News & Politics

Lenny Bruce Leads the Hip Fight for Freedom


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

August 4, 1960, Vol. V, No. 41

‘We Are Not Amused’

By Joseph K.

This is the time that dries men’s souls.

It has come to my attention that there are new saviours in the land, new speakers of TRUTH and HONESTY, men who are NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK OUT, and I want to join in the courageous act of APPLAUDING THEM…

Lenny Bruce…dwell for a moment on the significance of this man. Where are the truthsayers to be found these days? In books? No! In unions? No! On campuses, in parties, on picket lines – no, no, no! Those days are gone, thank goodness! And good riddance to them! The truth is with a comedian on a night club floor.

These are the Swifty Sixties, everything is coalesced to its essential…

There was a time when Fabians, Dadaists, Socialists, Humanists felt that knowledge was a pre-eminent part of their pursuit of the profane redemption of man, and knowledge implies a certain gentleness. But Bruce shows that this isn’t true. MAN, if you can PUT DOWN (everyone) YOU CAN SAVE (everyone)…

So Bruce leads the hip fight for freedom. The HIPBEATCUKS know him and revere the leader who isn’t tempered by good taste or funny material. Often I have heard the believers in Bruce say how warm they feel when they see him. They feel, I am sure, as warm as those noble souls the night club owners, the agents, the ermined women and monied men who come to titter at a “real nut.” What a broad based movement is Lenny Bruce.

There was a danger that the Sixties were going to be serious and, so called, significant, but with the HIP FIGHT FOR FREEDOM in the hands of the IN, it looks like it’s going to be FUN and SHOW BIZ all the way.

And a happy Shirley McLaine to you!

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 8, 2008


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