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 Workdemonstrates 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.
About the Author
Madeline Lane-McKinley is a writer, professor, and Marxist-feminist with a PhD in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a founding member of Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, The New Inquiry, Entropy, GUTS, and Cultural Politics. She is also the author of the chapbook Dear Z and a contributor to The Museum of Capitalism.