THERE are actually people out there who subscribe to our tasty little publication for the primary purpose of reading my ideas, opinions, and suggestions (go figure).That's not how they put it, mind you, no, they seem to feel a need to characterize it as "psychotic ranting", which rather leads one to wonder what the attraction is, but hey, if it sells issues, who am I to complain?



(aw jeeez, there he goes)!

COMEDY has enjoyed a surge in popularity in America and around the world in the last ten years unequaled since the "Golden Age" of Television. Stand-up comics in particular are working in much greater numbers than ever before. Cable TV has opened new vistas for the self-censorship impaired (what did you THINK causes it?), with premium channels offering regular showcase venues for new talent and specials for more established performers, and an entire channel, Comedy Central, devoted entirely to comedy. This isn't my complaint - we'll get to that.The proliferation of comedic outlets is a GOOD thing... we can all use a good laugh, where and when ever we can find one.

COMEDY is at least as important as any other performing or written art. It allows us to release our tension, sadness, and anger in a healthy, non-destructive way, and it teaches us about our common foibles and difficulties. The jesters of the middle ages were often the only individuals permitted by law to lampoon, mock, and/or contradict the upper classes without fear of censure and persecution. Satire has played an important part in political and social life since before recorded history. The role of the jester, the fool, and the comedic performer has always carried with it certain rights and responsibilities shared only by high religious officials and heads of state: The right to speak without censure, the right to criticize the power elite, and the right to mock anyone's and everyone's foolishness; the responsibility to articulate the needs of the populace, the shortcomings of the establishment, and the fears of both.

MODERN media outlets have presented us with more comedy than ever before seen; but the price paid by both performers and the body politic is too damn high! The mass media was controlled in 1976 by over 200 companies - today, thanks to the de-regulation of the Bush administration (and it's preceding puppet regime), and the carnivorous corporate take-overs of the 1980's they encouraged, that number has dwindled to around 23 companies. This is no service to a democratic society, and restricts dramatically what and whom we're able to see, hear, and read. Only the internet remains as an outlet for truly unfettered, uncensored comedy.

CAN we blame the interlocking directorships of the multinational corporate structure for the current "code of silence" surrounding aspects of political, social, and economic (i.e. corporate) issues? SURE we can, and we'll be at least half accurate by doing so. The other half of the damn truth? Ask Bob Golthwaite or George Carlin. Here are a pair of guys who've never hidden from the hard truths about who runs things, nor have they allowed corporate monoliths to hide from the jester's whip. They may not build their acts around such material, and it may not be the central thrust of their individual styles, but it's not material they shy away from. These two performers are outstanding examples of what it means to be a comic with real social and political integrity. Others who deserve our respect and admiration for these traits include people like Robin Williams, Jimmy Tingle, and Whoopie Goldberg - none of whom have ever backed away from doing the material they feel topical (and, one would assume, funny).

WHAT??? Has ICEKNIFE, of all people, gone politically correct on us? Not a chance! Nor is your humble purveyor of truth, justice, and really cool DUMB STUFF trying to assert that all, or even any performers are obligated to write or perform material of this nature. There's no question that there are hundreds of brilliant performers who's material is hilarious without them ever uttering a political word. No, what gets my goat got is that there are stand-up comics out there who do what they may feel is terribly topical "political" humor, but is in fact nothing more than a humorous reiteration of the same damn non-news we got from the corporate moguls around 6:PM!

The PURVEYORS OF POPULIST PSEUDO-POLITICAL PAP would have you believe that somehow the outrages of individuals like the Menendez Brothers, Joey Buttafucco and Amy Fished, Lorena Bobbit, and (theoretically) O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson are actually NEWS, and they'll keep doing it for YEARS after the events in question. Worse still, they hype these occurrences and crimes because it's what scares them, and therefor must equally scare everyone else. The people of Bhopal India, Chile, Nicaragua, and countless american towns beset by chemical spills, just to name a few, are doubtless concerned with somewhat weightier issues. Ask the average Bosnian if they give a good solid shit about this sort of pure fluff. The fact that they might not be part of the audience isn't what's important here; what IS important is that the audience is made up of folks who's ignorance and resultant silence on these issues are, because of their ignorance, making them unknowing and possibly unwilling participants in crimes that result in the deaths, torture, maiming, birth defects, and/or imprisonment of thousands, tens of thousands, and sometimes millions of their fellow human beings.

The SubGenius knows what and whom and how to HATE. It's a real shame when wonderfully acerbic, truly talented and funny people like Dennis Miller, Jay Leno, and their ilklings make their daily bread by playing off the middle aged, middle class targeted, media boogie-men who're hyped solely because of the visceral emotive reaction they can spur in a nation that hasn't seen REAL hard news since the early 1970's. Shit, if I thought it'd make an end of the ceaseless, wretched OJ jokes, I'd confess to killing his ex myself! CLUE TIME, campers: I could TRY to give half a shit when some socialite coke-head is wacked in Brentwood, but don't count on anything more than a small stale FART. Subgenii are taught by "Bob" not to sweat the small stuff, and BY DOBBS, you cheap-ass chicken-shit BASTARDS out there went to town on OJ, but left Ollie North alone! Is one white woman somehow worth more than all those pesky little half-darky spics who've died because of North and our subversive, greedy, insane political leadership?**

HOW do guys like "Bobcat" and Carlin "get away with it"? The answer is simple. The average corporate giant is like a dinosaur with both brains in the tail. FUNNY = MONEY. Despite his unflattering (and very justified) treatment of NBC and it's parent company General Electric, David Letterman was not fired... they lost him to a competitor. Corporations are about money first and foremost, and when egos clash and money is lost as a result, it's usually the administrative part of the equation that's changed, not the productive part. Letterman was warned time and again against making fun of the parent company, but like the great american he is, in the grand tradition of Twain and Thurbur, David Letterman not only didn't lighten up on them, he made public the fact that they had so insisted, thereby mocking them further! We slay the fatted calf for David Letterman, may his tribe increase!

The Fear that "biting the hand that feeds you" will curtail their careers is not unfounded in unknown performers. No corporate officer is going to champion someone who pisses in their chili. People who've "made it" in mainstream american media, however, have no excuse at all. I don't know if it's greed and indifference, or fear, or a simple lack of the good subgenius sense of WHO AND HOW TO HATE; whatever the cause, it's consequences are pathetic, yet dangerous. Too many populist pimps are out there pandering to the worst in us, as a way of making a living, and we remain angry and ineffectual as a people without ever knowing why, or what's really going on. Meat comes from supermarkets, and the life force that flows through all things has a bar-code on it to mark it's price at current market value; blood is made of corn syrup and food coloring. When men in dark jackets with brightly colored cloth phallic symbols around their necks tell a joke about how this person or that person ought to be put to death, it makes me want to hand them a straight razor and tell 'em "go for it, or shut the fuck up!"; and if they don't, I should be allowed to KICK THEM IN THE  DICK! We've got a lot of loud mouthed PUSSIES on stage in this country, and it's about time they figured out that the spirits and memories of Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks loom large over them, and demand something more of them than a mere re-articulation of the popular diversion of the day! Maybe a few pumped-up yuppy fucks out there need to reconsider their cowboy-macho presentation BEFORE they start poisoning the comedic blood supply of the body politic with banal corporate sponsored trivialities.And yeah, I'll overmix any metaphors I want, to get to Scottland before ye!

One more thing...

NOTE: A very special tip of the brim to HBO, who've permitted jokes about their parent company and themselves year after year, and made no attempts (that I'm aware of) to silence same, not even the "HBO? It stands for "Honey, Beast-Master's On!" joke. Way to take it as well as you dish it out, people!

I'm done. You may go.

And leave the goat, it's not yours!

Liked my editorial? Hated it? I couldn't care LESS either way. Goony, huh? BUT... if you write us a letter that's interesting, or funny, or both, we MIGHT reprint it in out letters column... or I may just visit your house. _The DAMN TRUTH_ assumes no responsibility either way. Now go away again.

* The DAMN TRUTH is in no way responsible for the opinions of this or any individual staff member, nor are these views those of SubGenius Comix & Periodicals OR any of our sponsors. We'd actually STOP him, if we could.

** Don't send me no dumbass liberal whiny bullshit about non-pc terms I used to illustrate a mindset somebody else has. If you're too fucking stupid to understand why I put it that way, then stop reading and otherwise harming your brain with thinking-oriented activities. Your brain is not your friend. It isn't helping you. Go back to bed.

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