11:50 PM Thursday 26 April 2012 Nunhead Heights
An Australian is just an Englishman who got caught. Or an Australian is just an Englishman with a bad lawyer.
In my 12 years in the UK I’ve noticed a love of criminals and criminality amongst the English. I don’t think they are more criminal than the Australians or the Americans but I think they have a deep desire to be lawless rooted in the controlled nature of the nation. The English fantasize about crime and revolution. They respect the French for their riots, rebellions and road blockages.
A role model for England is Tottenham Hotspurs football manager Harry Redknapp, the have-a-go guy who was accused of just having a go in opening a bank account in France using his dog’s name. The Crown spent millions to try to put him behind bars for what would have amounted to a few hundred thousand pounds hidden from the taxman.
There were probably tens of thousands of unlucky Harry Redknapps shipped to Australia a hundred and fifty years ago. And the descendents of those people don’t like the descendents of the people who sent them there.
Rupert Murdoch is an Australian and Australians have a thing about the English. At the very, very least, Australians hate the English or at the very least, they hate the ruling classes of England.
America doesn’t like posh English people, monarchies and inherited power systems either but I don’t think America is actively trying to bring down the Queen or stop the English from joining Europe. Maybe we once cared but not now. America has won with our big houses, big cars, big bellies and even bigger debt. And we chose to go to America. We weren’t shipped there against our will.
I am fascinated by Australia and Australia and have been since my debacle at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Road Show in 1999.
Is there another race of people other than the Australians who go around promoting themselves as worse than they are? They pretend to be goofy, lazy, party-loving, beer-swilling, and beach-dwelling. Think the Steve Irwins, Paul Hogans and those atrocious Foster’s ads.
When I was in Australia I did not see one incident of public drunkenness or bad behaviour in the nine weeks I was there, except me trying and failing to make them laugh. The absolute quiet and industriousness of the country shocked me and I was in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and the 22 other towns and cities, small and smaller, across the continent. Australians are the hardest working white people in the world.
What kind of people go around trying to undersell themselves? Pool sharks and card hustlers.
What an Aussie is thinking, I bet, is “I’m not going to get caught again. I’m not going to let anyone know what I’ve been up to.” That’s why they make such good actors, like Russell Crowe or Nicole Kidman. They can keep a secret.
Rupert Murdoch is an actor. It is no mistake that he knows how to lie and his American son, James, doesn’t. Americans are bad liars. Think of weapons of mass destruction.
Australians come to my show in Soho at the Source Below and they always sit in the back. This is not an hyperbole. And punters who sit in the back never enjoy the show as much as those in the front. Comedy is like making love: It is better close up (though sometimes I do like it from the back.)
They sit in the back because they don’t want to be noticed. They have a saying down under that “the tall poppy gets cut off” or something like that. They don’t want to stick out and be cut down. Or they sit in the back by the door waiting to escape the show – and not just my show – probably every show – just in case the man comes.
Aussies are the most sensitive of all my audiences and I perform for more nationalities at my shows than are competing at the 2012 Olympics. Everyone except for the Japanese. The Japanese never, ever, come to my shows. I don’t know why not but I don’t like them for it.
In my act, I point my finger at people and make fun of them. Okay, scorn masquerading as comedy or hate as love or vice versa, or just trying to get a rise. If I don’t phrase my ‘joke’ delicately, heaping tons of sugar on to it, walking them through it so that they see I don’t mean harm, I can see the Australian close his mind to me and then walk out at the break.
I can tell an English audience they are shit and their country is shit and their town is shit and they just laugh at me with deep disdain. Or they agree. Either way, they love that kind of thing, or so I tell the comedy promoters and bookers.
The Australian’s ancestors were people who were practically sentenced to death by transportation across the world and it was almost a miracle if they survived the journey. They expected hell and punishment and got, well, Australia.
An Australian is like a man in an arranged marriage who meets his wife-to-be for the first time and expecting the worst is surprised she’s hot – she’s smokin’ hot – and nice, too. He loves her but he thinks, deep down, that he had he not gotten caught by the English he could have done even better. And he still resents not being given choice. That’s my theory.
Rupert Murdoch thinks he can do better than the English. He doesn’t like the English ruling elite, Europe and he doesn’t like the Royal Family and wants to do them harm. That is fine for an Australian to think but a lot of English people do like them and it should be up to the English to decide which way they want to go.
If Rupert Murdoch had focused on just making money and not changing British policy, I doubt he would have been in the jam he is in right now. But he’s Australian and he can’t help but hate the English.
See Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission. Reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow
Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio