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My name is Saima and I live in London, England. Welcome to my blog where I have been writing since November 2000. Please make yourself at home.

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August 30th, 2009
Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’09 – Richard Herring

We were on the flight to Edinburgh when we first heard all about the controversy surrounding Richard Herring’s show Hitler Moustache from our friend. Apparently, a writer for The Guardian claimed Richard Herring hates Pakistanis and labelled him a big ol’ racist. I hadn’t read the article at this point or Richard’s right of reply but was pretty certain that the show must have been taken out of context. “Let’s get t-shirts for the show that say “Pakistanis love Richard Herring!” I said and that was that.

We never got time to make the t-shirts so turned up to the show without them. (At this point I should mention that we were wearing other clothes.) My husband bumped into Richard when we got to the venue and told him “Pakis love Richard!” making him laugh and then they had a big old man hug. I told him off for using the word “Pakis” not because I find it offensive in that context but because it can sometimes make others feel uncomfortable. I once induced a collective gasp when I used it in front of colleagues and I was merely quoting a scene from The Office.

So, the show itself: fantastic. You’d have to be an amoeba to think it was in any way racist, in fact quite the opposite. Richard challenges racism and the ideas racists hold, revealing them to be ridiculous. Comedy is such a powerful format for delivering that kind of message, much more effective than me saying, “Racism’s bad, mmkay?”

Posted at 5:25 pm | 2 comments | Category: Comedy | Tags:

August 27th, 2009
Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’09 – Late ‘n’ Live

Late ‘n’ Live is exactly what it says on the tin; it’s three live comedy acts, one music act and it starts at 1am. You have to be pretty well regarded to get a slot at this event so we knew the comedy would be of high quality and it was. Okay, so the compere, John Bishop (shortlised for if.comedy Edinburgh Comedy Award) made a joke about Muslims and then asked if there were any “Mussys” in the audience. But I raised my hand so whatever.

Jamie KilsteinLoved the letter to the US Army

Kevin BridgesHilarious and naturally funny. This guy could say anything and it would be funny. Shortlisted for Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer.

Axes of AwesomeTheir four chord song is one of the best things ever.

The whole evening was even more hilarious because some couple kept rowing and the woman would storm out followed by the man. That’s just pure comedy fodder.

Posted at 9:02 pm | Leave a comment | Category: Comedy, Travel | Tags:

August 24th, 2009
Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’09 – Lewis Schaffer

Guess what? We were late to this show too! And Lewis said to us as we walked in, “I’m warning you! I’m a pro-American Jew boy!” The whole crowd laughed and it pissed me off a little, I must admit. It didn’t detract from the rest of the show though, really very funny. It was a free show too so can’t complain.

We did run into Lewis later on that evening. Twice. We ended up chatting to him for quite some time and I told him his comment earlier on had annoyed me. He explained though that he makes fun of EVERYONE, no matter who they are and that it’s all done in jest. There’s a big debate about racism in comedy at the moment (I will be writing more about that when I talk about the Richard Herring show) but I’m of the opinion that it’s not comedians using it as an excuse to be offensive, more to make us think. Also, Lewis said I was “too pretty to go see the Chippendales” so I guess I’ll have to forgive him. I’m so easily won over.

Anyway, do go and see Lewis Schaffer in Edinburgh this week if you can or when he’s back in London.

Posted at 6:48 pm | 1 comment | Category: Comedy, Travel | Tags:

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