Burma
October 17, 2007 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Risking all: the Burmese jokers who laugh in the face of danger. In Burma (Myanmar), comedians are targets in the junta's war on words. [Via BB.]

The Moustache Brothers have a website, but it doesn't look like it's been updated for some time.

Htein Lin, the artist mentioned in the fifth link, was the subject of this post.
posted by homunculus (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 


Burma: 'I resist in my Mind only'
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM on October 17, 2007


First they came for the comedians, but I didn't know any jokes, so I said nothing.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:57 PM on October 17, 2007


Holy synchronicity! My friend went to Burma in May and just a few weeks ago we were talking about the situation there. He and his wife went to see these guys perform in their house. I'll have to send him this link.
posted by Brittanie at 9:09 PM on October 17, 2007


I saw the Mustache Bros a few years ago. They are not the funniest guys around, but they are the bravest people I have ever been in a room with (wifes included). They continue to perform knowing that any day they could be arrested, tortured and or killed. They are real heroes. And they are kind of funny, in a unique kind of way.
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 10:00 PM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hmm, when I went to see them, there was only one not in prison. Agreed, not the funniest, but charming, kind, and brave.
posted by dreamsign at 11:03 PM on October 17, 2007


Three prominent Burmese dissidents detained following last month's protests have been released, the BBC has learned.

So Zargana has been released, but it doesn't say anything about Par Par Lay.
posted by homunculus at 11:21 PM on October 17, 2007


And of course, Aung San Suu Kyi is still under arrest.
posted by homunculus at 11:58 PM on October 17, 2007


but then again her moustache isn't as comic.
posted by patricio at 3:11 AM on October 18, 2007


You know who else laughs in the face of danger? That's right - James Bond.
posted by triv at 6:26 AM on October 18, 2007


I was deeply moved by this and really hope that something positive works out for them and for Burma.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:46 AM on October 18, 2007






Some people call them the space cowboys.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:55 AM on October 18, 2007


At the risk of sounding self-righteous, high and mighty etc...

I think it's messed up that people are having a laugh about this post. Yeah, it's easy to laugh when you're not sitting in what I'm sure is a really nice prison cell in Burma with no clothes, for telling jokes. Haha!! That's hilarious!!!

p.s. I hope the sarcasm is dripping off this text.
posted by jotrock at 11:13 AM on October 18, 2007


“Yeah, it's easy to laugh when you're not sitting in what I'm sure is a really nice prison cell in Burma with no clothes, for telling jokes.”

Bit of an irony tho, isn’t it. I mean, they’re trying to make people laugh...
I’d think it’s actually the lack of sense of humor on the part of the people actually jailing them that’d be the holdup.

Clearly it’s a strongly emotional issue, but...is it necessary to rhetorically defend the position that people shouldn’t be jailed for comedy?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:42 AM on October 18, 2007


Yes, I sense the irony. Point taken. But I don't see the point of making an ironic statement about it on this thread. I don't think anybody is being thrown in jail in the U.S. / UK / other western countries these days for telling jokes (at least not since Lenny Bruce's time), so what's the joke?

I don't think the problem in Burma is so much about "lack of a sense of humor." I mean, that's kind of like saying that the problem with cyanide is the bitter aftertaste. Sense of humor is sort of beside the point. To me, it's really about despotism and crushing the free will of an entire society.

Or maybe I just posted because despite the attempt at ironic humor, I just didn't laugh simply because it wasn't funny? Jokes are supposed to be funny after all, aren't they?

Yikes, I clearly have way too much free time at work. Pardon me while I step off of this soapbox. I'm being way too serious today! (no longer dripping with sarcasm).
posted by jotrock at 12:07 PM on October 18, 2007


It's good that Burma is getting a lot of love on MeFi recently, and two days ago, I saw my first "Free Burma" banner on a website. But where was everybody ten or twenty years ago? This shit didn't start getting unpleasant last month.
military rule since '62; detention of ASSK in 1990.
posted by dreamsign at 12:09 PM on October 18, 2007


“I don't think anybody is being thrown in jail in the U.S. / UK / other western countries these days for telling jokes (at least not since Lenny Bruce's time), so what's the joke?”

That’s it exactly. It’s ridiculous to throw someone in jail for making jokes. It’s appalling and horrible and many other things too, but it’s also ridiculous.

“Jokes are supposed to be funny after all, aren't they?”

Humor is a wide and complexly developed field. It’s not just “two guys walk into a bar.”
Hell, the Nazis were ridiculous and pretty damned funny. The goosestepping while taking themselves so seriously. The whole 1,000 year Reich idea and their stupid ideas about race and strutting around in these goofy colors and being so wrong about pretty much everything worthwhile in life.
Certainly they were murderous and horrific, but silly and ridiculous as well.
Not everything funny is harmless or cute or even pleasant. Sometimes it’s dangerous or even deeply profound and truthful in terms of revelation of the human spirit.
That’d be sorta what’s going on here. That’s why people are making jokes when they could be harmed and imprisoned for it. Because it means something that tyrants fear. To share in that is to do the comedians honor and reaffirm our common humanity against the humorless soulless creatures that imprison them. It's an intuative reaction.
You seriously don't get that?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2007


Un-Normality
posted by homunculus at 1:35 PM on October 19, 2007


Meanwhile, in Tibet: Chinese police clash with monks over Dalai Lama award
posted by homunculus at 12:42 PM on October 23, 2007






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