Sunday, 1 July 2012

Unintentional Comedy Week

You can tell Tynwald Day is approaching because government bodies – both local and national – have been pushing junk mail through our letterbox. The professionals’ are getting increasingly desperate for anyone at all to turn up to what they laughingly describe as a ‘programme of events’.
If yesterday’s entertainers in Strand Street, Douglas, are an example this is no surprise. I’m guessing that the white faced lads in stripey shirts were clowns, and not government advisors demonstrating their usual disorientation in time and place. If so, they were following what Alexei Sayle once called the Open University Theory of Comedy, which states that if you have a white face and baggy trousers you must be funny. As Sayle so rightly argued: “Didn’t work for Mussolini, did it?”
Unlike Manx public sector senior executives, of course, who would happily work for anyone and do anything, providing they get to arrange their own salary, expenses and pension.
I said last week that I see no point in looking in on the farce being played out on Tynwald Hill. From the comments on the IOM Newspapers site it looks like most of the Manx public agree. Similarly, in my (quite large) workplace I don’t know one person who plans to waste a perfectly good day off work watching one bunch of chumps in penguin suits watching another bunch of chumps playing out the disturbing arcadian visions of some Edwardian clergyman after too much  communion wine. George Bernard Shaw always said you should try everything once except incest and folk dancing, which rules out both Manx politics and Manx heritage as far as I’m concerned.
Both, sad to say, are equally in evidence judging from the other leaflet we got through the letterbox, threatening us with another Ramsey National Week. Everything from the opening attraction ( a photographic exhibition around Royal Visits to Ramsey which, judging from the Commissioners I saw sneaking out of the Ramsey Town Hall back door, I’m guessing involved surreptitious public outlay on alcohol) through to the closing event (Ramsey Songs of Praise and Blessing of the Lifeboat) is sure to have the ratepayers turning up in……oh….. their half-dozens.
Another highlight is 100 years of Manx Fairy Tales at the Methodist Centre, supported by the Ramsey Heritage Trust. So that’s a night of more supernatural whimsy dreamt up by the aforementioned Edwardian dipsomniacs at a church which no longer dares to even call itself a church, run by a few navel-gazing geriatrics who used their considerable political connections to deprive Ramsey of the last affordable venue for kids parties and fundraising events in order to pass around their old photos and whinge about how everything was better when they were young.
Of course it was. Because during their working lives anything in Ramsey for anyone under the age of 70 that was not closed through their daytime business incompetence was shut by their evenings of local governmental neglect.
You would think by now the organisers - a tight, self-interested collection of  bods whose tiny social circle and limitless daytime availability  means they can elect themselves on to every local and national government advisory committee going – might have got the message. Two weeks back, at a fundraising curtain raiser to the ‘main event’ held in the Town Hall, they were reduced to buying all the raffle tickets because nobody else turned up to find out what we are in for. At least, I take it that is why all the names drawn out of the hat were committee members.
By now some disgruntled plastic patriot will be asking why all us dissatisfied punters don’t try and do better instead of moaning. That would be because we’re not moaning, Dearie, we’re too busy laughing.
At both the sheer naffness of this and the Diamond Jubilee fiascos on the day after Tynwald and the fact that, in order for a fewTrumpton dignitaries and business bumpkins to have another chance to out-yokelise each other, everybody else gets two days off work and free of the lot of them.
At least these chumps got that right –  even if by accident.

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