The Big Issue : Edition 533
THEBIGISSUE24MAR–6APR2017 13 WHEN I SAT down to write this I thought, maybe I should write something serious? But as I’m a comedian, I worried that it would be a weird genre clash for people reading it. And genre clashes can be very disquieting. Imagine if you were watching Kung Fu Panda and Po goes to a nightclub and is coerced into trying heroin. Or if in The Notebook, two-thirds of the way through Rachel McAdams fights with a giant robot lizard. Or imagine if in the middle of Sausage Party, the ribald risque animation, there was an interview with Greens leader Richard Di Natale, who passionately describes the terrible impact of over-fishing in fragile Australian marine territories. Or if in The Martian there’s a bit where the astronaut finally returns to earth and pulls off a casino heist. Or if in Harry Potter and...the Golden...shower. No, that’s not... Harry Potter and the...giblet of fire. Not sure. It’s a Harry Potter film and there’s a scene where Harry agrees to represent a group of the Stolen Generation in their class action against the Federal Government. Or if in 12 Years a Slave there’s a bit where our hero is accidentally electrocuted and swaps bodies with a six-year-old girl. It’s a fun bit. A funny fun bit. Or if in Wolf Creek there’s a sequence where John Jarratt pores over textbooks at the library for months in an attempt to find a cure for his daughter’s lupus. Or if in Mad Max: Fury Road there’s a bit where Max plays the ukulele and sings ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. Or if in Predator there’s a bit where Arnie gets a phone call and learns that his elderly mother’s Alzheimer’s has escalated and she’s not managing her diabetes medication so he leaves the jungle and moves in with her and nurses her for the 18 months until her death. Or you’re watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and... Actually, before I get onto that... The diabetic “hypo”. This is something that has niggled me for yonks. The diabetic “hypo” is short for hypoglycaemic, which means low blood sugar. The opposite, high blood sugar, guess what that’s called? Hyperglycaemic. Low blood sugar – hypoglycaemic. High blood sugar – hyperglycaemic. Hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic. Both conditions that can be life-threatening if not treated quickly. But they’re treated in the opposite way to each other. How many times has a doctor rushed past and muttered, “Nurse this woman is hyp(uh)glycaemic.” The nurse draws some medicine into a syringe, “Don’t worry we’ll soon have you right as rain.” And then she injects the patient whose head promptly explodes. (To be honest, I’m not sure if that’s the exact physiological response.) It’s nonsense. It’s wrongness. And I think the person who named hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic came up with inflammable. Let’s run through a few words. Accurate, inaccurate. Discreet, indiscreet. Fidelity, infidelity. Yeah. Getting the pattern. Flammable, inflammable. They’re the same. THEY BOTH MEAN THE SAME! Do we really want confusion in an area that’s so...burny? What was I talking about? Oh, genres! Imagine if you were watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and...one of the chimps who has recently developed the power of speech says, “How annoying is it when someone has a birthday party and on the invitation it says ‘No gifts’. So the person gets to show how nice they are by not wanting gifts, but then I don’t know what to do. Am I expected to up-the- ante by showing them how nice I am by bringing a gift anyway, or should I show how nice I am by respecting the person’s request and not bringing a gift? I think it’s a safer bet to disregard the person’s request and bring a gift but I really resent them putting me in that situation. It’s selfish!” Or if in Trainwreck with Amy Schumer there’s a scene where she realises she can actually more effectively draft baseball players by running algorithms through a computer than by consulting scouts. Or if in Sully, the drama starring Tom Hanks about the pilot who landed his plane on the Hudson, there’s a bit where the hero puts on a fat suit and a latex mask and assumes the identity of an African king. Or if in Finding Dory she spends 10 minutes investigating the technical methods that the painter Vermeer used to achieve his artistic breakthroughs. Or if in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo masturbates into a hanky and then his girlfriend borrows it to clean her glasses. So I thought about that, and decided against writing something serious. » Frank Woodley will perform his new show, I, Woodley, at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 30 March-6 April and at the Sydney Comedy Festival 5-7 May. His children’s show, Noodlenut, will be at MICF 6 and 7 April and at the Sydney Opera House 25 Sept-8 October. FRAnk WOODLEY goES DoWN A GEnRE BLAck HOLE.