Friday, 10 September 2010

Poem: Joke Rape World

Note: This was published by Erotic Review. You can see it here:

The comedian’s onstage
And he’s pissed at the poncey liberal middle classes
So far up their own arses
He wants to explode their politeness
Test their preconceptions
Which he can seize, rebuild and freeze
And then hold up them high
As an example of comedy’s progression
He’s had several Bill Hicks sessions
He knows the score
Thinks comics who talk about nothing are a bore
So he decides to be “dark”
He decides to be “edgy”
And anyone who doesn’t laugh
They’re just too cagey

So rape joke after rape joke
Shoots out of his mouth
And it’s all cool
He can handle the audience’s “ooohhh”s
Because if you’re offended
He’ll refuse to mend it
He’s being ironic, y’see
And doesn’t really mean it

So for a few minutes that room becomes Joke Rape World
While downstairs in the pub a girl
Goes to the toilet, her staggering ever so slight
She’s had one too many, but that’s alright
It’s Saturday night
And after a hard week’s work
She deserves to relax
But as she turns her back
Her date gets out his wrap
And pours the powdered white fellas
Into her Stella

And the following morning, naked, she wakes alone
Although she swears somebody walked her home
Her heads thumping
Stomach’s churning
Usual Sunday hangover burning
But then
She feels a sting in between her thighs
Reaches down, lightly touching the pain
Examines her fingertips, and her eyes strain
At the dark, drying blood
And she feels the red rising of silent shame
And because she can’t remember
She thinks she’s to blame

The comedian continues
Leading the audience through the world of sarcasm he’s built
And after every laugh
They have a tiny collective spasm of guilt
But there’s no looking inward as to why
Waving that social conscience goodbye
Because the chances are good the comedian doesn’t hate women
Just loves the superiority of the stage
And the glow of winning
The rape jokes are just short cuts
To an easy reaction
And there’s no harm
As long as he’s funny
And his timing’s tight…

… Right?

But just because he’s not a misogynist
Doesn’t mean he can’t preach it
And just because he’s attempting rebellion
Doesn’t mean he can’t teach the shit
We’ve been fed all our lives
Irony without a reason
Is just an empty excuse for teasing
And it takes the piss
Because when that comedian leaves the mic
Joke Rape World still exists
It insists on slicing our ears
To the sound of billions of women
Hammering at every wall of all the years
And rape just becomes something
That happens on our TVs
And as the audience leaves
No one sees
The guy leading the paralytic girl
Towards the humming taxi

Rape jokes just keep rape in its silent cage
And irony puts a stitched smile on the victim’s face
It’s all about emphasis and perspective
About where all your comedic rage is directed
And this is where the problem gets dissected
Because there are some funny aspects of this harsh subject
Tearing into a system that gives longer sentences to weed dealers
Telling us a girls deserve it just because they’re too easy
Being drunk, wearing short skirts
They’re asking to be hurt
All these things can be the aim of satire
A torch to set fire to unthinking views
And this our cue to put a stop to it
Because if irony’s a comedian’s only excuse
It just doesn’t fucking cut it

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