Punch and Judy

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Wednesday 28 September 2016 10.32pm
Zoe wrote:
I've pondered this and I think it's because of the difference in setting and the figure of the devil being used. I don't have a problem with people doing a parody of Corbyn, but repeatedly suggesting he is the devil in a children's show in a way that frightened a child is probably going too far, particularly when that message is reinforced by the media.
There is also a difference between saying someone is a witch (though I think it's really sexist to call Thatcher a witch, she was an evil Tory but it's nothing to do with her being a woman) and saying someone is the devil.

When you compare the two figures, the devil is a universal character that represents the underworld and all that is evil, whereas a witch is a fairly benign figure. This is why it has to be qualified as a wicked witch, as opposed to the good witch of the north. You don't get the good devil of the north and the wicked devil, it's just the devil.

I also think that parents shouldn't have to expect a highly politicised Punch and Judy. There are often 'baddies' but it's universal figures rather than anything too extreme.


The good devil's God :)
Thursday 29 September 2016 7.02am
Wasn't Punch and Judy always political?
Thursday 29 September 2016 9.13am
Zoe, stop being so PC.
Witches are both male and female.
Thatcher was not just an evil Tory, she was truly wicked and worked her magic and spells in destroying the miners and did so with great gusto.
Wicked witch suits her most admirably.
Much as I admire Corbyn he is going to have to weather much larger storms than being Mr Punch.
Thursday 29 September 2016 12.34pm
Thebunhouse wrote:
stop being so PC.

Why?
Zoe
Thursday 29 September 2016 9.14pm
Yes, I don't see any reason to not be PC. Being PC is about respecting others and being polite and considerate, along with not being a bigot. What's so wrong with that.

Men are not called witches, it's used for women along with terms like old hag. I'm from a mining village and both sides of my family were miners. For us Thatcher was the enemy, but I still see no reason to be sexist about her.
Thursday 29 September 2016 10.57pm
Zoe wrote:
Yes, I don't see any reason to not be PC. Being PC is about respecting others and being polite and considerate, along with not being a bigot. What's so wrong with that.
Men are not called witches, it's used for women along with terms like old hag. I'm from a mining village and both sides of my family were miners. For us Thatcher was the enemy, but I still see no reason to be sexist about her.

For quite some time, having an opinion on immigration was seen as bigoted and racist. Nothing wrong with PC when it's adopted correctly, you don't see kids with them dolls anymore and our jam is free from racist symbols. I mention them because they were two major points in my development as a kid.

PC can be used and abused though.

Anyway, Thatcher was an old battle axe...oh
Friday 30 September 2016 8.35am
To get back to Punch and Judy - there's a long tradition of children's entertainers including a few references or jokes to appeal to any adults present. They're supposed to go straight over the kiddies' heads and set the adults laughing. I've no idea what the context was in this particular show, but the performer seems to have misjudged it - it seems to have frightened (some of) the children, and offended (some of) the adults.

Punch is inherently anti-establishment, and totally non-PC himself. He throws the baby out of the window, beats his wife, defies the law (embodied in the policeman, the judge and the hangman) and even outwits the Devil himself to avoid retribution. (Not sure where the crocodile comes in.)

Corbyn can surely only be perceived as a 'red Devil' by the old Blairite Labour Party establishment - so by identifying him with the Devil, this Punch and Judy performer was supporting the establishment view - totally inappropriate in the context of the show!

From Wikipedia - this is what Charles Dickens said about it:
'In my opinion the street Punch is one of those extravagant reliefs from the realities of life which would lose its hold upon the people if it were made moral and instructive. I regard it as quite harmless in its influence, and as an outrageous joke which no one in existence would think of regarding as an incentive to any kind of action or as a model for any kind of conduct. It is possible, I think, that one secret source of pleasure very generally derived from this performance… is the satisfaction the spectator feels in the circumstance that likenesses of men and women can be so knocked about, without any pain or suffering.'

Actually, what about Nigel Farage as the Devil (Punch is a European immigrant, after all) and Jeremy Corbyn as the crocodile, attempting to seize Punch's ill-gotten profits (the sausages) for the public benefit?
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