Fun email correspondence as a result of today's appearance on the Richard Bacon show promoting my Christ on a Bike DVD
. A man called Stuart Collins (which is a bit suspicious, a hybrid of my two double act partners - possibly actually one or both of them?) emailed me to say
"i listened to your typical lefty marxist hatred of christians on that other lefty richards bacons show. and what i deducted from that is, would your headline a gig called the prophet mohammed on a bike and take the piss out of and mock muslims,,we all know the answer to that..apart from frankie boyle and a few other exceptions you middle class leafy surburb living left wing so called comedians run terrified and scared when it comes to islam and muslims,,it so easy for the likes of you and these other so called comedians to pick on easy targets like christians to mock and make fun of, because up till now you have got away with it..you middle class lefty comedians might be funny to your middle class left wing clique audiences but working class people like me find you boring,tedious and just franky unfunny..be equal and take the piss and mock muslims the same way you do with christians you gutless lefty cowards..stuart from birmingham"
I like the idea of being Franky Unfunny though. Might rename myself. I found this unsolicited reaction amusing rather than upsetting and it's an attitude that Stewart Lee (also from Birmingham - suspicious) is mocking very amusingly in his latest show. It seems that what Stuart objects to is not me mocking Christianity, but the fact that I am not mocking Muslims. I have to mock everything. I replied
"As you have clearly not seen my work it seems a bit weird that you're telling me what I will and won't do. Christ on a Bike mocks my own atheism much more than it does Christians or Christianity. Plenty of comics are tackling Islam in their routines and I have a small amount of stuff on it, but I don't consider myself to be mocking Christ or Christians and don't see why, even if I was, why I would have to equally mock everyone. I write about what I want. I might equally say to you that you are very critical of lefty marxist comedians (I am not one of them by the way) and I hope you are also e-mailing right wing fascist comedians to complain to them too. We all have the freedom to talk about what we want and I don't expect to appeal to everyone, nor do I aim to. I think you presumptions about class and who would be interested in what subjects is just as offensive to working class people as it is to middle class people. Just cos you don't like something doesn't mean you speak for a whole class.
Thanks for your comments.
I am a big fan of Jesus and Christianity and am proud of my middle class parents, as I am of my working class grandparents. But I doubt that you will be interested in refining your own prejudices by bothering to actually watch some of the stuff I do. I feel the same about all religions, including Islam and have no problem in saying so. Most religious people, as you'll have heard me say, are brilliant people regardless of their choice of God.
If you are a Christian I'd start by having a read of the New Testament because your email is a bit out of whack with the teachings of Christ
All the best
Stuart responded, missing my point a little bit,
"who are these right wing fascist comedians.name them please,,if you are suggesting that my favorite comedians like frankie boyle and alan carr are right wing fascists,,well that is saying something i did not know..right wing fascists,left wing fascists,islamo fascists,,i have no time for none of them mate..."
He is quite fascistic in his hatred of fascists wouldn't you say? Better than having to deal with everything equally, it's probably best we stick with the current unfascistic system where we can talk about the things we want to and are interested in rather than having to make sure you mock everything, even things that you think don't need or deserve to be mocked.
It's harder as a non-Muslim to "mock" Islam and obviously it's a different thing to concentrate on a minority religion, who are already the subject of prejudice and opprobrium (whatever that is), but there are several good Muslim comics doing so, and increasingly non-Muslims are also finding humour in the religion - there's a good joke about burkhas on next week's Objective. But let's not let facts get in the way of a good rant. I certainly feel like I am the prejudiced one here who needs to look at my motives.