Friday, September 14, 2012

Stewart Lee

One of the reasons I took a month off from blogging (apart from moving from Melbourne to Seattle) was to get some serious writing/editing done. Unfortunately I didn't get in as much writing in as I would have liked and I have completely and rather spectacularly procrastinated all my editing chores. I have done a ton of reading though getting in the new Zadie Smith, the actually rather depressing biography of David Foster Wallace, an ok novel by Vasily Grossman, a great comic novel called Cooking With Fernet Branca, a terrific science fiction novel called The Quantum Thief and a lovely and really quite brilliant fantasy set in Northern Ireland called Blue Skies From Pain by Stina Leicht. I've also become obsessed by the British comic Stewart Lee who I only vaguely knew of as the guy who wrote Jerry Springer: The Opera. I've now listened to or watched everything Lee has done and as a convert to the genius of Lee there are many clips I am dying to share with you. I think his greatest achievement may be his careful, slow, piece by piece annihilation of the worst film ever made: Mel Gibson's Braveheart or possibly his spoken word retelling of the poem The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear which is the kind of thing I wish the New Yorker would do but doesn't. It's called Pea Green Boat and I think its a masterpiece but its not, alas, on youtube. You can however listen to it on soundcloud, here. You should listen to the whole thing. Like Vegemite half of you will hate it with all your being, half of you will love it. I love it. Also fantastic is Lee's deployment of irony in a bit comparing the IRA to Al Qaeda. The only Lee bit which is officially licensed by the BBC to YouTube is his song about Russell Brand's wedding, which isn't that funny but it is quite nice: