Nothing is Safe from Lewis Black
Nothing was safe last night when stand-up comic/twitchy old Jewish dude, Lewis Black, took to the stage at the Eisenhower auditorium. The veteran to the comedy game went after Mark Zuckerberg, the GOP presidential candidates and even the newest social media activism icon, Treyvon Martin.
However, not everyone was laughing. In fact, the dude sitting next to me in two pounds of Polo cologne and a pukka shell necklace was pretty pissed when Black pointed out the obvious accusation that Donald Trump is an “asshole” and had no business running for president.
The apparent offense being taken by the crowd didn’t go unnoticed. Black repeatedly stopped his act to urge the packed auditorium to lighten up and leave the political correctness for tomorrow’s lecture halls.
In fact, Black’s commentary was rich with an off-bet yet educational message geared toward tearing down the walls of convention. His jokes about Newark’s TSA workers, the stupidity of people still denying climate change and his views on the health care system were intended to ruffle feathers.
“What a screwed up culture we have where we’re giving speed to the 5 year olds and telling the adults they can’t smoke pot,” said Black in reference to the absurdity of America’s prohibition of sticky icky while prescription companies get rich from the over-prescription of Adderall.
His message promoted an open mindedness that is rare at Penn State. It wasn’t split like the liberal arts college preaching MSNBC in the Labor Relations classes and FOX in the Political Science department. Black was pissed off in a bipartisan manner that rejected the confinement of political affiliation. This level of pissed off was purely based on rationality.
“Who in here would say they’re a Democrat?” asked Black to the sound of a mild roar of applause.
“Who would say Republican?” he asked, to a slightly less animated response.
He then went on to congratulate those who didn’t ally with either.
“You’re too young to have this all figured out,” said Black, urging the crowd of students not to narrow their opinions by what’s checked on their voter registration.
That’s what I love about Lewis Black. He isn’t just some disgruntled old guy who may have Tourettes. His act forces the audience to critically analyze what’s going on in their world. Honestly, why isn’t the US equitably taxing rich people? Why aren’t we creating revenue from marijuana for more than the drug cartels in Mexico?
The exact solution to the world’s ills never came up, but Black offered an unfiltered reality check. Not the in-your-face “shit’s messed up, man” of a Michael Moore film, but Lewis Black’s act had me contemplating the legalization of weed for like two hours.
“Weed isn’t the gateway to anything but your kitchen.”
He then ended with an awkwardly long “these are the best four years of your life” closing statement–a staple for old heads that visit State College. If you want to read more, I’m sure someone will Tweet about it in the next #SOC119.
Evan Ponter (@EvanPonter) is a Junior majoring in Print Journalism who totally over-analyzes the crap he is forced to cover.