Whether we like it or not we are bombarded with information daily, hourly, minute-by-minute. This makes it virtually impossible to cut through all that digital data and get to the true heart of the matter. I am therefore always in admiration of anyone who can achieve this no mean feat of providing clarity in our world of ever increasing confusion.
Frankie Boyle is such a person. The author and stand up comedian has for many years been commenting on everything from religion to politics to gender identity and beyond. He is someone I have blogged about many times before (for example here). A recent example of this ability to clarify are comments he made as to why people are so intrigued by the upcoming much hyped boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor:
It’s about time we found out whether a non boxer can beat the world’s best boxer at boxing…Don’t get me wrong, I think someone trying to beat possibly history’s best defensive boxer purely by being a mad cunt is actually beautiful. – Frankie Boyle, 12 Jul 2017, from his Twitter feed
Not only is he active on Twitter with over 2.6 million followers, but he also does things like discuss philosophy for 70 minutes with another inquisitive mind, Russell Brand, on a recent podcast entitled Is It Possible To Live A Moral Life? (well worth listening to if you get the time).
Another example comes from the 4 glorious episodes of his TV show Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, aired recently by the BBC and with each episode well worth watching if you can find them on YouTube or BBC iPlayer.
Below are some of my favourite quotes taken from these programs. They come not only from Frankie himself but also from some of the special guests he had on each episode, and they cover topics as varied as Trump, Obama, technology, the state of the world, class warfare, racism, and much more. Enjoy!
Politics is a sort of class warfare. You have a political class engaged in arms deals, profiteering, and corruption, ranged against a public who have been educated out of any understanding of the situation and trained to despise each other. And that’s how we end up with Theresa May. Therese May is the first Nazi in history who can’t get the trains to run on time. – Frankie Boyle, Jun 2017, a few days before the general election
Putting shit through someone’s letterbox has always been a very ironic tactic used by racist people, because they will be like “We’ve got to get them because they’re like monkeys.” “How do we show them that they’re monkeys?” “Well, we’ll shit in our hands and throw it at them.” At some point does no one say “Look, white power and everything, but I’m carrying no shit.”? – Dane Baptiste
None of us know what’s going on with anything. I have a mobile phone contract that is 89 pages long. I don’t know how much of my soul is owned by EE. We don’t know anything about anything. Why should Brexit be any different? – Katherine Ryan, June 2017
I just think this is a genuine moral thing. Sir John McDonnell was in trouble for saying this was like social murder, or whatever the phrase was. But I think it is worse than that because if you set out to murder someone in a moment of passion, that’s one thing. But if you set up a whole series of circumstances that will probably lead to people dying, and then you just let them die like bugs on your windshield, that’s a different level of immorality. – Frankie Boyle, June 2017, speaking about the fire at Grenfell Tower
Brexit will be Christmas for racists. People said after the Brexit vote that British people don’t trust experts anymore. I don’t think that that’s the problem. I think the problem is that British people have strong opinions based on fuck all. And while there are a lot of perfectly valid reasons to want to leave the EU, the people who were most empowered by the result were, let’s be honest, racists…Yes, Brexit will be Christmas for racists. A proper Christmas where all the shops are shut because there aren’t any Muslims who don’t care about Christmas to work in them. – Frankie Boyle, June 2017
It takes quite a bit of work to be the black sheep in the Trump family. – Frankie Boyle, July 2017, referring to the unveiling of Donald Trump Jr and his Russian meeting in 2016
We live in a world where foreign policy norms seem to lack any kind of morality, where neo-colonial policies make our military adventures abroad little more than licensed murder, where Britain thinks of itself as having a special relationship with America but America thinks of Britain as somewhere that it stores its missiles, somewhere a bit like a shed. We live in a world with an encircled Russia, with a North Korean leader firing missiles into the sea of Japan raising the very real risk of waking Godzilla, and with a US president so deranged you could form a better president from the meat in his colon. – Frankie Boyle
Say what you like about Trump he has proved a lot of people wrong, sadly not George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, or whoever wrote the Book of Revelations. – Frankie Boyle
One of our main problems is that we don’t really understand the moral problems of how we act in other countries. We think that we target militant people with missiles with precision targeting. You can’t do that. You can’t target something specifically if you are going to blow it up with high explosives. There is no point finding the clitoris if what you find it with is an uppercut. – Frankie Boyle
Trump is not going to be assassinated because the assassinators are on his side. You are not going to have a vegan shoot him in the face. – Katherine Ryan
The assumption is that Obama was not a violent president but Trump has highlighted, by his idiocy and madness, how dangerous the times are we live in. That is a positive thing about Trump. That is a thing about him that is better than Obama. – Romesh Ranganathan
Our lives are being ruined by technology. Technology has consumed what happiness we once had. I was sitting in the park the other day, reading my phone, and everybody else was sat there on their phones, and a guy came along and you know what he did? He stood around in the park just looking at the trees, like a fucking serial killer. – Frankie Boyle
Technology could be a good thing but it exists within the constructs of capitalism. YouTube could be good but it is ruined by adverts. What is it about me spending 5 hours watching pensioners falling over that suggests that I am in the market for a brand new Lexus? – Frankie Boyle
I love technology. It has enhanced my life in every way. I am very lazy. Sometimes I will ignore my own child just to look at photos of my child. – Katherine Ryan