Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Almond have now both criticized comedy as enabling the status quo rather than subverting it or changing it, so my question for the two of them is this – would they rather comedians be real revolutionaries instead? Do they want us to send Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Louis CK, my friend Gaby and others off to the Sierra Maestra Mountains in Cuba to overthrow Raul Castro? Is Bassem Youssef not enough? Does he not count? Has the world around them turned that staid and gray? And, seriously? Someone as borderline establishmentarian as Malcolm Gladwell is chiding comedians for not being sufficient revolutionary? (I know that’s not an outright hypocritical opinion to have, but, still.) You mean to tell me that if I wrote “This Machine Kills Fascists” on my guitar, it wouldn’t single-handedly defeat the Golden Dawn or the Hungarian Jobbiks? Are you telling me that our understanding of the culture of comedy really is so petty and anemic?
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