Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carry On Crap

The Carry On films are "parables about failure."
They "held up a cartoonish mirror to the depressed and repressed Britain of the 1950s and 1960s."

You can read more such bollocks in an article in today's Guardian. And, this being the Guardian, there's the predictable whinge about their portrayal of women.

I've never been very keen on the Carry On films and don't think I've ever watched one right through. About 20 minutes is usually enough for me. But to write several hundred words about their supposed cultural significance is as absurd as the plot of one of the films.

There's actually a clue about their true nature in one of the quotes above.
Although not a mirror, they are certainly a cartoon. And frothing with tight-arsed indignation about a cartoon is just plain silly. It's like people complaining about violence in Tom and Jerry or right-wing religious nutters in America and Poland fearing that one of the Teletubbies is gay.
Although I've never like animated cartoons, I quite like cartoon-style comedy using real actors. That's how I see Roy Clarke's 'Keeping Up Appearances', although 30 minutes of that style of comedy is usually enough at one go.

The writer of this article says that when her grandmother heard the line "Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me!", which she loved, it rang true. It summed up her life.
I suspect she liked it simply because it's one of the best-loved puns in the language.
I've sometimes said it at bad times in my life and it always makes me smile. Rather than summing up a particular life or the human condition, it points up the absurdity of histrionic paranoia. It won't work if you're clinically depressed or paranoid but if it makes you smile you can be reassured that you're neither of those things, just going through one of life's regular, rough patches.


At 6:26 PM, Blogger Geoff said...

"The Carry On audience - people like my grandparents - did not have opportunities to travel or do creative jobs."

Exactly. Neither did my grandparents or parents back then. And even now I'm waiting for that "creative" job too.

My dad liked Bernard Bresslaw but I don't think he liked Carry Ons.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Most of the population are waiting for that creative job.
Some letters to the Guardian have since made similar points.


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