David Mitchell – The Phrase Rape And Pillage
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[David Mitchell – The Phrase Rape And Pillage]
DAVID MITCHELL’S SOAP BOX
[David Stephen Mitchell (born 12 January 1969):] Source: LYBIO.net
‘Rape and Pillage’, ‘Rape and Pillage’
No, no that’s not a command, sit down. It’s just – I don’t quite understand why it is that “pillage” should take the curse off “rape”. Because it does, doesn’t it? “The Vikings raped and pillaged their way through the north,” sounds a lot merrier than, “a gang of Norwegian sailors are suspected of a series of rapes in the Sunderland area.” Add Pillage to Rape and suddenly it has certain air of “Knockabout Fun”, but pillage is bad enough by itself! It’s theft, looting and arson. Being pillaged would be an awful thing to happen to anyone, what it definitely isn’t, is a spoon full of sugar to help the rape go down.
Nonetheless, put them together and these two awful crimes apparently cancel each other out, you can pretty much imagine a jolly uncle saying something like: “Where are you two boys off to tonight? Out raping and pillaging I’ll be bound!” But you wouldn’t want one of them to reply: “Well, not pillaging anyway.”
I suspect the answer is, “It happened a long time ago so it’s funny” just as all historical events, however, bloody and violent eventually become funny, even the most radioactive material has a half-life. The raping Vikings are funny because we’re not picturing rapists, we’re picturing Vikings. Cartoon Vikings with ginger beards and horns on their helmets, which they didn’t have, by the way and we’re not picturing real victims either. We’re picturing buxom, carry on milkmaids who are bored with Anglo-Saxon kings burning their cakes all the time, and are quite looking forward to some Norse nookie. And maybe in 500 years time, we’ll imagine the Red Army arriving in East Berlin in exactly the same way, or sooner.
According to secret guidelines from the government I can reveal that the First World War is due to go hilarious in 2040, with World War Two to follow in 2090. Obviously you can already set a sketch or even a sitcom in either war, but they’re not properly, uncomplicatedly funny yet. But at the point when everyone who fought in them and everyone who remembers anyone who fought in them has died they will surely become as comic as the Vikings or the Spanish Inquisition!
You may think I’m making light of the more recent victims, but I’m not. We’re all making light of the less recent ones. People from history had souls and feelings just like us. When Edward the II supposedly had a red-hot poker, hilarious though it sounds now, it was a real poker and a real bum. And the Raping and Pillaging Vikings were essentially a terrorist insurgency. They had to come by sea, which makes the more fun. They wore fancy dress in as much as they were dressed as Vikings and crucially, they did it all a thousand years ago.
So what history tells us is, that if you want to get away with an atrocity, try to commit it a millennium ago, and if it all possible, spread a rumor that you’re wearing a funny hat.
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David Mitchell – The Phrase Rape And Pillage. I suspect the answer is, “It happened a long time ago so it’s funny” just as all historical events, however, bloody and violent eventually become funny… Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.