I have stated elsewhere my views on the genius of Victor Lewis Smith – who seemed culturally ‘buoyant’ – and able to a) infiltrate the very Bourgeois class he was critiquing, and b) take a very comfortable place within this Bourgeois Establishment (hobnobbing with individuals that the average working-class person would experience as ‘quite dangerous’). Even after the Bourgeois media pulled the plug on his often-outrageous left of centre humour following the collapse of the USSR during 1991 – Victor Lewis Smith would go on to make a living reviewing typically Bourgeois restaurants in the UK serving food no one had heard of – or even could pronounce! He did this whilst prancing all over Europe taking up abode on this mountainside or in that valley – safe in the knowledge that outrageously right-wing individuals such as ‘Max Hastings’ most definitely ‘had his back’! So, as far as Victor Lewis Smith was concerned, the collapse of the USSR signalled for him merely a change in direction of his career. A dialectical adjustment in his workload and the manner in which he applied his ‘Marxist’ method of producing humour.
(The last sentence above will ensure the ‘ghosting’ of this piece – which might be allowed to surface in a hundred years’ time – so ‘Hello’ to the youth of 2123)!
To recap, Karl Max and Friedrich Engels both appeared to have arrived (independently) at a dialectical method during the mid-1800s which allowed each thinker to effectively analyse Bourgeois thinking and realise that it operates entirely from an ‘inverted’ position when attempting to justify the socio-economic system of predatory capitalism it inflicts upon mainstream society (where all the workers dwell). In other words, the thinking of the Bourgeoisie is ‘illogical’ (whilst presented as ‘logic’) and ‘back-to-front’ (whilst presented as the ‘right way around’). What this means is that the suffering and exploitation inflicted upon the workers is presented as being ‘good’ and ‘freeing’ – much along the lines that an imagined image of a theistic ‘god’ in the head (nothing but a ‘thought’ generated in the brain) is ‘imagined’ as existing independently of the mind that produces it – ‘somewhere’ out there! When this ‘inversion’ is revealed in a certain way, (that is whilst maintaining a certain frequency of interpretation), the ‘humour’ often seen in the work of Marx becomes ever more pronounced.
Victor Lewis Smith understood this and used it very effectively in the modern (Bourgeois) entertainment business. Having reviewed hours of his radio work (which was brought to a juddering halt in 1992), it is interesting to observe just how left of centre he was (or was allowed to be) at the time. As the US strove to tighten its ideological grip on the collective mind of Western Europe for its hegemonic drive into what had become ‘capitalist’ Eastern Europe – turns such as Victor Lewis Smith were slowly but surely ‘purged’ from mainstream entertainment as they possessed the potential for propagating ‘free thought’ amongst the general population – and the onething the spread of US anti-intellectualism does not like is ‘free thought’! Free thought is dangerous as it is the seed from which all future resistance to US dominance can grow! Ergo – ‘free thought’ must be stopped at all costs and replaced with ‘non-free thought’ – and this this is exactly what we have seen from 1992 to the present time.
Whereas Victor Lewis Smith did continuously make references to Marxism (whilst also ‘criticising’ the USSR from time to time), his comedic descendants, so-to-speak, could only get on TV if they abandoned entirely any and all mention of ‘Marxism’! In other words, this purely ‘Marxist’ method that Victor Lewis Smith had propagated and developed in the mainstream had to be ‘stripped’ of all its obvious ‘Marxist’ intent whilst still operating on the surfacing level in much the same ‘deconstructive’ manner. The humour lies in the continuous and relentless exposing of the ‘stupidity’ that lies at the heart of the Bourgeois brainwashing of society (a method effectively employed by BBC Radio 1 DJ’s – Adrian Juste and Kenny Everett)! The working-class are charged to laugh at the very nature of the system that exists to keep their minds and bodies in the chains of servitude!
(If the first mention of ‘Marx’ did not cause this article to be ‘ghosted’ [the ‘benefit of the doubt’ perhaps] – that last line definitely will – ‘hello’ to the youth of 2223)!
Who are the descendants of Victor Lewis Smith? Who carried on the torch of ‘Marxist’ deconstructionist humour – but without the ‘Marxist’ bit? Who carried on using the method of ‘Marx’ whilst excluding ‘Marx’ entirely from the process? I would suggest Chris Morris, Dom Jolly (Trigger Happy), Charlie Brooker and Diane Morgan (although the last in this list is very much the ‘afterbirth’ of Charlie Brooker). Of course, hundreds of other talented individuals could also claim a lineage – but many ‘hang’ from the reputations of those already listed. Perhaps mention should be made of ‘John Thompson’ who was ‘exposing’ the racism of certain other comedians with his 1995 act featuring ‘Bernard Righton’. This remains a crushing deconstruction of the ‘internalisation’ of Bourgeois inversion as manifested by many working-class individuals. And then there is ‘Steve Coogan’ and ‘Rob Brydon’ who have produced moments of dialectical brilliance both individually and as a duo! For these comedians to survive in the post-Soviet space – they needed to jettison all the references to ‘Marx’ as their work should in no way inform the working-class they are paid to entertain – that another world is possible.
In this world of spreading US hegemonic power – existential hedonism trumps education! Diane Morgan (a ‘White’ woman) displays this ‘chasing of the tail’ (and self-consumption) with her mimicking of the work of ‘Sacha Baron Cohen’ (a Jewish ‘White’ man) who rose to fame with his controversial ‘Ali G’ character (which lucratively played on the ‘White’ stereotype that all Black people are ‘stupid’). Diane Morgan (as her character ‘Philomena Cunk’) suggests that all ‘White’ (working-class) women are ‘stupid’ – but she offers a new twist in that she is prepared to overtly attack the political left in her drive to gain traction for her act. If we work from the assumption that Charlie Brooker is the current benchmark for how the method of Victor Lewis Smith is now applied throughout contemporary society – then it is interesting to see that he was unprepared to admit that the Ukraine was taken over during 2014 by a US-backed (and unelected) Neo-Nazi regime! This hypocrisy runs through the heart of British entertainment today which is used by the US as a means to brainwash the British youth and ‘normalise’ the American view of the world!
I will end with an assessment of Paul Kaye (a Jewish ‘White’ man) who cleverly carved-out a niche for himself through his character of ‘Dennis Pennis’ – which many British people initially thought was an actual American working on UK TV! He exposed the agency of US anti-intellectualism by pretending to be an actual American citizen working for the BBC! It was the ‘BBC’ motif on his mic that opened the door to many of his spoof interviews – attracting top Hollywood Stars to ‘volunteer’ to be interviewed in public (and sometimes in private) for what they thought were ad hoc camera opportunities! His clever scripting and expert timing inspired a generation to think for themselves – such is the power of the thinking of Karl Marx! What burst my bubble with regards to people like Paul Kaye (and ‘Sacha Baron Cohen’) is their public stance toward the Zionist State of Israel. Of course, Victor Lewis Smith flirted with Jewish characters on his show – in an attempt to expose anti-Semitism – but stopped considerably short of publicly endorsing the routine murder of Palestinians. It is funny how real life is not that funny when you think about it.