by Alan Pyke
Comedy legends Paul Mooney and Dick Gregory are about two weeks into their National Wake-Up Tour, stopping at D.C.’s Howard Theatre over the weekend. BYT had a correspondent in the building, who enjoyed the two-hour stand-up show immensely, but we’ve opted to go another direction with our coverage due to an unique opportunity. BYT has obtained a copy of the written notes on the show taken by the agent of a nefarious secret organization apparently charged with maintaining white cultural hegemony. The document’s mere existence confirms that the entrenched, structural prejudice of American society which Mooney and Gregory lampooned is not only real, but that it has an intelligence network. The document’s contents confirm the obvious: as relentlessly funny as they are, Mooney and Gregory also scare some people.
CONFIDENTIAL TO: White Folks Secret Council
Our gambit was successful. I infiltrated Friday’s Paul Mooney show at the Howard Theatre without incident, and indeed without scrutiny. It is impossible to know why my presence did not raise the expected alarums, but I would conjecture that Comrade Anderson’s theory was born out: distributing tickets to six additional caucasians in order to assure that our agent would appear to be just another adventurous paleface is indeed a sound approach. We were seven out of hundreds, and I went undisturbed. As you know, I was honored to be chosen for this assignment, and hope the below information is an aid to the cause.
On a personal note, I’d like to volunteer myself for any and all future infiltrative projects the Council ordains. I hope you will not question my devotion when I tell you that the chance to laugh at ourselves so long and so heartily was refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Mr. Mooney’s awareness of the world and refusal to let sleeping dogs lie are problematic for the cause, to be sure. But it is impossible to eradicate those who insist upon reminding America of its origin story with such bluntness as Mr. Mooney. (Comrade Westerby’s efforts w/r/t the Texas textbook standards and other similar projects may yet bear fruit, and the unexpected concurrence between the Tea Party and the President on the importance of looking forward and not backward is welcome, but let us not kid ourselves. There will always be those who insist on reminding us that we stand on the shoulders of giant piles of genocide and free labor.) If these truths must breathe, let them be vented by men like Mooney on weekend evenings, not bottled up until they burst messily across the front pages of the newspapers we can’t control.
As always, I am Honored to Repay the Happy Accident of our White Birth in service to the Cause! Comrades, here is what I observed. I have tried not to ruin any of the specific punchlines, as I would not do them justice, and after all you have the audio recording I made attached to this memorandum.
All Black People Do Not Find The Same Jokes Funny. I know this will surprise the Council, but in two hours of stand-up there were no more than a half-dozen bits that elicited unanimous laughter from the room. Far more common were bits that divided the crowd into two or sometimes three camps. Most common were jokes that drew an initial peal of raucous guffawing from about one-third of the room, only for these attendees to lapse into stifled follow-up chuckles as they realized others at their table were unamused. Examples of this first category of divisiveness include: several bits about Jerry Sandusky at the start of the show (which compelled this agent to sincere fits of laughter); bits about black critics of President Obama; bits about Michael Jackson, with one exception. (The exception was the suggestion that MJ’s problem was that he “never had to beg for no pussy,” which killed.) Mr. Mooney’s response to those jokes which elicited hushed “ooohs” of injury from the group was to feign a stereotypical slave’s voice and attribute the crowd’s quietness to a fear of “Massa,” though I’m unsure whether the Council should take heart at this in the final analysis.
It is also valuable to note which bits did unite the crowd. Tyler Perry does not enjoy the universal acclaim we’ve anticipated, I’m sorry to say– a well-crafted joke at Mr. Perry’s expense got perhaps the biggest laugh of the night, and drew many in the crowd to their feet. Operation Cotton Candy may need to be reconsidered. On the other hand, Mr. Mooney’s final half-hour of bits were all similarly aimed at popular figures in black entertainment culture, and all of them did well, so perhaps this is a reflection of people’s willingness to laugh at even the sharpest jabs at, for example, Oprah’s sexual proclivities.
Dick Gregory Is Still Alive. Perhaps I missed a memo, but I believed his 900-year-old ass to be deceased. Note too that in addition to being alive, he was hilarious. He did a half-hour only, but he revealed the falsity of the moon landing among other secrets. It is perhaps above my paygrade to make this recommendation, but I strongly urge that whoever was in charge of this matter be retired from field service, as his (or her) incompetence is manifestly hurting the cause. To reiterate: Dick Gregory is traveling the country revealing what a certain astronautical apostate, whose defection has cost the Council dear, told him at a dinner party. This cannot stand.
Mr. Mooney Confirmed Comrade Wilson’s Theory That He Is Responsible For Comrade Rooney’s Demise. Mr. Mooney took full credit for Andy Rooney’s death, at length and in what I’m embarrassed to say was indeed hilarious fashion. (Council members who found Mr. Rooney a useful agent or counted him a friend would surely disagree. In this observer’s opinion, however, the Rooney bit killed.)
Contrary To Recent Reports, Our Agents Posing As Street Tramps Have Not Been “Made.” Mr. Mooney did a lengthy bit about how the sight of homeless white people affects him emotionally. He is driven to tears, he said, by the complete “waste of white skin” that a destitute white person represents. Not only does this mean that Operation Tramp may continue apace, but Mr. Mooney’s ability to draw pained laughter from the concept that whiteness makes life comparatively easy augurs well for the overall cause.
It Is Possible To Say “The Enn Word” Hundreds Of Times In Two Hours Without Inciting Violence. Mr. Mooney’s prolific employment of the strongest epithet is befuddling. It would appear that the “they can say it and we cannot” rule holds. Like you, I remain baffled. I know this will not settle the argument among the Council. But I can assure you all from first-hand experience that it just sounds different coming from someone like Mr. Mooney. Not a nose wrinkled in the room at any of the hundreds of usages.
Jews Are “Fake White People.” I know it would be risky, but perhaps it is worth reaching out in most delicate fashion to Mr. Mooney to explore the possibility of an unlikely alliance. He strikes me as the sort of man who understands that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the Council’s goals would appear to align with his in this regard. However, it is also possible that he was merely “doing a bit,” as they say, and does not share your animus toward semitic peoples.
Mr. Mooney Balances A Vaguely Pan-Africanist Worldview With A Biting Contempt For Africans. I will not be able to adequately reproduce the humor of this observation, and advise you to consult the attached audio recordings– this bit came near the end of Mr. Mooney’s set. His adroitness for his craft was never more apparent than in his juggling of a sort of spiritual rootedness in African culture, and a long memory for the fact that “nobody came for us.” Mr. Mooney found the one person not laughing at the punchline of this bit, deemed him African, and threw him a near-lethal dose of what I believe is called “side-eye” in the community.