Saturday, 14 May 2011

Banana skins

Or 'peels' as the silly question in the 'profile' put it. The subject reminds me of early silent films; the funny sort known as 'slapstick', although an actual slapstick (how many people have seen or indeed heard one?) needs a soundtrack. A cliche (sorry about the lack of the acute accent on the 'e'; as remarked before this blog system is only semi-literate) of the silent comedy was the banana skin thrown into the street, on which someone subsequently slipped. This is an example of that thing so beloved of Hollywood, covert censorship: banana skins are not that commonly thrown on the streets, and are not in fact very slippery when walked on. What is, however, very common on the streets, and very slippery, is dogshit. But of course it would never do for American film viewers to be alerted to the existence of dogshit; that would be almost as bad as the revelation, by I think the sister of Michael Jackson, that even American women have nipples. So - the films use banana skins instead. (No not instead of nipples; instead of dogshit. But then again...)
But never mind. One can think of it as something really quite sophisticated: an extended metaphor; even a metaphysical conceit. Culture is where you find it.

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