Who was, is Tom Lehrer and why is his endorsement so important or is it ? I am not preaching to the under 40 crowd, I just think it's important every once in a while to realize that all of us stand on the shoulders of trail blazers, head bangers, angel headed hipsters, avante garde provaceteurs who were willing to "Let it all hang out"...Prodded, poked and provoked the powers that be and still are..How, not so much thru physical confrontation but via spoken-written word, joke, parody, poem, song, verse...Why did I choose Tom Lehrer..Now dig !
Some of the other cast members :
I suppose, I could of just as easily plugged in Lenny Bruce who might be a bit more recognizable albeit a tad more controversial..The Dustin Hoffman hit movie Lenny reintroduced Bruce to the general population..Those who missed Lenny's frenetic rise to the top..We couldnt all be part of the Hip crowd, tuned in to the stream of consciousness verbal rappings of a fueled up Lenny..His repartee with his nightclub crowds was a magical time in the smoke laden, tricked up swirl of history that can never be equaled or duplicated..
The Smothers Brothers, Tom and Dick..maybe..The guys never did get their due, in my opinion..They were not averse to venting their anti war, anti establishment mantra against the powers that were, even in the face of TV Execs and possible show cancellation..The looks on their faces after their riffs I think always mirrored their contempt for the establishment..The smug look when you know you got it right..
There are soo many more that could be included..Many of The Beats out on the street and in the coffee houses up close and personal taking the pulse of 50s America..Ginsberg, Corso, Kerouac, Cassady, Diane DiPrima, Ferlinghetti, Lamantia, Snyder, Levertov, Hettie Jones, Levy, et al..Never wavered and never varied from their head on left wing, liberal confrontational style..Hell yha !..Man, I miss that too..Well, I give up my age now..But anyway..Back to the Title..One Mr. Tom Lehrer..Now dig !
A bit of Tom Lehrer..Can youse say Renissance Man on the Left...
Tom Lehrer was one of comedy's great paradoxes -- a respected Harvard mathematics professor by day, he also ranked among the foremost song satirists of the postwar era, recording vicious, twisted parodies of popular musical trends which proved highly influential on the "sick comedy" revolution of the 1960s. Despite an aversion to the press and a relatively small recorded output, Lehrer became a star, although he remained an enigma to even his most ardent fans; he rarely toured, never allowed his photo to adorn album jackets, and essentially retired from performing in 1965, leaving behind a cult following which only continued to grow in his absence from the limelight.
Departure from the scene
There is a misconception that Lehrer gave up political satire when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Henry Kissinger in 1973. He did say that the awarding of the prize to Kissinger made political satire obsolete..!
In 2003 Lehrer commented that his particular brand of political satire is more difficult in the modern world:
As a "Cult Member" of the Lehrer left..How does this Lehrer
summation grab ya..
"I'm not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirize George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them." In a phone call to Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post in February 2008, Lehrer instructed Weingarten to "Just tell the people that I am voting for Obama"
Now dont get me wrong, I do enjoy the new Liberal Left schtick of Maher-Olbermann-Stewart-Franken-Black-Rock-Colbert-et al..Funny ? Damn right they are..My other side also misses the raucous Saturday Nights of Chase-Murray-Gilda-Belushi..The stand up comedy of Lenny, Lehrer, Carlin, Tom and Dick...The life flavored stream of consciousness poetic beat of Ginsberg, Snyder, Corso, Jack et al....Desolation aint so bad when your right..
But what the hell I even miss the "Old Monday Night Football" with Howard, Dandy and Frank taking football to new highs or lows..And Ali, Ali stinging, floating, rope a dopin..Older, Wiser Weerder huh..Or a natural aged progression toward all the things that are and were..At least as we percived them to be in our time..
"Just tell the people that I am voting for Obama."