Tag Archives: comedy

The importance of being funny

On Monday this week, my 19th Century literature class went to see a screening of the British play “The Importance of being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde. If you have never seen this play, or a film version of it, I implore you to do so.

This particular version is hilarious with David Suchet as Lady Bracknell, and the other actors all putting their particular ‘bent’ on the roles, making the play absolutely come to life.

Oscar Wilde was a brilliant man who was born and raised in Dublin. His father was also a brilliant man and a talented surgeon, who was knighted for his medical service. He founded a hospital to treat the poor and funded it out of his own pocket. Oscar’s mother, Jane was a talented linguist and poet. So Oscar came from good stock.

Oscar Wilde was an Oxford scholar who loved to promote the aesthetic movement. That is that art should be for arts sake, for pleasure. He was all for making people laugh. He also authored many popular children’s stories and short stories which were popular with society.

Although Wilde was a member of the Elite Society, I think he would have abhorred being associated with it. His play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ was making fun or satirising the very society of which he was a part. He thought that “polite society” was all too serious (or earnest) about things that one should not be serious about at all.

The play opened to rave reviews and much applause. It seems that people liked to have a laugh at themselves. On the opening night of the play however, The Marquess of Queensberry left a card calling Oscar Wilde a  somdomite(sic). At the time Wilde was in a relationship with the son of the Marquess, Lord Alfred Douglas. With the encouragement of some young friends, Oscar then sued the Marquess for libel; a case he lost.

It seems that throughout the History of Britain, politicians and Royalty have found homosexuality to be desirable.Way back in the first century A.D. ( I refuse to use BCE), the Emperor Hadrien, of the wall fame, himself had a male lover. King Edward II and King James I both had homosexual lovers. However polite society of the 19th century did not talk about things that were unpleasant or serious, preferring to be serious about the mundane, giving off an air of naivety of the unpleasant. It was OK to be homosexual, just don’t talk about it.

Picture Credit: http://www.entretantomagazine.com/wp-content/themes/arts-culture/timthumb.php?src=http://www.entretantomagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/oscar-wilde-historias-de-amores-juan-carlos-boveri.jpg&q=90&w=630&zc=1

Oscar Wilde was never one to obey rules. He bucked and kicked through tradition until tradition changed. His fashion sense was decidedly effeminate, and he was quite open about his relationships with younger men. The basis of the relationships, his defence from the docks, was that the relationships he had with the young men were not primarily sexual but took the form of a mentorship.  His letters and writing were produced by the prosecution, confirming what people already knew; that despite being married with 2 boys of his own, Oscar indeed preferred the company of men. He stated that one could not help but love some men of such beauty, innocence and purity. Unfortunately, he was convicted of Gross Indecency (buggery could not be proved). He was sentenced to 2 years hard labour.

Oscar Wilde Quotes - poets-and-writers Fan Art

Picture credit: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/poets-and-writers/images/35799457/title/oscar-wilde-quotes-fanart

Oscar Wilde became a persona non grata in society even after he served his time. He was forced to go live in France, where he died not long after. At the time, the works of Oscar Wilde were no longer found on the shelves of those in society, he was not talked about, it was as if history had forgotten him. But time indeed has a way of healing old wounds and the great works he wrote seemed to fight through the condemnation that society metted out. Dorian Gray being heralded as one of the best novels ever written, and ‘Earnest’ one of the best plays.

I think society has changed somewhat since then. We have started to accept that while  a person may be bad, we admit (not out loud), that the work they create can be brilliant. Look at the artwork of former hitman Roy ‘Red Fox’ Pollitt for example, or the writings and other activities of Mark  “Chopper” Read. There was even a comedy event called “Comedians with a Criminal Record” in the US.

It is indeed Important to be Earnest, but it is also important to laugh.


many thanks to http://www.biography.com/people/oscar-wilde-9531078




Mark Brandon Chopper Read

and Miss Mermaid Blue for her constructive criticism.



Filed under 19th Century Literature, Comments and classwork, literature

Out of the mouths of babes

The Bible According to Kids
The following statements about the Bible were written by children and have not been retouched or corrected (i.e., bad spelling has been left in.) In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark because Noah built the ark, which the animals came to in pears. Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strong man who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson slew the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to find the ten commendments. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The seventh commandment is “Thou shalt not admit adultery”. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. Then the three Wise Guys from the east arrived and found Jesus in the manager. Jesus was born because Mary had an Immaculate Contraption. St. John, the blacksmith, dumped water on his head. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained that “Man does not live by sweat alone”. It was a miricle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance. The people who followed Jesus were called the 12 decibles. The epistles were the wives of the apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached the holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

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Why people say hi.

Why to people say hi?

Because they can’t spell hello, hallo,hullo, oh heck…hi

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New weight loss plan.

I have a new weight loss idea that is sure to work. Wanna hear it? Glad you asked.
Become a full time writer, photographer and artist. You can’t afford to eat so will surely lose weight. I have lost 12kg in 6 months.
See, it works!

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Can you tell me why chemists put security tags on arthritis vitamins? Surely if you are going to steal those they can catch you pretty quick when the door alarm goes off

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Dad Jokes

My newest made up jokes. Note to comedians… you can use these if you pay me a writers fee. ha ha ha


What do you call a man who steals?


What do you call a man who doesn’t steal as much?


What do you call a man who drags around a carriage all day and is pretty confident?

Rick Shaw


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Brightens my night

I love it when the  “Low Fuel” light comes on the dashboard. It lights everything up.

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Why did the man get a haircut?

Because he couldn’t handle it any longer !


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Hard life

I was tossing and turning all night between some hot sheets. Today I don’t get to hang out in the sunshine like others, but am hard at work again today. Tonight after being carried screaming to the pub to socialise with friends of my boss, I will be stretched to the limit.

Then I will come home and after a good wash and rinse, will again be tossing and turning all night….

In the dryer… Such is life for a working woman’s only bra


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a sight for sore aye ayes?

Are sightseers to Sydney’s Garden Island docks called naval gazers?

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