[Marxism] Re: Ali G

Ben C minnows at connexus.net.au
Tue Jul 20 19:33:30 MDT 2004

I agree that Ali G is subversive in mocking the powerful. He even (in my 
opinion) mocks the sexist attitudes that he puts on so forcefully. 
Unfortunately he does this too softly and too ambiguously.
While much of his act consists of exaggerating a stereotype to the point 
where its ridiculous nature becomes bleedingly obvious, I think this 
falls pretty flat where gender issues are concerned. It's not just Tony 
Benn who was offended. I have a pretty thick skin and I'm used to 
working around a lot of sexist cretins, but when he did a show on the 
"Alternative Cannes film festival" (whatever it's called) organised by 
the porn industry, I really couldn't see the difference between his 
joking leers and those of any other drooling "funny lad" having "a bit 
of a laugh" at the boobs and g-strings and so on. I recall the young 
woman I lived with also found him funny at first but was more rapidly 
turned off than I, for similar reasons.
I don't know that it's just a case that some of his audience don't get 
that he's being satirical; that's always a risk in satire and there 
isn't anything that can be done about stupid viewers. I really think his 
take on sexism is, at best, poorly thought out, and at worst, uses 
sexism for cheap laughs to bolster his more serious satire against the 
pretentious rich and powerful. I don't think that's very funny.
Ben C

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