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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 9. July 26, 1951

Extrav Clerics Bad Taste?

Extrav Clerics Bad Taste?


It was my intention to make it quite clear in my criticism of "Siderella" that the only people I indicted of being members of "The Party" were the authors of the script. It seems, from Mr. Hutchison's confusion, I did not make that distinction clear enough, and for that I apologise. Since the cast included members of what I presume Mr. Hutchison means by "my party," I have probably offended all three parties, his, mine and The.

I agree entirely that religious leaders may be criticised like other public figures. I do not agree that they should be impersonated in Extrav if identified as specific figures. My reasons for criticising the impersonation of the Archbishop were these:
(1).I considered it in bad taste, admittedly a personal opinion—and I am not an Anglican.
(2).One may impersonate a political leader and at the same time criticise the party which he represents without doing any great harm. I consider, however, that the sacredness of the Archbishop's calling is such that while criticism of him as an individual is possible, such criticism of him as spiritual head of a Christian church is undesirable and unnecessary; and that it is practically impossible in an Extravaganza to make fun of any one specific cleric without casting aspersions on the spiritual body to which he belongs.
(3).It was my impression that the script aimed precisely at exploiting this duality—by impersonating the individual to ridicule his vocation. I think an examination of the script would support me in this, particularly with regard to the gratuitous and, I consider, unnecessary wisecracks about other religions.

For these same reasons I would not agree to a caricature in Extrav of the "Red Dean," even though I would probably appreciate it.