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Darius Davies delves deep into the web to stick it to the big guns

Fresh off a stellar reviewed Edinburgh run, and as seen on the BBC and Sky TV, Anglo-Iranian / English Comedian of the Year Darius Davies returns with his hilarious brand of stand-up comedy that doubles as a stint in online guerrilla campaigning.

His is a story about how easy it is to manipulate the world of online media, be it trolling sexist men on Tinder, getting revenge against low-cost airlines, or indeed sticking it to the big corporations online.

We’re giving Darius’ show four-and-a-half stars… but he’ll probably Photoshop it so that it reads five.

Interview by Antonino Tati

 

I love your radical brand of comedy. To me, your current show has a theme of online guerrilla campaigning. Would you agree?

Yeah, I think so; there is a little bit of sticking it to the man. I think in general people just let things happen to them that start off small. For example, you get a parking ticket, you can’t really be bothered to fight it, and then more and more for a hassle-free life people just let stuff happen. So when someone fights back people really like it!

 

Good to know. You lace your show with some serious talk about individuals being subjected to control by the big corporations. What are the five biggies you mention?

That’s right I mention how data is the new oil, and how content is the new crack. GAFAS – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Spotify have a serious control over aspects of our life, be it for convenience or whatever. We are selling away our rights, so it’s good to take stock of what information they have about us and to ask why they need it.

 

We’re giving Darius’ show four-and-a-half stars… but he’ll probably Photoshop it so that it reads five.

 

You even offer tips on how to fuck around with these corporations. Are you saying the more that we as individuals stuff up the collected data, the less power these corporations have over us?

To a point I am. I think I also like messing around with the companies – but why should we be honest to Google? Who are they whenever they have been ‘honest’ with us? Were they honest when they chose to not pay their taxes and funnel their money through the Cayman Islands?

 

Indeed. Do you think people are generally hesitant to go against the corporate establishment? What stops them from going against the big companies?

I don’t think people are hesitant to go against the corporate establishment or indeed the establishment. I think the reality of the situation is that most people don’t care, because they’ve got real lives to live – they understand that they are one or two pay checks away from being homeless. So, not rocking the boat, going to work and living for the weekend is easier than causing yourself undue hassle.

 

 

When you’re on the phone or corresponding digitally with an outlet such as the BBC, making up some fake news, do you ad lib your story or is it carefully scripted and worded when delivered?

Always ad-libbed but possibly have an idea of what I want to say. But mainly adlibbed and trying very hard not to laugh!

 

With regard to the Ryan Air case, did their legal team follow up immediately? Are you ever worried about legal repercussions in stuffing around with an organisation?

I never heard anything from them… I wasn’t… until now maybe!

 

Are corporations generally racist? If so, how can we as individuals help combat that racism?

No. I don’t think they are at all. Overt racism has all but been eradicated. It is the opaque racism – someone with a foreign-sounding surname’s CV not getting looked at, or someone from a good school getting looked at first. Institutional racism, that is the issue, but I don’t think it is deliberate, though it does happen.

 

Some punters might think the title of your show ‘Persian of Interest’ refers to your talking about your Persian heritage. What aspects of your heritage do indeed make it into the show?

Very little. The title comes from an email I received which I reference in my show. I’ve never wanted to be known as a Persian comedian who does jokes saying “Persian people do this, Western people do that”. I am a comedian who happens to be Persian but not a Persian comedian!

 

What are two of three Fringe shows you’ve seen and loved, or are keen to see?

Leo Kearse’s Transgressive; Robyn Perkins’ Mating Decisions; and at Adelaide Fringe, The Great British Hate Off.

Darius Davies’ ‘Persian Of Interest’ is on at Fringe World until February 1. Tickets are available here.

Darius then moves on to Adelaide Fringe and performs from March 3-15. Tickets are available here.

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