july…10th (?) 2020

So….the world of comedy is getting weirder and weirder.

Last week i agreed to do a gig – online i.e. a virtual gig – for free, a short set for a bloke in Cardiff, with all donations going to BLM.

about 3 days ago he facebooked me to say he was sorry but he had to pull me from gig because someone had complained to him about my ‘behaviour’ in the past. If i quote him word for word it would be in welsh, so for the general reader’s benefit here i’ll stick to the english, and summarise.

Anyway, i was shocked, gobsmacked, angry…and told him so. we had a short exchange on FB about it. Basically he wouldn’t reveal to me who it was who’d said this thing, or what the accusation was.  I pressed him on it but he claimed he was not 100 percent up on the details himself, just that someone complained to him that they wouldn’t feel comfortable with my doing the gig …remember this is a virtual gig so i would be nowhere near anybody physically !

Firstly , dear reader, I am innocent of any wrong doing…..so i was angry for that reason. Secondly, i was angry becasue i’m not being informed of what it is i’m meant to have done. am still in the dark about it.

I kept thinking it must be one of the other acts on the bill, and i assumed the ‘accusation’ was something to do with what’s going down on the comedy scene at the minute. i.e. the phenomenon of women being harrassed by men. (again: Not Guilty!)

–  On a tangent: what about the consequences of this stuff on the mental health of performers like myself? Yes there are people with genuine grievances out there, but there are also names being mentioned on the social media right now of people who’ve not done anything wrong. There are attempts at naming and shaming people who’ve not done anything wrong.

This bloke, the comedy booker, has left me paranoid.  Though in this case he did it discreetly, and did not expose it to the world wide web

I did get out of him in the end that it wasn’t one of the acts on the bill who’d ‘accused’ me …but he remained adamant that he wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me the nature of the accusation, which i think was out of order.

I can only speculate….

so the gig is for Black Lives Matter…- THINKS – my girlfriend suggested it might be linked to something that happened in the National Eisteddfod last year, when a man in the audience heckled me by saying i’d done a racist joke. He took it further and when that became a thing on Twitter  last August- you can read about this in previous blogs by the way – the guy became vulgar and rude to me whenever i’d write a response to his initial comment, but attracted other accusers and people keen to be part of the witch hunt action….;witch hunt’, a horrible image…more like ‘kill the monster’, like the inevitable gathering of villagers with torches at the end of every Frankenstein film.

By the way, how come no one pulls up anyone for bullying on social media – again another way of harming mental health  – ??  If you are accusing somebody of doing or saying something wrong then surely, if you accuse by bullying that negates -or aught to negate – the credibility of the accuser.

In fact, it seems to be the opposite, – or has been in my little experience – that the bullying element of the accuser is ignored . In the case of last year’s tweet it didn’t matter that this guy would say things to me like ‘prick’, ‘cunt’ ‘shit flows out of your mouth’, ‘you piss your pants’…-other people seemed to be more keen to join in with him and get me to admit something, rather than call him out for his offensive, intimidatory attitude.

There’s got to be a law about all this.   If  i had the money i would probably go to a lawyer and consider a libel case. – and that applies to the bullshit on Comedy Collective a couple of weeks also –  but i don’t. Apparently there’s never been legal aid for libel cases.

 

When i was doing comedy before the advent of social media i also got treated unfairly or unjustly then, by a promoter or agent from time to time…it’s not a new thing.  Life is unfair.

Most comedians will occasionally do a gig with someone on the bill they don’t like. you just get on with it.   But now it seems there’s a new idea in place. In fact , looking at previous FB pages of the bloke who booked me for this BLM gig you see the idea in the form of a manifesto:

‘Feel free to approach me and tell me about anyone you’re not comfortable with’…i am not quoting it verbatim, but the word ‘blacklist’ is used. He’s happy to build up a Blacklist! based on what ? hearsay ?   In this case the gig was free so i did not lose any money….but if this idea snowballs..? Fuck me there will be a comedy police drawing up rules for what jokes to do and which jokes not to do !!!  Mind you it might not affect as by the time that comes about i will probably have been banned from the live circuit all together.

 

I think it was a cowardly act

 

Stay safe

Jun 30th 2020.

Hello – me again…

I know in my last post i said i’d write a full quite of previous exchange i.e. the FB dialogue that my ‘accusee’ put on a forum recently…but , having thought about it, it’s been taken down now…and as they say: best to let sleeping dogs lie.

But there seems to be an awful lot of shit hitting the fan at the minute on the comedy scene generally. As someone said – the circuit is having its own Metoo moment. No doubt the vacuum left by the Covid needs filling as people’s pent up angers and frustrations start to emerge.

I sympathise with any victims of abuse.   There is clearly truth in a lot of the accusations and revelations, as many male comedians have issued statements and apologies.

To be honest i was completely ignorant of all this until my friend Paul phoned me last week – see previous blog – informing me that i was being slagged off on a forum to which I had no access.

Don’t accuse the wrong people, FFS, it only dilutes the cause.

I am not into harrassing women sexually. How can i be? I’m a sheep shagger !

June….24 th (???)

So me and the g’friend are taking a strimmer back to Argos, when my good friend Paul James (no relation) rings me and tells me there’s someone saying shit about me on a FB forum. I assume straight away it’s a forum called Concerned Comedians. He outlines to me what’s she saying. This woman, who i can barely recall, but then do..because of her distinctive goth look. (Paul is describing her to me over the phone) I met her in a gig in Notts 2 years …she was MCing i think. Anyway , 2 years later, she’s now accusing me in this forum of…well that’s the thing i’m not sure what exactly it is i am being accused of.

When i get back home the first thing i do is open my laptop, and go to CC forum….but then i see a message come in from another mate , Simon Emanuel, who tells me it’s a ‘witch hunt’….and has sent me a screen shot of part of what exactly this lady has written about me, though i still can’t see everything…That ‘s when i realise it’s not the forum i thought it was. In fact the shit is going down on a forum called Comedians Collective. Which is a bummer for me as i’m not a member of this particular talking shop. I immediately ask – by clicking a link – if i can join the forum and even message one of the administrators saying ‘please can i join, and quick, as someone is saying stuff about me and i’d like the right to reply’.

anyway the jist of what this person is saying about me is based on a brief exchange 2 years ago on FB. I’ll quote it fully…tomorrow when i’m less knackered.

But in summary: I had told her, when i met her, that i run a gig near Swansea, and that perhaps she might b intrested in doing an open spot there. So she messages me on FB to remind me. She tells me that while she likes the idea of doing an unpaid open spot the train fare from Notts would be too much for her. To which i reply: Never mind, I will buy you dinner to compensate  – (I follow that with a smiley face).

So, like i say,  earlier this evening, roughly 2 years after said gig, she puts this exchange up, in the form of a screen shot, for all to see. And seems to be saying that i offered to buy her dinner because either i would not take no for an answer to my offer of an unpaid gig or I’m offering to buy her dinner instead of actually paying her.

Either way this is stressing me out , or did for an hour. Paul is all set to dictate my response (cos he is a member of the forum) when he tells me that the whole thread has been removed.

FFS i never offered to buy her dinner. i made an innocuous remark, i said i’d take her to dinner to compensate…it was a meaningless, playful joke…

The gig i did for her i recall driving 4 hours to and back to, for not great money, but there was a meal included… so now, just maybe, my remark may well have been a reference to that.

Whatever i said, i book a monthly  club which always, every single month, has a female comic, sometimes 2 or 3, on the bill.

I only distinguish between funny and non-funny acts, to me gender is not an issue – not within comedy. As someone who did 2 years of unpaid spots, and as someone who still gigs, I know full well the shit one often gets from bookers. In short, I would never ever, and have never,  book someone expecting anything in return….I respect the next person, be they female or male or………etc etc

 

Not sue why or what happened for the thread to get deleted. But i sure wish this person had contacted me first –  if there’s problem with communications then let’s fuckin talk about it.  She said she wanted to ‘archive’ the exchange…archive?! disingenuous or what !!! yeah , like archives have spaces underneath them inviting people to write nasty shit.

 

Oh yes and of course i’ve been explaining all this to my g’friend as it happens, in real time so to speak. we drive back from Argos, get a take away Thai meal, and i know i’ve nothing to hide from Eleri (my g’friend) cos i know i done nothing wrong..but she gets stressed along with me…

Of course there was that whole business last summer with the bloke in the welsh Eisteddfod – see elsewhere in this blog – who accused me on Twitter of doing a racist joke…that was really horrible, and i think Eleri foresaw a similar shit storm approaching. she told me she reckoned i went slightly mad during that previous traumatic episode…As it is this second accusation – though as i say it’s still not clear to me what the accusation was – seemed to go away a lot quicker. It’s easy to say ‘ i don’t care what people think about me’….and i do say it, but the trauma starts when they start thinking aloud, behind your fuckin back. If there was substance or truth to it, or if the accusation was presented in a civil way, I wouldn’t get so pissed off .

Ond duuwwwww

 

what’s the date? 23rd June??

I was shocked to find my arm in a cast….it’s the cast of Eastenders !

joke – sorry. time to be serious.

Political correctness is probably going to go mad now, sorry, go mentally challenged. ok i know people have done distasteful things in the name of art and comedy , in the past. But do the owners really have to remove them from our screens? do Disney really need to touch films in their back catalogue in order to make them more suitable for a current audience?? Can’t people just be allowed to watch and read these things as they originally created, and then make their own minds up?

He says, naively…

well, as far as i know, all the classic films i like were doctored well before i first saw them.

Monty Python’s FC famously sued an american TV channel for editing their sketches in the 70’s….now that’s right on!

June….19th 2020.

 

So i have been conducting interviews, or  chats if you will, over the computer….researching for a potential radio programme for Radio Cymru. A guy i spoke to yesterday happened to mention he’d read my ‘blogs’ with interest – i was gobsmacked…! Firstly i didn’t realise anybody read what i write here; second, i felt immediately ashamed for not keeping it up. Thanks Doctor Rhys Bevan.

Hence i write now….what else?

well…eeer….still no comedy gigs…..Nothing to report in that department.

Been co-working with a guy in Norfolk, Kai Barron. He’s helping me film a 7 minute sketch which is done via a Zoom style conference. The basic idea is: three versions of me from three separate universes, each talking from his own window, talking and interacting with each other. It’s been immensely tricky, especially from the technical side (which Kai sorts out on his side). But it’s slowly coming together,,,,watch this space!

The world is as weird as it’s ever been at present. Yesterday i saw a TV broadcast with Boris…it was so bizarre, and surreal, i thought it must be a parody. In it he’s going on about the trade agreement between UK and Australia. He illustrated its benefits by extolling the virtues of Tim Tams (some antipodean biscuit) a packet of which he proudly waves. Then he shares his vision of international exchange of Marmite and Vegemite…love him or hate him you can’t make this shit up !!