by Robert Wilkinson
Today we honor a true social conscience on his birthday. Most people don't know it, but we owe the immortal phrase "yadda yadda" to Lenny Bruce, the saint who died for our right to utter the famous "7 dirty words" of George Carlin. He was persecuted for exposing society's hypocrisies and racism, and one of the first ones to lay it all out there.
Starting as a standup jokemeister, he became an icon of free speech, such as it is. While some of his stuff is dated due to the era he lived in, in the late 60s his records certainly opened my young mind with the concept that we're all prejudiced toward beauty in "A White White Woman and a Black Black Woman." “So let's just persecute ugly people.” Wow. That, and “What do you mean WE, white man?” from the Lone Ranger bit.
We also owe him bigtime for the ever-popular, seemingly ubiquitous immortal line "blablabla." Lenny Bruce used that line in his unbelievable account "What I Was Arrested For," where he reminded us that the exact “10 letter word” he was busted for was used over and over by both the prosecutor AND the Judge during his trial! So he was busted in a nightclub for using the exact word spoken in court by the DA and hizzoner.
Every time you say or hear "blablabla" or "yadda yadda" send a prayer of thanx to this patron saint of free speech. While some of his behavior was marginal and very definitely self-destructive, he still did America a favor by "lifting the sheets," so to speak. RIP Lenny, and thanks for the laughs. Happy 82nd birthday!
p.s. Happy Birthday Wolfeman. You would have been 56 and having a blast! Some of us still miss you.
© Copyright 2007 Robert Wilkinson