After trying to reason with a couple of people who popped up out of nowhere on my time line to criticise me for doing jokes about cancer and rape (I can’t remember ever doing any jokes even involving cancer as a subject, though I am sure I will have mentioned it on a podcast somewhere [could it be the bit about elephants not getting cancer? Oh come on] - and of course, any subject can be talked about in comedy - it doesn’t mean you’re not laughing at the serious aspects of it, but we don’t need to get into all that now), I made an important decision. I am no longer going to engage with dicks on Twitter (except perhaps on March 8th, but that’s my day to be a dick on Twitter). I have enjoyed battling with trolls and trying to make them consider what lies at the centre of them that makes them seek out people they don’t like to tell them that they don’t like them. Of course, they are never prepared to even countenance thinking they themselves might have an issue and so rarely even take in any argument or explanation that you might have made.
I am not hurt by people saying they don’t like me, because a) I do not think that their subjective opinion is as important as they seem to feel it is and b) I am under no illusion that I am universally loved (or even known) as a comedian. And I wouldn’t want to be. As I explain in this year’s show I am quite surprised that enough people like me to make my career as viable as it is, but I get a nightly assessment of whether I am funny or not, via audience laughter. And if I am on no level funny to anyone then I make no money and me and my family die.
If no one finds me funny any more I will be sad about that. But an individual not liking me is not news to me. The tweeter tonight tweeted that he was sorry he had made me cry. But he’d only made me laugh.
So, as interested as I am in what drives someone to tell you in person their opinion of you and their seeming inability to understand that that opinion might not be of any concern, it’s just the frustrating wasted effort involved in it all that I’ve finally had enough of. It’s a comedian’s instinct to deal with hecklers and to understand what makes people tick. But from now on I am going to just block people who are simply rude and aggressive (and that’s not anyone who voices a negative opinion - there is a big difference that is immediately obvious between someone with a concern or feedback and someone who is just a cunt who has an inflated opinion of their own importance). Just as they are idiots for wasting their time contacting someone they don’t like (they might feel better about themselves if they found someone they did like to be positive towards), I am an idiot for wasting my time replying to people who don’t like me.
I am going to concentrate on chatting with people who like what I am doing, or who have interesting opinions that they express in a polite way and not rise to the bait any more. If someone doesn’t get one of my jokes or chooses to interpret it in their own twisted way or has never seen me, but decides to judge me by something they vaguely remember happening on Twitter six years ago (or whatever) then I will leave them hanging. If they come out of nowhere to call me an unfunny cunt I will just block them.
Some people think it’s best to mute people like this as they will take a blocking as victory and show off about it. But if they choose to define themselves by having annoyed me, someone they think is an idiot, then I actually think I own them. And I am happy with that, Especially as they will never be clever enough to understand that.
We can make Twitter the force that it once was for fun, comedy and jokes. And if you don’t like me joking about a subject then you can just block me too and I will go away.
And to counter the two people on Twitter who were sure that I wasn’t funny, I got to perform to a packed Lowry theatre crowd of approaching 500 people, who, if I am not funny, were incredibly charitable by pretending to laugh at stuff I said for 90 minutes. Obviously I might be in Jeremy Beadle’s Truman Show, so I am still cautious and not going to get too cocky. It was great to have a sell out again after almost a month since the last one (though equally if you’re selling out every gig then you’re being put in theatres that are too small for you!) , but I was also on top of my game. It’s only six or seven year since I was booked into the smaller room in this complex, so to be selling out the 470 seater is amazingly satisfying. And a reminder how far I have come. If quite slowly.
Maybe one day I will play the main venue, though tonight it was Lisa Stansfield, who doesn’t even know that the first rule of parenting is to not lose your baby in the first place. She went around the world and found her baby in the nursery. She should probably have looked there first.