Brickbats

Brickbat: Oh, There You Are

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Paul Gascoigne
Jonesy702 / Wikimedia

British prosecutors are set to charge former soccer player Paul Gascoigne with racially aggravated abuse for a joke he told during an "Evening with Gazza" show in Wolverhampton. Gascoigne reportedly said he could not tell whether a black security guard standing in a darkened part of the theater was smiling.

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  1. This is stupid; I’ve made a similar remark to my friends (of different ethnicities) when recanting attending, “Def Comedy Jam,” when it came to my town, back in the day. I remarked after the show (I was seated in the mezzanine away from my friends, and the only lightly complexioned person in my section of seats) how all the seats behind me, “…Looked like a sea of eyes and teeth…,” when the lights dimmed for the show (Joe Torry was the MC). My friends all laughed, but I did get a few eye daggers shot my way, I was told later.

    I knew I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I didn’t care a whit (like I do now, where I live; still don’t care).

    1. Yeah, it seems the joke Gascoigne was trying to make doesn’t even make sense since it is the black security guard whose smile you can see in the dark (according to the stereotype).

      I’ve already figured out his defense. In court, position a black friend at a distant point from the judge. Have the lights turned off. Ask the judge is the black friend is smiling. If the judge says, “I can’t tell”, just drop the mike and go “Boom!”.

      1. Ah, a variant of, “The My Cousin Vinny,” defence, hehe; Perry Mason was also known to employ similar courtroom defence tactics as well.

        I’m pretty sure the courts both in GB, and the USA, wouldn’t permit such courtroom theatrics; hell, Judge Ito barely permitted the infamous, “Glove Demonstration,” a la The OJ Simpson Trial, IIRC. But then, IANAL, either real or teevee.

      2. If the judge says, “I can’t tell”, just drop the mike and go “Boom!”.

        And if he says “Yes” or “No”, just charge him with a hate crime!

        1. Ezatly!

  2. Isn’t that more a joke about the British not having teeth?

    1. Not really; that “stereotype” (though more true than they care to admit) is moreso a lack of orthodontics and less a reliance on tooth extraction.

  3. From dating a Jamaican chick a while back, call me racist all you want but it is hard to see a dark-skinned person when the lights are off.

    1. Yeah, but if she’s Jamaican, you can locate her by looking for the burning tip of her marijuana cigarette.

  4. “Your smile can light up a room.”

  5. Of course the guard wasn’t there because he was a fan, but because he was hired to be there, so to him it’s probably a hostile work environment situation, as we’d call it in the U.S.

    So I can at least see where he’s coming from. (so to speak)

    If it were someone in the audience, then if the event was billed as some kind of comedy hour, the complaint would be much more mockable.

    1. I mean, in the U.S. he’d be able to sue his boss for exposing him to on-the-job racial insults.

      The threat of prison is a UK wrinkle.

  6. So he butchered a joke which is not all that funny anyway. I think I just figured out who writes the friday funnies.

    1. You know who else wasn’t really funny?

      1. The Butcher of Baghdad?

  7. *Rolls on ground grabbing ankle*

    1. +1 exaggerated flop

  8. Are there still any Brits that insist they have freedom of speech in the UK?

    1. Just the strident Islamo-Mohammedan variety.

    2. Back during the flap over that anti-islam video I remember reading some idiot on BBC opining about the supposedly-peculiar American interpretation of free speech, as providing freedom for odious opinions. Lord knows what definition they prefer over there, but yes I’m quite sure they think they’re on the side of the freedom and enlightenment.

      Also there was some similarly absurd definition of “religious freedom” as implying freedom from being offended by people criticizing your religion. They actually believe the US definition of free speech creates conflict between these rights.

  9. He mustn’t have been a very good footballer.

  10. His sentence will be 10 straight days of non-stop viewing of “To Sir with Love”.

    1. Awww, Lulu haz a sad….(who looks positively radiant these days)

      Also, thank you for the warm welcome back, I see your multiple myeloma is in remission and manageable; I hope your pain is also tolerable these days as well.

      Oh, and I wasn’t working ER when we last spoke; I was employed by a free standing surgicenter (I’m employed at a private hospital in Odessa Oblast’, currently, as is my wife). But it’s been a few years, no? *grins*

      1. I recently added the Lulu song to my ipod. Gives me the warm and fuzzies every time it comes around.

      2. It is always a pleasure to see you around Groovus. We are glad to have you back.

        I was worried there for a while.

  11. The Brits are no better than the Europeans they may or may not leave. They deserve each other were freedom is concerned.

    Fuck them both.

    Gazza had sublime soccer skills though.

    1. I’m surprised anyone understood him in the first place. His accent, as I remember it, was nearly impenetrable for all but fellow Geordies.

      Anyway, all this talk of teeth reminds me of the shit he got in for the “Dentist’s Chair” celebration at…Euro ’96, was it?

  12. Just imagine if he’d asked what you say when your TV starts floating away in the middle of the night.

  13. I’ll just leave this nugget here….

  14. Society needs reasonable limits. Fire-in-a-crowded theater, fighting words, exceptionally poor quality jokes. I mean you call that a punchline? Timing is also critical too though. So I really need to hear the recording before I can pass judgement.

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