A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National by Josh Karp PDF

By Josh Karp

ISBN-10: 1569762279

ISBN-13: 9781569762271

The last word biography of nationwide Lampoon and its cofounder Doug Kenney, this ebook bargains the 1st entire background of the immensely renowned journal and its magnificent and whimsical characters. With magnificent tales of the comedy scene in long island urban within the Seventies and nationwide Lampoon’s position on the middle of it, this chronicle stocks how the journal spawned a well-liked radio express and long-running theatrical productions that helped release the careers of John Belushi, invoice Murray, Chevy Chase, and Gilda Radner and went directly to encourage Saturday evening dwell. greater than one hundred thirty interviews have been performed with humans attached to Kenney and the journal, together with Chevy Chase, John Hughes, P. J. O’Rourke, Tony Hendra, Sean Kelly, Chris Miller, and Bruce McCall. those interviews and behind-the-scenes tales concerning the making of either Animal condominium and Caddyshack aid to seize the nostalgia, humor, and pop culture that nationwide Lampoon conjures up.

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Simon Frith, conversely, argues that there is no room in purely commercial pop for subcultural distinction: “Pop does not have a specific or subcultural, communal market/culture. It is designed to appeal to everyone. Pop doesn’t come from any particular place or marks off any particular taste” (Frith 2001, 95). He defines today’s world of contemporary pop as follows on these grounds: Pop is not driven by any significant ambition except profit and commercial reward. Its history is a history of serial or standardised production and, in musical terms, it is essentially conservative.

Still, all this does by no means rule out conflicting readings of the song, nor does it fully resolve its ambiguities (“parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,” for instance, will always remain something of an obstacle in any interpretation). The entire business is complicated, moreover, by the song’s recordedness and medial availability, which means that it is by no means bound to its original (folk) performance arena but basically free to encounter any array of new contexts across the globe at any time after its release.

This applies in a similar manner to any and every utterance – a sea-change in special circumstances. Language in such circumstances is in special ways – intelligibly – used not seriously, but in ways parasitic upon its normal use – ways which fall under the doctrine of the etiolations of language. All this we are excluding from consideration. (Austin 1975, 22, emphases in the original) 3´ 3 See Parker and Sedgwick for a discussion of the implications of ‘etiolate’ (1995, 1-18). 34 Reading Song Lyrics Derrida fundamentally questions Austin’s distinction of a “normal” and “parasitic” language use, and of “happy” and “unhappy” speech acts.

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A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever by Josh Karp


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