People are always mentioning Lenny Bruce, his name is synonymous with this craft’s core, but I feel a stab whenever I hear it. Part annoyance that I’ve missed the real-time chaos that was his career, maybe I’m more vexed that I don’t fully grasp him. This him, this guy, this martyr, this pre-hipster anomaly that set the grandest of all balls rolling.
Transgressive comedy, the soap box nihilism that’s solely responsible for my artistic awe, belonged to him first. Having looked quite fervently for modernity’s cure, all fucking over actually. I have to admit there’s nothing quite as effectively pungeant as stand up’s sweet stench for kicking a hole in this self-perpetuating delusional contemporary cesspit. This protestant work ethic chained to an insatiable desire for shiny things. “Has anyone seen the blue report, where’s my stapler, this cubicle layout is far more ergonomic, can we have a debrief on the executables”… can someone please tell all of these things to go “fuck their hands”.
That’s what the whole thing means.
The moral tight rope antics.
Razor danger observations.
In this year of our absent Lord offence is everything. Social currency has a black list and once you’ve cracked the nod you’re akin to fucked.
That’s what makes stand up such a bizarre preoccupation, those of the transgressive disposition specifically, they’re in pursuit of the very thing that could end them. This medium, of the taboo, is civilization’s greatest weapon when it comes to ostracising the unwanted.
Sure times have changed. It’s not like religious zealots still have a voice, LGBT’s are still a punching bag or racism thrives on.
Sarcasm aside, times have changed, bigotry has left the building of popular consciousness. Lefty anything has lost its shock quotient and is no longer punishable by the judiciary… in this country. What our grand transgressives lose in courage for doing the permissible, they gain in evil genius for finding offence’s fault lines. It’s no easy feat to offend the über liberal, but entirely necessary. Apathy reigns still.
The neo-Bruces of our post-pig-nationalist-rainbow-themed-hugfest have a tremendous job at hand. That’s why comedians are venerated, these true adherents to that Brucian, ‘it aint a party till there’s heroin’ timeless spirit.
He went to the highest court for making a jerking-off motion with his hand. Our high court’s may ignore our jesters, but there’s another tribunal in receipt of what Vlismas calls, “the 702 morality”, and it’s itching for a fight.
Ah, the glorious stand-off, so tricksy to define, so beautiful to behold. Go watch Sex, Live at the Lyric to see what I mean.
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