Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Better Banter

I am a big fan of Theatre Sports. 'Whose line is it anyway' is the popular TV version of this entertaining way of being silly, enjoying company and actually learning pretty good life skills. I wrote about how theatre sports ideas had helped me in business meetings in 'Gaps and Elevators'. Banter is another example of real life theatre sports.

Kiwis are really good at banter. Before coming for a visit here, I was already a fan of 'The Flight of the Conchords' and 'The Alternative Rugby Commentary' (ARC) - both thick with all blackness. The idea behind the ARC is that in a country that loves rugby so much, commentators don't need to explain every detail and act as pseudo school teachers. Instead a knowledgeable public are wanting to be entertained. Bro, you should YouTube a few examples for clips that are funny as.

The Jedi from the Alternative Rugby Commentary

I have been enjoying 'The Crowd Goes Wild' sports news. The presenters mock each other in that endearing 'but I love you, kind of, anyway' way. A buddy of mine is a banter king. You can throw anything at Papa Spanner and he rolls with it like a Theatre Sports pro. The worst thing you can do when someone sends abuse your way is empower them by taking offence. The movie 'Pride' is an entertaining look at the support given to the Miner's strikes in the UK by the LGBT community. In it they talk about owning any abuse. They get called Perves and own the word, in turn removing the sting. Call Papa a Perve and you will likely get a cuddle rather than a punch. Although you should probably not leave your sandwiches unguarded around him for a while after that.

The value of banter can also be seen in the series of ads and parody 'counter ads' being put out by Dove and, well.... people who enjoy a laugh. The real ads are moving, but I must admit to finding them perhaps a little condescending. I am not saying that societies perceptions & expectations aren't warping people's views, but there are heaps of very powerful, confident, independent women. I find it interesting that (generalising) guys who see other guys who are looking a little chubby are likely to ask them why they ate all the pies and suggest they hit the gym rather than giving (perhaps false) compliments.

Perhaps the ads work well in combination. Banter only really works when it comes from a friendly place with a twinkle in the eye. Otherwise it is just bitchiness. But if you develop your super powers like Papas and Proud Perves, you can turn bitchiness into banter and get on with what matters to you. You are, indeed, more beautiful than you think. Unless you are a guy. Unless you are Papa.

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