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Wednesday 29th July 2009

Maybe all publicity ends up being good publicity after all. There has been so much support for me, along with the inevitable and understandable backlash that people are over-reacting (which I can see the point of, but ultimately the misrepresentation is potentially damaging) and the comedy community has stood up solidly against this slight ( here's Chortle's take on the furore). I guess that given that the article has provoked debate and given the sudden new immediacy of response that we all have thanks to the internet that in the end this is going to get people talking about my show and hopefully pique their interest in seeing it. The Guardian have given Brendan Burns and me the chance to respond in G2 on Friday, which means that hopefully most Guardian readers will get a more balanced view of Hitler Moustache.
With the initial gut-churning shock and disappointment having passed I did start to wonder if I had over-reacted. Had I been over-sensitive? Had I caused this wave of righteous anger?
I decided that it wasn't down to me. I think a few of you might have been prompted into action by my blog, but most of this dissent and surprise sprung up independently of me. I have heard nothing from Brian Logan himself. I don't know if this was a deliberate stitch up, or whether he just took his eye off the ball and didn't think about the way he was portraying us. I can't quite work it out. It's either malicious or incompetent as far as I can see, neither of which reflects very well on him as a critic. But I would love to hear his side and to be honest an apology and explanation from him would go a long way to resolving the issue in my mind.
Anyway, most of my day was spent trying to put together the article. It was a tough ask as I only had a limited amount of time and words and there was a lot to say. It's difficult when you have to write a piece like this against the clock - mistakes creep in and arguments can drift - it's very possible that this is the cause of the original deficiencies in Monday's article.
I finally got my article down to the required length - though had to cut 600 words of my original rant and then had to head off to Brighton for two gigs (luckily in the same venue). I got an email through saying the editor liked the article but thought it needed more of a through line. I was angry about this for a while because I thought I'd nailed it, but on my return home I re-read the bit and agreed with her and although it was 1am, I had a go at rectifying the problems. I ended up changing it quite a lot and for the better. I was a bit less cross by now and made it a bit lighter in tone, though it's quite a dry piece about how and why comedians are offensive (and if actually). I didn't finish til about 3, but it was worth the effort. It felt good to have put my side of things and I was pleased to have made the point that there is nothing new in comedy and that new "trends" are usually just the invention of journalists.
Then I looked at Chortle to find that Adam Hills had written an article which brilliantly and hilariously nailed the entire issue. You can read what he said here. It's probably best for comedians to deal with all of this through comedy. But then again maybe I had to take the accusations (mainly) seriously.
It has been non stop in the last week or so, with two or three major disturbances to normality and stressful and depressing issues to deal with (and not all are documented here). I have also been pushing myself with work and the gigs. I start heading north tomorrow and am not packed yet and have a lot more to do. But I realised how tired I was when I got in the car to head home. I pressed the accelerator rather than the brake when I was attempting to get into gear in my automotic car. The engine revved like an angry animal. Luckily no harm could be done as I was still in Park. But I worried that tiredness might make me capable of more serious mistakes. Two shows back to back is more exhausting than you might imagine, even without everything else going on as well.
I stopped to get some petrol as I left town. The garage was in night mode and I had to pay through the grill without entering the actual shop bit. I handed the lonely looking man my money, feeling sorry for him that he was imprisoned for the night behind that sheet of glass. He gave me my receipt and my change. "Cheers Dan," I said to him. I think I got caught up between calling him "Dude" (as I am still calling everyone) and "Man" and in my weariness it came out wrong. I actually worried that it had sounded more like I had called him "Dad" like you sometimes used to call your teacher "Mum" at primary school. I could do a Marty McFly and call him Daddio, but I was not in the 1950s and in any case he might have heard "Dan". He might have been called Dan, which would be pretty freaky for him, but he probably wasn't, which was even more freaky. I think he probably didn't care, but I embarrassedly tried to correct myself, muttering "Dan?" to myself, but then failing to form a coherent sentence and just walking off mumbling and feeling like a prick.
Luckily somehow, the driving Gods managed to guide me home.

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