Posts Tagged ‘blind’

Shut up, you smart ass raptor. If you’re so smart why are you extinct? #evolutionburn

Sound advice, I suppose. Until something unfair actually happens to you. This was the advice I was given when I witnessed the worse kind of discrimination in the world… the type that is against me.

I had seen an advertisement for a local comedy competition and being that I was a local comedian, thought I should enter. The competition was held in a dodgy little meeting room in a paint-by-numbers hotel.

The competition seemed fairly well run with the rules being read out, the contestants and judges introduced and the criteria for assessment explained in full. The criteria included content, crowd interaction, originality, body language and use of the floor (as in the space provided – not actual use of the floor in which case levitation would be an immediate disqualification)

The contestants then drew numbers (luckily I had been attending art classes so my drawing skills were pretty good), but regrettably I drew “number 1” which meant I was up first. Once my name was called I stepped up to the stage and performed my 7 minute routine which, at least by my own admission, was stellar.

My confidence was further buoyed by the fact that the next 3 contestants were terrible. Unfunny; nervous; reading off sheets of paper; it was terrible, like watching surgery on a train wreck. So I felt that I had the contest in the bag although there was a bit of apprehension when I saw a bit of “procedural irregularities” occurring during the contest which I will mention after the result which I’m sure you’ve already guessed.

So the winners are announced and for some strange reason they said I was in second. I asked the person next to me if I had heard correctly and then started looking around for hidden cameras because this had to be one of those candid camera reality shows. Alas, nothing.

Now I’ve lost many comedy competitions in my life. I’ll chalk it down to being so ahead of my time that my comedy isn’t understood by most (when in all likelihood I’m just not that funny), but to lose when there was such damningly ridiculous bias made me want to spit.

Allow me to elaborate on those procedural irregularities. The individual who won not only was terrible, her “original” material was to quote the several types of personalities on facebook. I say “quote” as to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was going to give credit to the original authors of the material, but she probably just did that silently afterwards. That’s not even the problem because to get into what is original these days is so subjective that we’d be here for another 10000 pages and still have no resolution.

What was objectively unfair was the fact that one of the judges was her husband.

What made matters worse was… HE WAS BLIND!

Now I’m all for comedy being for everyone and that the disabled should be included, but at what point does it become patently ridiculous to be judged on criteria such as “use of the floor” and “body language” by a blind man?

It gets better… because he couldn’t see what scores he was writing, he would simply tell his wife (the contestant that won) what score to write down.

“Give Gareth a 72%” (she writes 52%)

“Give yourself a 75% (she writes 105%)

The cherry on top was that she read her entire routine… NOT THAT HER HUSBAND THE JUDGE WOULD’VE KNOWN!!!!

AAAAAAARGH!!!!!

Life’s not fair… get over it… well I’m tired of “getting over it”

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As comedians a lot of our “job” is based on stereotypes; preconceived ideas that people have about everything from race to religion, hair colour to occupation. Well either that or unique observations that are completely original. HAHAHA! That was a joke.

You might think that’s “hack” but it’s not, even if I can summarise every race- based joke into the following line, “Have you ever noticed how different race groups think and act differently?” Hilarious, I know! Just wait till you hear my summary of all religious jokes: “Have you ever noticed how people from different religious beliefs think and act differently?” Good one, hey?

But not all stereotypes are bad, there are a few good ones…like Sony or Samsung and LG isn’t too bad if you’re on a budget.

Bad puns about sound equipment aside, stereotypes are important to humour and so many of these important stereotypes are based on colour. We base so much of what is funny, unfunny and racially insensitive based on colour. The absorption and refraction of light – sensitive subject I know. For example, I have a black friend who is always complaining that dogs only bark at black people, which is strange because dogs are colour blind. If anything dogs only bark at grey people, but that’s not funny. Grey isn’t funny, just ask accountants.

If you were colour blind jokes would be completely wasted on you. “So this dumb light grey haired woman walks into a bar…” or “So I punched this kid with freckles and a certain shade of grey hair”

Grey is also terribly unromantic. Just imagine trying to write poetry if you were colour blind. “Roses are grey, violets are grey, I love your grey eyes, what else can I say?”

The majesty of Chameleons would also be really boring. “Hey look how that lizard changed from greyish grey to more of a light greyish grey-ey grey”
Even something as ordinary as picking tea becomes a nightmare. “Would you like Chinese grey tea, Greybos or Earl Grey?”

But most importantly you wouldn’t understand most of the comedy coming out of South Africa, because how are hack comedians like me going to entertain you if you don’t know that grey people can’t dance and other grey people are bad drivers or how am I going to make you laugh if you don’t know that some grey people can’t swim and other grey people are always bartering? It’s impossible! What am I going to do? Resort to original and unique observations about life that aren’t based on colour? Ha! You’re funny man! I’d suggest you go into comedy but being colour blind you wouldn’t make it a day.

You colour blind people are all the same. Maybe I could make a joke about that…