EYEfind myself barred from the pleasure of following the feeds of five feathered-ego funny fellows. Is it cos EYEisBloke??
As regular readers may know, EYEis a gentleman gender mereologist but from time to time get mistaken for a Men’s Rights Activist. This misconception is most especially made by representatives of the whirling dervish chapter of radical feminisim who occasionally pop into my twitter feed to briefly confront and criticise an article or expression, before essentially conceding that they have lost their own argument by insisting on having the last word by blocking me.
Such behaviour may appear as hilarious as it is childish to any self respecting, rational minded, cultural and political libertarian out there who are old enough to open an account without parental permission.
Personally I had only just about got my head round the phenomenon when I started to witness something even more hilarious.
EYEis speaking about the recent, and entirely unironic, trend of liberal or left leaning (mostly male) comedians who have felt the need to take the significantly drastic measure of making me an unperson.
The first and most bizarre was Graham Linehan aka @glinner. EYEsay bizarre because although I did follow his feed, I hadn’t so much as tweeted the guy before discovering that EYEisBlocked.
I subsequently reached out to @glinner out of genuine curiosity but unsurprisingly he wasn’t prepared to waste any of his precious time offering proletariat scum like me a reason for his seemingly stalinist social media policy.
It struck me as quite remarkable behaviour from the man behind the sitcom that Raidió Teilifís Éireann rejected out of deference to their Papal overlords and a generation of Irish people are forever grateful to Channel 4 for picking up.
Even so, after a bit of digging around I discovered that I am far from special when it comes to this type of special treatment.
Seemingly he is a fan of blockbots and I may have transgressed onto his naughty step simply because I also follow journalist Milo Yiannopoulos. It turns out that @glinner is far from a fan of his work, especially after Milo wrote an article inferring that the co-creater of Father Ted is a pedophile apologist on the wrong side of the #gamergate debate.
Count Arthur Strong may have been my favourite sitcom of 2015 but even so it appears that….
So kudos to me…
Within weeks, EYEisBloked again. This time it was self identifying stand up comedian and radical feminist, Kate Smurthwaite.
Once again the internet’s most fabulous supervillain Milo was in the mix but at least this time EYEhad a moment’s interaction to point to when I discovered I had suddenly been no platformed.
EYEjoined in the discussion on the #bbbcbq hashtag after the quite extraordinary Sunday morning BBC television debate where (amongst other insanities) Kate completely lost the run of herself and called for Yiannopoulus to be arrested and locked up.
There had been similar fireworks the last time those two had been in a debating chamber together. On that previous occasion Smurthwaite accussed the conservative journalist of orchestrating a torrent of twitter abuse against her. Not unreasonably, based on her own evidence, Yiannopoulus responded by proposing that she was conflating ‘abuse’ with criticism.
Judge for yourself but to be honest even though Smurthwaite clearly was upset by her experience, I lost any sense of sympathy for her at the point that she started recounting how she had to turn her phone off during a friend’s funeral because of the constant stream of abuse.
It certainly takes a special type of narcissism to imagine that hundreds of trolls would be ‘jerking off’ to the New Internationalist article where she confesses to have cried for 10 minutes because someone called Dave thought her act was as funny as famine.
For this reason I wasn’t entirely surprised that my relatively innocuous (and valid) contribution to a discussion on a public platform resulted in my permanent banishment from the house of Smurthwaite.
Not entirely surprised and not remotely bothered either. I wasn’t following her feed and, in my humble subjective opinion, the funniest thing about Kate is the fact that she was once living the feminist dream as an Oxbridge STEM graduate with a promising career in investment banking and gave it all up to pursue a career as a feminist comedian who couldn’t even give her tickets away to a feminist society for free (two years in a row!)
My job is another stick used to beat me. I’m told that as a comedian I should ‘be able to take it as well as dish it out’, as though comedy is some sort of psychological boxing match. I’m told as a comedian I should make a joke about it – which is rather like punching Bono in the face and telling him to put it on his next album (and that, for the record, is a joke). Kate Smurthwaite
The same can’t be said for this next joker who’s twitter account EYEvery much did follow and who’s comedy I have very much enjoyed.
Mrs Bloke had even been planning to take me to see his new show as a birthday treat before he disappointingly lost the run of himself and indulged in a petty moment of micro shaming at my expense.
Richard and EYE have a difference of opinion about his International Non Wassocks Day shenanigans and in March we appeared to be engaging in a reasonably civil adult discussion about this until he decided that I was being rude and he was going to have to block me.
In fairness to Herring EYEdid suggest he was being smug. In my defence and from my perspective, he was being extremely smug and if he didn’t like what I had to say, he could have just stopped tweeting me. Once again, judge for yourself.
Most recently Hardeep Singh Kohli terminated me on twitter for this terrible thoughtcrime:
EYEdid quite like Kohl’s breakout comedy Meet the Magoons back in the day but haven’t had much time for him since his exceptionally unfunny, mean spirited and decidedly uncharitable contribution to comic relief in 2008.
In 2016 Hardeep was using the public platform to support the possibility of sacking someone who said something that some people perceived as being sexist. EYEis not in favour of real world sackings in reaction to virtual twitter storms so politely disagreed.
Aside from anything else Kohli’s contribution seemed to me to be more than a little uncharitable given that he got away with a six month suspension from BBC’s The One Show for something that I suspect most people would perceive to be much worse and much more sexist.
Ok so EYEwill hold my hands up and admit that my next black balling may have involved some mild trolling but when EYElearnt that the bloke who played misogynist millennial misanthrope Jez from Peep Show was writing a book about ‘MRA’s’, his public twitter persona peeked my interest.
And if you’re wondering how many times you can retweet his words of wisdom, along with the hashtag #WebWorldProblems
….before he’ll block you, then in my case, the answer was….
…a feathered fainting-couch falling FOUR…
Hopefully this comedy black list doesn’t grow further because it’s always disappointing to witness funny people suddenly taking themselves far too seriously.
The common denominator with all of these particular professional, paid provocateurs appears to be that they’re more than happy to dish it out but struggle to maintain their preferred public personas when some amateur attempts to give as good as they get.
Smurthwaite spends much of her time these days being paid to spout shouty confrontational opinions on publicly funded tv and radio. It’s a bit rich to then cry foul when people shout back because she considers her public twitter profile should only exist to promote her commercial interests in a positive manner.
Even if he only admits it when it suits him, Herring confronts thousands of strangers every year and infers that they are sexist idiots. Meanwhile Graham Linehan appears to be the comedy king of the trolls who when he isn’t doxing members of the community because he doesn’t like their opinion…
… he’s picking fights with parody accounts…
I guess that some adults just need their safe spaces more than others…