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The World - People & Culture - Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce Book The text below comes from YT's very old copy of the book: The Essential Lenny Bruce, a collection of monologues edited by John Cohen. Ballantine Books, NY, 1967.

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Lenny Bruce was a beautiful man who worked in nightclubs as a comedian. He was very critical of people and society because he really cared -- he cared about all types of freedom and respect for all types of people. Here is an excerpt from one of his shows.

Blacks, the following text, is incomplete in the audio file below. The best part is missing--its ending! Before listening to it, take a look at the Glossary of Offensive Words YT made, so that you can understand the text better, you see, there are lots of slang words, particularly offensive words from the 70s used in NYC. The point of this show is clear: fight against the viciousness of words by refusing to give them their power to hurt people.

by YT

nigger: offensive word for Negro, Black person, Afro-American
kike: offensive word for Jew
spic: offensive word for a person from a Spanish-speaking community in the USA [prob. alluding to the Spanish pronunciation of speak]
mick: offensive word for an Irish person or a Roman Catholic [coming from the nickname for Michael]
hick: offensive word for a country person [from Hick, familiar form of Richard]
thick: stupid, slow or insensitive
funky: authentic, earthy
spunky: a person, especially male, who is attractive to people
boogey: to boogie is to dance to pop music, or to make love; a boogie is a session of dancing to pop music. Prob. it refers to a person who loves making love
guinea: offensive word for Italian or from Italian descent
greaseball: offensive for fat person
hunky: sexually attractive man
lace-curtain: cursi o emperifollado
Yid: offensive word for Jew [Yiddish]
screw (+sth): ¡A la mierda (con algo)!

... By the way, are there any niggers here tonight?
[Outraged whisper] "What did he say? 'Are there any niggers here tonight'? Jesus Christ! Is that cruel . Does he have to get that low for laughs? ..."

Are there any niggers here tonight? I know that one nigger who works here, I see him back there. Oh, there's two niggers, customers, and, ah, aha! Between those two niggers sits one kike-man, thank God for the kike!

Uh, two kikes. That's two kikes, and three niggers, and one spic. One spic-two, three spics. One mick. One mick, one spic, one hick, thick, funky, spunky boogey. And there's another kike. Three kikes. Three kikes, one guinea, one greaseball. Three greaseballs, two guineas. Two guineas, one hunky funky lace-curtain Irish mick. That mick spic hunky funky boogey. Two guineas plus three greaseballs and four boogies makes usually three spics. Minus two Yid spic Polack funky spunky Polacks.

AUCTIONEER: Five more niggers! Five more niggers!
GAMBLER: I pass with six niggers and eight micks and four spics.

The point? That the word's suppression gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. If President Kennedy got on television and said, "Tonight I'd like to introduce the niggers in my cabinet," and he yelled "niggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggernigger" at every nigger he saw, "boogeyboogeyboogeyboogeyboogey niggerniggerniggernigger" till nigger didn't mean anything any more,till nigger lost its meaning-you'd never make any four-year-old nigger cry when he came home from school.

Screw "Negro!" Oh, it's so good to say, "Nigger!" Boy!
"Hello, Mr. Nigger, how're you?"