So here’s another cultural artifact I wasn’t aware of – this “comedian” who goes by Dapper Laughs, who sounds about as funny as a poke in the eye.
It all kicked off when the website UsVsTh3m tweeted a link to a not-so positive review of the 14 track record.
The album includes songs called A Walk To The Pub…With A Tramp, Cracking On To A Sweetheart and Leaving The Pub…With A Tramp.
He’s new to Eleanor Margolis at the New Statesman, too.
I’ve also been told that he’s a comedian, although I’m struggling to find any evidence to support this. His brand of, not comedy exactly – more like yelling lists of words – consists almost entirely of harassing and degrading women. This is what’s known as “banter” – ie: being obnoxious, but louder and faster. And there is nothing Dapper Laughs won’t mock in the name of banter. Rape, domestic violence, sexual assault: you name it, this guy will demote it from a serious issue to a dad joke. A kind of horny dad joke, but a dad joke nonetheless. Laughs – real name, Daniel O’Reilly – rose to fame via his Vine channel, by posting short clips of himself making some pretty retro sexist jokes, claiming he has a massive dick, and using the word “moist” a lot. In one Vine, he pretends to threaten his girlfriend with a gun for wearing a short skirt. LOL?
O’Reilly/Laughs has just been given his own show by ITV2, who have taken it upon themselves to promote this hyperactive throwback from some wanker on the internet to TV star. The clear message here is that misogyny is just as marketable as ever. It’s been pointed out that feminism’s fourth wave has become a bit of an industry. If so, Girl Power is a burger stand and sexism is McDonalds. The fact that social movements are just as tied up in the free market as everything else is often overlooked.
I’m new to Dapper Laughs, but I’ve been horribly aware of the lad culture industry that spawned him for a long while. A “lad”, for those fortunate enough to think it’s just old fashioned slang for “boy”, is someone who is part of a competition to see who can degrade women the most, in the name of banter. Grabbing a woman’s arse? Banter! Rating a woman’s tits, out of ten? Banter! Shooting a woman? Top notch banter!
When and why and how did this become so fashionable? Where was I at the time? Why wasn’t I consulted?!
Outside of the internet and the media though, one of lad culture’s favourite haunts is our universities. In a recent article about the phenomenon, the Guardian reported that 68 per cent of women at UK universities have been sexually harassed. The Americans, who have a solid history of university sexism deployed by fraternities, are probably wondering why us Brits have only just recognised this as A Thing. What seems to have happened is that aggressively macho frat culture has somehow hitched a ride over the Atlantic.
Really? Oh god. I’m sorry. I apologize for my country. I’m so sorry. Mind you, I was never consulted on that either, and I’ve never liked it or found it amusing or had anything to do with it. But still, I live here, and I apologize.
A driving force behind this movement is the idea that those opposed to it are simply humourless. The sour-faced feminist trope is an old one, and it’s still being used to silence women. The banter brigade have convinced themselves that they own comedy, meaning that anti-banter is fundamentally anti-humour.
And anti-sex, and anti-free speech. All of those. Misogynist rapey banter is all the good things and its critics are all the bad ones. #banter!