Well folks, this is it: The Island Nation website inaugural address has arrived, and who better to communicate our mission statement than me, Dr Dominic Ray Weinstein, lauded clinical psychiatrist and documentarian.
I have just returned from a whirlwind tour of New York City, where I observed comedy from the lowly open mic level to the heady-heights of podcast host/radio guest, and in doing so have proven a theory that has long been rattling around in my considerable cranium. Perhaps theory is the wrong word, what I have achieved should instead be recognised as the unveiling of an axiomatic and fundamental universal law:
The last thing on the mind of any aspiring comedian or satirist should be making people laugh.
Do not get me wrong, I am well aware that numerous individuals seek comedy expecting to laugh. Folks come to a stand-up show with the belief, the secure belief, that a series of diverse and wittily observed anecdotes are going to be performed in a manner intended to elicit reactions ranging from nods of grinning approval to outright gales of hysterical laughter. These folks, ‘civilians’ as I shall refer to them from hereon, are not necessarily ‘wrong’ in their view of what comedy ‘is’, they simply lack the education required to perceive that when someone more intelligent disagrees with you about something you are almost guaranteed to be wrong about that subject.
So yes, technically comedy ‘can’ be used purely to make people laugh, but our question to you here at Island Nation is:
More than anything else, comedy is an artform, and true art has only one purpose: to radically shift the Overton window, alienate the majority and deconstruct traditional forms in order to fundamentally reshape the social structure of a nation. Foucault, Derrida, Saussure, even Marx: these are names that precious few correctly recognise as history’s greatest and most influential artisitic talents.
Would you show an early Kandinsky to someone if there was even the slight possibility that they would laugh at it? Of course not! The notion that anybody would find humour in Kandinksy’s genuine attempts to elicit a mass utopian cultural shift via the medium of paintings exclusively consumed by the nihilistic children of hyper-wealthy industrialists is frankly the only laughable thing about Kandinsky! The simple fact is, if you laugh at art, you haven’t correctly interepreted it. If we accept this is true, which it definitely is, how could anybody give something created with the intention of causing mirth the title of ‘art’?
With this in mind, let us turn to Island Nation’s mission statement: Comedy is inarguably art, and as those visionary Modernists revolutionised artistic endeavour into becoming an elaborate political debate, so too shall Island Nation revolutionise comedy.
“But Doc” you may cry, “Modernism has been consigned to the past, we are sitting at the end of history bathed in the golden glow of Postmodernism”. In a sense you are correct, wrong to doubt me, but right that we have progressed as a society to the point of Postmodernism. However, if those misguided Modernists had not laid the foundation for the Postmodern revolution then the world would have been deprived of truly great thinkers like William S. Burroughs & Damien Hirst, as well as essentially any form of critical theory with prefix “Post”. If there had been no Carlin or Hicks to get the ball rolling we wouldn’t have now reached the point where “comedic enterprise” is soon to be freed from the shackles of being funny in any way whatsoever. We are entering the age of Post-humour.
So folks, I present to you not only Island Nation, but also the culmination of nearly 100 years of cultural revolution. Do not expect jokes, punchlines or even puns here, for comedy is no longer kyriarchically chained to the social construct of humour. No. Comedy is the vessel of knowledge, a tool for re-shaping the world view of the audience, a way for those fortunate enough to be correctly educated to ‘bring up’ the unwoke masses.
It’s time to take comedy really, really seriously.*
*It should be noted that the views expressed by Dr D.Ray Weinstein are entirely his own and are in no way representative of the beliefs held by the Island Nation corporation or our affiliates.