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Comedy Against Work: Utopian Longing in Dystopian Times

Madeline Lane-McKinley

Work is a joke. Laughing at it is political. Humor, Groucho Marx asserted, is "reason gone mad. " For Walter Benjamin, laughter was "the most revolutionary emotion. " In a moment when great numbers of people are reevaluating their commitment to the hellscape we call "work," what does it mean to take comedy seriously--and to turn it against work.

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Book Information

Publisher: Common Notions
Publish Date: 11/22/2022
Pages: 240
ISBN-13: 9781942173700
ISBN-10: 1942173709
Language: English

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Full Description

Work is a joke. Laughing at it is political.Humor, Groucho Marx asserted, is "reason gone mad." For Walter Benjamin, laughter was "the most revolutionary emotion." In a moment when great numbers of people are reevaluating their commitment to the hellscape we call "work," what does it mean to take comedy seriously--and to turn it against work?Both philosophically brilliant and deeply personal, Comedy Against Work demonstrates how laughing about work can puncture the pretensions of tyrannical bosses while uniting us around a commitment to radically new ways of making the world together. At the same time, Lane-McKinley exposes a war at the heart of contemporary comedy between those who see comedy as a weapon for punching down and those whose laughter points to social transformation. From stand-up to sitcoms, podcasts to late night, comedy reveals our longing to subvert power, escape the prison of work, and envision the joys of a liberated world.

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