So You’re a Subversive Artist, Are You
Citation (APA): Gillespie, N. (2017). So You’re a Subversive Artist, Are You [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
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So You’re a Subversive Artist, Are You? By Nick Gillespie
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Comedy is “inherently subversive” and you might get “killed” for mocking the room? Not literally,
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L IRONIA NN È SOVVERSIVA
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Truth be told, there’s nothing inherently subversive about comedy,
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Bill Hicks, often lauded as “truth teller” about corporate power, was no more a threat to the Republic than is Carrot Top.
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ANCHE I PIÙ TRASGRESSIVI NN SPOSTANO CONSENSO
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Does anyone doubt that Nazi Germany had its own version of the Capitol Steps, the dreary comedy troupe that does hacky song parodies poking fun at John Kerry’s snowboarding fiascoes, John Boehner’s skin tone, and Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits? You can almost hear their hoo-larious version of “We Didn’t Start the (Reichstag) Fire” or “Ballroom Blitzkrieg,” can’t you?
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ANCHE I NAZI AVEVANO I LORO COMICI
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90 percent of comedy, including “serious” comedy, is, to paraphrase an iron law formulated by the science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon, crap. Put another way: How many standup comedians (besides Gandhi of course) have changed the world?
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LA COMICITÀ? STRONZATE X DIVERTIRSI TRA AFFINI
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NESSUNO CAMBIA IL MONDO
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Even rock and roll bands have a better record at spurring social change than do comedians, with the Velvet Underground’s sadomasochistic aesthetic that was condemned in the free and communist worlds alike inspiring Czechoslovakia’s bloodless overthrow of communist tyranny.
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PERFINO LE ROCK STAR FANNO MEGLIO
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Antidote to Laughter
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Whatever good points I made were not by being funny (the producers of each show wisely insist that non-comedians don’t do jokes) but by being well-informed and persistent.
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INFORMATI E VOLONTEROSI. MEGLIO CHE DIVERTENTI
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the main function of comedy, especially political comedy, isn’t to stretch people’s minds or get them to confront the limits of their systems of knowledge.
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LA RISATA NN SERVE A CAPIRE
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At least since the Romantic period, virtually all artists have claimed to be subversives, to being “oppositional” to the status quo
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SEMPRE ALL OPPOSIZIONE... MA SEMPRE PRONTI ALLA RITIRATA
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they can retreat when the heat comes down and aver, “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” Jon Stewart, that would be you.
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c È SOLO COMICITÀ
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The main purpose of much and maybe even most creative expression— whether we’re talking fiction, video, art, music, journalism, comedy, you name it— is to virtue-signal, to show to your audience that you already agree with each other and that you are politically correct (however your group defines it).
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IL VERO SCOPO: SEGNALARSI COME BRILLANTI APPARTENENTI AL GRUPPO GIUSTO
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Such in-group virtue signaling is as true for libertarians as it is for liberals and conservatives, alas. Don’t we all love South Park not because it challenges our deepest-held beliefs– but because we agree with most of the show’s anti-authority, anti-Al Gore, anti-nanny-state messaging? It’s nice to see our broad world view being validated from the big stage.
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PERCHÈ NOI LIBERTARI AMIAMO SOUTH PARK?
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What libertarians writ large need to do is recognize that if we want to subvert the current order— and we do, in all sorts of ways— we need to be simultaneously expressive and persuasive, to explain what we believe, why we believe it, and why it will lead to a world that is more prosperous, more peaceful, more interesting, and more sustainable that what we have now. Sometimes our cultural work will involve humor, sometimes it will involve earnest policy work, sometimes it will involve three-handkerchief journalism,
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LA COMICITÀ È UN ARMA POLITICA. NN DI VERITÀ
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Comedy and Moralizing Still Go Together, Sadly
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Comedy [is] inherently subversive to any incarnation of human conceit. As an art form, comedy is inherently anti-authoritarian. Comedy itself is anarchist insofar as it celebrates and bears witness to a world that the state must deny
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LA POSIZIONE DI MOLTI: LA RISATA È ANARCHICA
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Jeremy may claim that he doesn’t believe creative expression generally or comedy in particular should be put into the service of a specific ideological or political agenda,
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IMPOSSIBILE CHE SIA AL SERVIZIO DELL IDEOLOGIA?
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If comedy is tragedy plus time, tragedy may be when comedy starts taking itself so seriously that it stops even pretending to be entertaining.
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LA COMMEDIA SI TRASFORMA IN TRAGEDIA
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The challenge before those of us interested in creating a world that is more free, more fun, and more libertarian is to create culture— everything from standup comedy to journalism that stands up— that is engaging, provocative, and irresistible.
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È LA CULTURA CHE CONTA NN LA COMMEDIA