Monday, 28 July 2008

The Imaginary Right to Reply

It’s time for another Imaginary Mailbag! Today, I’m opening the floor to a couple of people who have something to say about specific reviews that I’ve conducted recently. Enjoy.


When I heard that you would be reviewing the latest work by Mister Andrew Swithin, Two Irish Priests and a Transvestite Midget Walk into a Bar…, I was highly excited. Here is a writer whose talents are all too often ignored these days, and I hoped you’re your review would redress the balance. Reading your analysis of the piece, however, left me sorely disappointed. I feel that you have done Mister Swithin a great disservice with your review, and while I don’t doubt that he is more than capable of responding himself, I do not know whether he reads your website. With this in mind I am writing this letter to correct you on a few points, and I hope Andrew will not mind my doing so.

Firstly, I believe that your review is based on a flawed premise, namely that you accuse Two Irish Priests… of attempting – and failing – to work on a meta-humorous level. This, I feel, is incorrect. You compare the work to that of Rodney Ambrose (such as the famed A Punchline and a Set-Up Walk into a Bar…), but I don’t feel this is fair. Two Irish Priests… begins on a meta-meta-humorous level (in a ‘knowing of the knowing of the joke’ sense; c.f.: Etheridge’s A Humorist Walks into a Fourth Wall…), but skips down two levels by the time the punchline arrives. An added layer of humour is derived from this uncomfortable slip through the intra-joke strata, which you fail to recognise in your review.

You also criticise Two Irish Priests… on the basis of its unbelievable premise, again missing the whole point of the piece. The cement that binds the humour and the pathos is the unlikely scenario; without this, the whole thing would fall apart like a poorly made sandcastle. If Swithin had not replaced the traditional bartender with a talking giraffe, the priests, midget and even the mushroom-shaped pints of Guinness would escape their moorings and disappear into the ether before the pay-off would be able to occur. Take DeFalco’s ill-advised Knock Knock/Who’s There?/[Silence] series as an example of when the lack of an unbelievable premise creates a kind of comedic black hole. Anyone experiencing DeFalco’s work suffers such a lack of humour that anything remotely funny in the surrounding area is sucked away and is gone forever. Swithin avoids this with the talking giraffe bartender.

There were many other regretful elements to your review, such as the mistaken application of Fox’s law (which states that level of humour is proportional to the number of porpoises in the work), and your inability to differentiate between the chicken in the Crossing the Road series and the rubber chicken of physical comedy. I hope that future reviews of new works by popular joke-writers are not so poorly done as this.

Regards, etc
Sir Walter Cholmondeley


Your review of my recent feature, The Chronicles of Hornier: Prince Asspian, was grossly unfair. You compare it to Joel Garner’s 2006 film, Butt-Loving Lesbian Love Pile 3, saying that next to this movie, my film is “left wanting, like a nymphomaniac at a eunuch convention.” In defence of my film, Garner was given a large grant by the arts council, while Asspian was wholly self-financed. In outlining the strength of Garner’s casting choices, you neglect to my own discovery of Shia LeBeef, whose career is certainly going to grow in the coming years.

I also take umbrage with your assertion that many of the scenes in Asspian seemed “tacked on”. The scriptwriter and I worked long and hard to create a story that combined exciting action, fluid dialogue and the hottest young starlets sucking and fucking. To suggest that it is “tacked on” for a character to sleep with a faun in order to extract information, or for two characters in the midst of a battle to be overcome with lust and start shagging on the battlefield, is, quite frankly, nonsense. I reject the accusation.

Despite these complaints, I am gratified to acknowledge your praise for the film’s cinematography. The use of such extreme close-ups was a matter of some debate for me, but in the end I feel that they were warranted. I’m pleased that their glistening majesty were appreciated.

I look forward to a more fair and balanced review of my upcoming release, Indiana Slut and the Kingdom of the Crystal Dildoes.


Sir Anthony St John- Headingly


ÄsK AliCë said...

I can't believe you thought the Two Irish Priests and a Transvestite Midget had an unbelievable premise?!

It happened to a friend of a friend mine.

Falwless said...

Goddamn I loved Butt-Loving Lesbian Love Pile 3. Still not as good as 2, but way better than 1 AND 4 through 6.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

AA: I only wrote that because many bars in Ireland currently have a "One Priest Policy". It's quite commonplace to see priests waiting outside drinking establishments for the pastor inside to leave.

F: Number 7 is out next month, with a special guest appearance from Dame Judy Dench. It should blow the rest away, apparently.