Stand Up For Justice - (almost) live blog #2

8:48 Mike Wozniak takes the stage. He’s from Portsmouth, a town full of sailors. He has floppy hair and a moustache. He’s very popular in Portsmouth apparently. He tell us he’s never been to Ireland before, but his surreal, slightly sick take on life soon means that the Belfast audience has grasped him to their hearts.

He’s just told a joke about a pet rabbit being ‘bummed to death’. It was his pet. He was seven at the time. It obviously made an impression.

He riffs on violent action movies and the uncecessary "pottymouth" which often follows a killing by the hero. He likes the relaxed style of an Indiana Jones, say, or the laconic wit of James Bond ("I think he got the point"). Not so fond of Bruce Willis in the early Die Hard movies. “Yippee-kay-aye motherfucker.” Literally adding insult to injury, says Wozniak.

9:00 Interval

Headline act Damian Clark grabs me. Metaphorically, that is. Do I say, "C'mon to f#ck", he wants to know? Not frequently, I have to admit, but then I realise he just wants to know if Belfast people say it. Indeed they do, I assure him, and he leaves knowing how to ensure just the right amount of aggression makes its way into the delivery of the phrase to give it an appropriately Belfast-style inflection.

9:25 John Bishop is back for the second half and mixes jokes with some 'bigging up' Amnesty and encouraging audience members to join up on this, the sixtieth anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Everyone has received a gift of copy of the UDHR in a beautiful passport-style booklet from Amnesty. We are even nicer people than they had originally thought. I know!

9:30 Amnesty promo film comes on screen, showing ordinary people, through their involvement with Amnesty, intervening to stop human rights abuses around the world. It's pretty impressive. It's punchline: YOU ARE POWERFUL. Indeed you are.

John’s back. He tells us a joke that his seven-year old son told him.

"Q. What’s worse than having ants in your pants?

A. Crabs."

The joke works on so many levels, he reckons. Try telling it a kids’ party and see if you please both children and the adults, for quite different reasons.

… to be continued…

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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