ARTICLES OF CONFABULATION
- Groucho Marx, Animal Crackers
I'm currently in the middle of a four-month, ten-city tour of a political comedy show entitled Indefinite Articles: A Libertarian Rage.
The anthology shows have largely been born from my sitting down at a bus stop, glancing through a binder of all the stories I wrote for a year, and looking for connecting themes. I did a year of horror, which turned into Fear and Trembling. I did a year of science fiction, which turned into The Concept of Anxiety. I did a year of fantasy, which turned into The Gray and the Gold.
As you can probably guess from the title, the genre of this year's show is political satire. As you can probably also surmise, my twist on the subject is that I've thrown in my lot with the bearded, wild-eyed, manifesto-typing crowd. I'm a libertarian.
I've been writing political comedy for years, and one point I hasten to make clear is that what I do isn't polemic: I harbor no illusions that anyone is going to walk away from one of my shows thinking the way I do. My goal is to entertain, and I'm able to do that with an outsider's perspective.
(If the show serves any kind of social function -- and I am deeply dubious that it or, indeed, that any art does -- it's that I'm hopefully doing a bit to humanize a marginalized perspective. We're not all Ted Kaczynski.)
(...but how great would it be if we were?)
It's part of a series of projects that I've done under the Libertarian Rage banner. I maintained a blog with the title from 2006-2009. I produced a sketch comedy show entitled All Rights Reserved: A Libertarian Rage in 2006 and 2008, with a CD of the show hopefully coming out later this summer. I've written a book entitled "Indecision Now! A Libertarian Rage", also hopefully coming out in a few weeks. I've devoted a not-insignificant portion of my life and career to this material.
As it seems to be a major theme of these three blog posts, I observe that I have a lot of faith in the subconscious process. (Diligently tempered and honed by discipline and craft, of course, but there's a lot of interesting stuff the human brain produces when you're not watching it too closely.) I never set out to write political comedy: I set out to write comedy, and noticed that most of it was political. I've come to feel that the worst kind of art is message-oriented. Witness my skepticism of theses in the previous entry.
In any case, I urge you to take a chance and consider checking it out -- I'll be bringing it to Minneapolis for the 2014 Fringe. Or, if you're reading this from somewhere else in the country, take a gander at my tour schedule. Statistically, I'm coming to a city near you. Come on down, and I promise I'll do my best to entertain you.
...y'know, at the end of the day I'm still just sort of amazed that we get to do what we do. And that's important. Getting jaded to that is both really easy and a strong indicator that it's time for us to be done.