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 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 9:35 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

The example I immediately thought of was the threat of domestic violence rather than an explicit depiction. Anyone who has watched the TV series THE HONEYMOONERS with Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows no doubt remembers Gleason frequently making a fist and yelling "To the Moon, Alice, To the Moon!" during arguments. The audience laughs every time.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Wasn't there some movie in the 80's starring a comedian who's character punched out ladies in the film? I remember it getting a lot of bad press at the time.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TO ERIK- Yes the whole honeymooners comedy was filled with that type of anger. It reminds me of one of the classic shows when Ralph and Ed get on the wrong train going to the convention and in typical style ED being the nuisance he can be keeps on annoying ralph while he is trying to sleep, Ed says, do you mind if I smoke? in which Ralph replies- I don't care if you burn-[ouch] [The burning bed] life can be strange at times, comedy can play a very thin line.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

In Sean Connery's defense, I like him as an actor and I don't know him as a human being. The same goes for Mozart: the fact he was nailing women while married to his wife doesn't detract from his music.

They were also men of another era. This doesn't excuse the opinion that slapping a woman is "right in context" but it does show how far we've come as a Western culture.

I'd add this though: the issue shouldn't be "if a man hits a woman" so much as "if anyone hits anyone". The issue should be violence, and not based on relationship or family contexts.

This said, I'll expose myself with my sense of humor: I adore "Married... With Children". I think it is sometimes the supreme farce of the nuclear family (The Simpsons stopped that schtick ages ago and are no longer relevant) and it occasionally trips into gallows humor like domestic abuse.

Peggy: Did you miss me, Al?
Al: With every bullet so far.

Now that's not abuse per se but it does set me into a fit of laughter.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 12:58 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I think almost everything can be joked about, including domestic violence. But it obviously depends very much on how it's done and in what context.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 1:22 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Comedians had a field day with the whole Chris Brown Rihanna story years ago, so yes:

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Womens' perceptions of themselves have changed since the 1960's when some of the sitcoms referred to here were made. That, and the fact that we now know that women are in greatest danger from inside the family, has changed the landscape for domestic abuse ever being considered funny nowadays. It isn't and the scene from "A Fine Madness" shows the Connery character really punching Joanne Woodward with a swing fit for a boxing professional. Not funny. Too many women and children live with this violence today for it ever to be laughed at.

The interview with Barbara Walters and Connery when he talks about 'the slap' against women....Walters says at the end Connery has been married for decades to the same woman and that 'we've never heard a single complaint' from her!! With a threat of violence I wouldn't complain either.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 1:54 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

You said it. I always believed if you are going to handle something of that nature in a moral sense you should make it strong and serious, because then the viewer will not take it lightly. Fatal attraction[not talking about the movie] is about the most destructive thing in this world.It makes something that is really terrible and wrong seemed like it is right.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 1:54 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)


 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 2:20 PM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

Just an observation: when you read "domestic violence" how many of you have as a first image a woman being abbused by a man? That's my gripe with the thing, whether it's racism or sexism or domestic violence, there is also THE guilty party and THE victim, and never shall it be otherewise and even if so, that's an exception and never a percentage far bigger than anyone ever wants to admit.
Second observation: when you read "domestic violence" how many of you think of physical violence? Same gripe on that one.

There is no race more or less racist both sexes are equally sexist and domestic violence can be physical or mental, and as for mental abuse, women use that where men use physical abuse. Trouble is, you can't show physical evidence of being abused mentally by your spouse.

Rape? There was big laughter in "Married with children" when Bud Bundy gets abused by women. Had Kelly Bundy been portrayed in the same situation, the series, its makers and actors would have been lynched for making fun of abuse of women.
Women hitting men? Funny, especially if they kick in the groin. Men hitting women? Ah ah no way that will be funny.

There is a law for the one and a law for the other, and that's what I find most offending of all.

As for Sean Connery, I understand what he means, and I don't think lesser of him though I say this: that if a person, male AND FEMALE has to resort to violence within a relationship, you already lost and something is very wrong. The fact that he talks about hitting a woman is to me on the same level as if there had been actress X, Y or Z saying the same thing.

If a woman hits me, she's gonna get as she gave. She decided to pull me into the arena, she has to pay for my ticket out of there too.


 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 2:33 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Disco Stu, you make some valid comments about "equal opportunity" domestic violence. But, by virtue of sheer physical strength men always have the 'advantage'. Those issues of psychological abuse have been well traversed in cinema, in very good dramas. I'm referring specifically to comedy.

And the 'gags' about men being kicked in the groin? Where did that defense mechanism come from in the first place? Men's inappropriate and unwanted attention to females. As was said earlier, when women behave LIKE men in popular culture this doesn't signal (to me) any particular advantage or equality - it's just a sell-out. So the shrill behaviour of modern women in popular culture cannot ever be regarded as female equality, IMO. They merely exert 'equal opportunity' to be offensive.

We know the social and physical costs of domestic violence and to argue that it's both sexes doesn't reduce the power of the argument: it's never funny.

If anyone has seen the British TV series, "Little Britain" they will have seen a female character called Ting Tong. She's a mail order bride from some third world Asian nation and she's expected to perform sexually for the David Walliams character. It's totally offensive, but on another level it is funny because Ting Tong feels empowered and important!! This isn't domestic violence per se, but sexual exploitation.

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 7:17 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Oh, somebody's been following the recent Saachi thing.

I think Mr. Connery is probably remembering the old Scottish colloquialism to describe a woman of less than sublime aesthetic appearance:

'She has a face ye wouldnae get tired o' batterin'.'

 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 9:42 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

Ralph Kramden's signature line was a pretty dire threat to Alice. It was defused by the fact that it never happened and Alice's eye-roll every time Ralph said it. Still, The Honeymooners was built around a pretty direct threat of domestic violence.

 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 1:17 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

Jokes about anything, including domestic violence, can be funny.

 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

What is and isn't funny is a personal line that you draw for yourself - even in comedy that doesn't deal with potentially offensive matters.

In my personal taste, very few jokes about domestic, violent, or sexual crimes are funny - almost none. And in the ones that are funny to me, the butt of the joke is the perpetrator. If the victim is the butt of the joke, or if the crime itself is the punchline, it's almost certainly not going to be funny to me.

You can find a-million-and-one thinkpieces online if you spend some time looking, about how certain aspects of our culture perpetuate those kinds of jokes, or a flippant attitude towards these very serious crimes. I tend to agree with those, and I hope that some of you will research and, whether you agree or not, put some serious critical thought into the matter. Either way, nothing is going to change the fact that some people make a living with that kind of joke, and some people find that kind of thing funny.

 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 6:57 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Since we have expanded domestic violence to include emotional abuse I would add, I Love Lucy. Recardo used his anger to put Lucy in her place, often in a demeaning manner. She was most certainly terrified of his volatile nature. But it was all for laughs back then.

 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Since we have expanded domestic violence to include emotional abuse I would add, I Love Lucy. Recardo used his anger to put Lucy in her place, often in a demeaning manner. She was most certainly terrified of his volatile nature. But it was all for laughs back then.

I never found Dezi funny and "I Love Lucy" was absolutely full of shouting which nobody in our family ever much liked. Some of Lucy's individual segments were funny, like the one where she was on the chocolate production line and couldn't deal with them fast enough so she started eating them. But the shouting was awful. I'll never forget that Uncle Harry used to shout "Lucille". In their defense, however, I think that those programs made after Dezi had gone out of them were more like 'cartoons' with their pratfalls and commedia del art characterizations. I just grew tired of the shouting.

And mstrox makes some very intelligent and thought-provoking comments, which I agree with. There is such a thing as "black" humour - it's a legitimate genre - which laughs about serious things, like death, political correctness etc. But we go too far if we think dreadful crimes are funny, like those previously mentioned. There was a film called "Oh, What a Lovely War". I wouldn't watch it because I thought somebody would have to be on acid to make a film like that - and he was!!!

"Dr. Strangelove" laughed about nuclear destruction - but I felt this film was meant to be satirical and a wake-up call to the world. The ending, with it's song "We'll Meet Again", made that very point. And it is MADNESS to consider nuclear war. The film was actually a powerful anti-war message.

 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

One of the many things I don't like about Tyler Perry's Madea movies is how often the Madea character threatens violence. I find there's just something not funny about it in the same way that Moe's violence, real or threatened, towards the other Stooges was never really that funny. Over exaggerated violence, like Jonathan Winters' tearing down the gas station in MAD WORLD, can be funny, as long as it's cartoonish and has no real-world consequences, but it's a fine line you have to walk. THE WAR OF THE ROSES, now there's a movie comedy that dealt with domestic violence that was about as funny as hemorrhoids.

 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 10:46 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Since initially posting in this thread, I've had a good think....yes, domestic violence can be funny - but context is everything...another example added to the others - I used to get a giggle now and again over Wally Batty getting a pasting with a broomstick from his wife THERE was an abusive relationship (amongst many in that show, come to think of it), yes - it can, but context is key...

 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 12:30 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

"The War of the Roses" was possibly one of the worst films I've ever seen!!

I agree that context is very important in considering these issues. However, we know so much more now about the nature and real extent of domestic violence that the humour has long gone from past attempts to make it funny. Some comedy stands the test of time - we know that - but other comedy does not. I submit that domestic violence is no longer grist for the humour mill.

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