ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Black Reflections

Updated on November 4, 2014

Reflections Of Black

“In my lifetime, we've gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. We've gone from John F. Kennedy to Al Gore. If this is evolution, I believe that in twelve years, we'll be voting for plants.”

~Lewis Black

The biography posted on Lewis Black's website cites the fact that he was, “colicky as a baby” and that, “it seems he was destined to be angry and easily irritated.” Whatever the impetus for Black's sarcastically caustic comedy was, it is welcome relief from the vanilla pablum offered up by those who fear offending someone. Black's first love is the theater, wherein he oversaw the production of over 1,000 plays, and it is also where he honed his first stand-up routines, performing as an emcee before the performances. Black became nationally known through his Back in Black segments on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, moving on to cross country tours, television and movie appearances, voice over work and even penning a few books along the way. His delivery, which is more like a sustained primal scream, is an angst laden cathartic release for the audience as well as himself.

During a recent telephone interview from his New York home, I asked Black whether he thought that political satire helped people form their outlook about certain issues.

“I think it plays a very minor role only in the sense that it might catch somebody's eye and gives them a way to look at something differently.” Black went on by saying, “I think the role it really plays, to be honest, is it allows people to stand back ten feet from what the hell they're yelling about for five minutes and take a look at it...and then they're right back into it. I also think it's a release of frustration.”

Black, known primarily for his social and political commentaries, surprised me with the revelation about his views on politics.

“I'm not so much interested in's like nauseating. What I find intriguing about it is the way that it effects people and what it really means. Because they (the politicians) puff and they run their mouth, but while they're doing it, there's millions of people who are being screwed by their nonsense. I generally try to go and take a look at what that means.” Returning to the previous question, Black ended his thought by saying, “I think that may be where political satire leads. It allows people to look at it in human terms and not big, broad strokes.”

Black describes his own political standing as being a socialist. We spoke at length about how people trot out the word socialism as if it were synonymous with Marxism and communism and how few people knew the differences.

“Most people don't even know what socialism is. I mean, it's really unbelievable. The US military is the possibly largest socialist entity in the world.” Black went on to say that, “They just throw a label on something. They've beaten the dead horse of liberalism and now they've gotten to socialism and that really irritated me because I'm basically and always have been a socialist. Ever since I was a kid. I don't know why people are so afraid of socialists...there's only seven of us in the country. And to label Obama as a socialist is disgusting. I mean, if you look at who he's put around him in terms of the economy...” Black said, sarcastically. “Oh boy! What a group of Marxists!”

Socialism is a word that has been bandied about as of late due in no small part to the ongoing argument over universal health care. In reference to other countries that already have some form of socialized medicine in place, Black said:

“Well, they're ahead of us health wise. The latest stats say we're nineteenth. What else do you need to know?” Black went on a rant, stating, “I don't know how health care becomes a partisan issue. It can't be a partisan issue. If it is a partisan issue, then something is terribly, terribly wrong with us. We're maybe the most ignorant country on planet Earth. Health care is no argument. The job is to figure it the fuck out so that it works the best for everyone. There's no fight about it. You know goddamn well that insurance companies gouge, and they (the government) know it too. If you think that the government can't handle it, then figure out some sort of quasi-institution that can, because really, it's disgusting. This more than anything bothers me, and I've seen a lot of stuff in my life.”

Black ended our discussion about health care with a little epiphany he had concerning our governmental leadership:

“If there's a portion of the leadership that is so good at what they do that they can get the common man out in public, standing up for health insurance companies, then they're...that's unbelievable!” Black said. “All I kept thinking was, 'Wow! If you actually used that power for good...' Boy, wouldn't that be something?”


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • JTRyder profile imageAUTHOR

      John Thomas Niswonger 

      5 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      Thanks! I was able to meet up with Lewis Black at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a great show and he is an extremely interesting man.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from UpstateWestern,New York

      I adore Lewis....He is one man who makes people laugh uncontrollably while making perfect sense with pure disgust.

      YOU are quite a prolific writer. I'm happy you have moved to Hubville...UP Funny/Interesting-shared, tweeted


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)