The Vacuum's funny stuff…

The guys at the Vacuum are good enough to keep me up to date with their latest issue. This one is on being funny. There’s a great piece by John Morrow which includes one anecdote of the opening (and closing) of an Irish Music Nite in the old Lido cinema in Rathcoole. It’s asks whether politically barbed humour in Northern Ireland is ever funny. And, rightly, sings the praises of the peerless Portadown News:

In an ideal world the Portadown News would be a full size daily newspaper with pull out entertainment section at teh weekend, and all the other papers would have to share one page a week on the internet. Failing that we’ll just have to put up with the fact that while fiction is certainly strange, truth is a whole lot stranger.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Is it just me or is reading Vacuum a bit like eating Shredded Wheat? You know it’s probably good for you and it’s of reasonably quality but god, it’s hard to get through a whole one, nevermind two…

  • Fanny

    Some of the articles are a bit plodding and pretentious but on the whole I think it’s a breath of fresh air. There’s never been anything around here quite like it before, that I can recall.
    However I don’t like the ‘themed issue’ thing, I must admit.

  • GavBelfast

    How do you get hold of a copy these days? I got a couple last year in the Belfast Visitor Centre in Donegall Place but they never seem to have it now.

    I thought it was a decent read myself, and sure you don’t have to read/enjoy every article, not least when it’s free!

  • Sadie Hastings-Farquar

    Don’t forget purederry, which did a great piece on the elections in derry. And randomshite had some amusing pieces on the NI political dancehall.

    They also have some other bits on NI
    Maze 2012 Belfast

    Hell, they were good enough to get themselves a webby award!! Winner.

    Box it off

  • Joseyboy

    The Portadown News certainly is peerless, there’s nothing around that I know about which is quite so consistently puerile, lacking in imagination and without any genuine humour. At all.

    Seriously, don’t you worry about people who like stuff like this and Give My Head Peace ?

  • Nestor Makhno

    I think Joseyboy raises the wider question of Northern Ireland humour in general.

    I think we like to kid ourselves that we’e clever and funny but in reality our humour is pretty crap – broad slapstick and lots of heavy sarcasm – not exactly Wildean in its subtlety, is it?

    And it certainly doesn’t transfer that well to other places – Gerry Anderson on Radio 4 and Patrick Kielty on BBC TV were both lambasted by a wider British audience. As for ‘Give My Head Peace’ – I just hope it doesn’t get broacast nationally. We’ve enough to apologise for already.

  • Bob Sickle

    Give My Head Peace aside, “broad slapstick and lots of heavy sarcasm” is actually very feckin’ funny, so who cares if we don’t get a Ballad of Reading Gaol out of it!