Lenny Bruce (1925-1966)

I was watching the new season of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and during one of the episodes the comedian Lenny Bruce is mentioned as having died in 1966. His name was new to me, but after an Internet search and lots of reading, it was certainly useful to learn about him.

TIME had a recent story about him with the title, “Offensive is the new obscene.”

If you search for quotes by him, you are likely to be offended. I found this one as particularly provocative:

“The liberals can understand everything but people who don’t understand them.” –Lenny Bruce

As a liberally-minded person, I have spent the last five-years working to untangle what Bruce summarizes so elegantly with the phrase above. Relatedly:

I would be with a bunch of Kennedy fans watching the debate, and their comment would be, ‘He’s really slaughtering Nixon.’ Then we would all go to another apartment, and the Nixon fans would say, ‘How do you like the shellacking he gave Kennedy?’

Being able to see outside one’s own biases is a constant challenge. –JM