Tim Minchin’s “Woody Allen Jesus” Christmas Song

The best new Christmas song of the year (by Tim Minchin):

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Unfortunately, though Tim Minchin’s segment was taped for the Jonathan Ross Show, it didn’t actually air. It was nixed as too controversial. But Minchin, given a copy of the segment before the decision to nix it occurred, put it on YouTube.

Too bad it’s unsafe for artists, singers, and songwriters to deconstruct Muhammad in a similar fashion.

 

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to Tim Minchin’s “Woody Allen Jesus” Christmas Song

  1. Paradigm says:

    Yes, since the caricatures of Muhammed every joke of this sort is an implicit reminder of how almost every comedian or artist avoid to comment on islam. Which overshadows the original statement. I mean it is a bit lame being controversial as long as it is completely safe.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Yes, the worst that will happen if you try to make fun of Jesus on television or in a movie is that a nervous studio executive will pull the plug on you.

      That’s still pretty darn bad, if you ask me. It lends energy to pro-Muhammadans who clamor for censorship and “community standards” laws in general.

      So artists shouldn’t stop parodying other “sacred cows” simply because the Muhammad one continues to be dangerous to parody. It’s losing hard won freedom-ground to dismiss parody as cowardice unless it reaches to Muhammad as well.

      Parody is a crucial element in the arsenal of cultural change. For example, after the global debacle which was WWI, war and nationalism went from things to be praised without irony to things worthy of being joked about (I’m thinking of the Marx Brothers’s film “Duck Soup” and Chaplan’s parody of Hitler). Making anti-gay bigots look ridiculous in film and television (such as in the film, “American Beauty”) has also advanced the cause of gay rights.

      Islamists hate and fear parody because it can deeply influence mass perceptions over time. It erodes stupidity and makes it culturally embarrassing to espouse it. It’s shorthand, in a Twitter universe, for a more extended argument (which most can’t be bothered to follow). And parody activates those parts of the human brain not conducive to authoritarianism (religious or political)—what Pinker calls “the better angels of our nature.”

      —Santi

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