dying is easy but comedy hard. So why don’t we value it more?
While it’s easy to make people cry — advertisers seem to be able to manage it constantly via the use of puppies, kittens and old people — laughter remains a challenge. Sitcoms last long past their expiry dates because people are willing to support shows that were once funny but have since become moribund, tedious and even offensive. Marginally funny programs are hailed as works of genius…
Read the rest at BBHQ — after all, I quote from Henri Bergson. What more do you need?! I so want to see “Lizzie & Sarah”! Sigh. It looks to be as disturbing as “Nighty Night” which was brilliant. Julia Davis is amazing.