Andy Shaw is a British writer for the Spectator and the co-founder and organiser of London’s free-speech comedy club, Comedy Unleashed.
The first time I saw his tweet saying, “I have decided to lie down in the road until they stop climate change,” I didn’t catch the joke at all. It actually appeared to me like an interesting idea: taking the already tested ideas of hunger striking, school striking and rebellion for a safe climate to a next level of showing individual commitment and courage – right there, in the middle of a quiet side street. Like when a virus begins to spread and mutate…
Then it finally dawned on me that Shaw’s intention was to make me laugh in the same manner a bully in the school yards tries to make the other kids laugh while he is mocking his victim. Shaw’s intention was to be mocking Greta Thunberg and the Extinction Rebellion groups.
Which in my opinion isn’t all that funny, considering what they stand for, and what they are trying to achieve, and considering that there are young people today who are so frustrated, deeply depressed about the failure of our governments and fearful of their future that I foresee the day when they will no longer just be doing peaceful school strikes to get their message of desperation through.
Of course, what Andy Shaw is saying is that we should all just ignore those kids, just like he does.
Same way that radio host Tom Elliot and an alleged listener, Sue – or was it a hired actor reading her “satire” straight from a script? – were mocking Surf Coast’s famour climate emergency campaigner Alex Marshall on 3AW earlier this week:
Sure, humour can be many things, and we are not all on the same page. But in my world, mocking does not exactly qualify to be be labelled ‘humour’. Rather, that is just being mean and deplorable, and – considering the danger that the climate breakdown represents, and considering the insane political stallmate that has become the consequence of the general confusion among the public – Tom Elliot’s and Andy Shaw’s arrogant mocking is horrendously irresponsible and plain stupid. Certainly not even close to being ‘funny’.
Climate humour in Melbourne
In September, the Melbourne Fringe presents a couple of climate-related shows on its program, and from the look of the posters they will approach the topic from different, I’m hoping actually funny, angles. Go and see them, and let us know in the comment field below:
‘Killing the Planet is Against My Religion’
If you want some relief from the madness of the climate struggle, check out Tejopala Rawls’ stand-up show in the Melbourne Fringe called ‘Killing the Planet is Against My Religion’.
“By day I may work as a community organiser for the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. But by night…”
NB: If you use the code #ClimateStrike you’ll get tickets for $20 instead of $24 for opening night on 23 September 2019.
→ Get your tickets here:
‘An Inconvenient Comedy Show’
Also, Max Smith and Tim Lo Surdo and a number of others have a show on the same night right before Tejopala Rawls’ called ‘An Inconvenient Comedy Show’, so you might want to come to both!
NB: If you get those two shows and one other in the same transaction you get 15% off all three. That applies to all six nights, not just opening night.
→ More about The Inconvenient Comedy Show: