Art is Dead

I appreciate a good comedian. If you can make me laugh, then I like you. While perusing Netflix for something to watch, I found a Bo Burnham comedy special I had previously watched. I remembered it being pretty funny, so I loaded it up. Bo Burhnam’s act consists of haiku, Shakespeare mockery, songs accompanied by him playing the piano or guitar to which he either sings or raps. He’s very talented, especially because he is only 22 or 23.

One song in particular of his struck me as brilliant. It’s not meant to be funny, which he says during his show, because it’s true. The song is called Art is Dead, and it’s all about how, as an entertainer, he craves attention, and people only think of how they can get money from other people who think Bo is funny or talented. He talks about how all the money that is used for the show could be used to feed poor families, and other things of the sort. I’ll post the lyrics and video below, and I would love to know what you think of it.

I think the song applies to all artists, including us writers. We see famous writers with tons of money at big, lavish book launch parties with open bars, or at huge venues. What if that money were used for a better cause instead? Don’t the publishers make more than enough money from the book sales without having to spend so much on such a huge party? On the other hand, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to be the guest of honor at a party like that. Either way, the song is pretty good, and I’d like to know what you think.

Art is dead
Art is dead
Art is dead
Art is dead

Entertainers like to seem complicated
But we’re not complicated
I can explain it pretty easily
Have you ever been to a birthday party for children
And one of the children won’t stop screaming
Cuz he’s just a little attention attractor
When he grows up to be a comic or actor
He’ll be rewarded for never maturing
For never understanding or learning
That every day can’t be about him
There’s other people, you selfish asshole!

I must be psychotic
I must be demented
To think that I’m worthy of all this attention
Of all of this money you worked really hard for
I slept in late while you worked at the drug store

My drug’s attention
I am addict
But I get paid to indulge in my habit
It’s all an illusion
I’m wearing make up
I’m wearing make up
Make up
Make up

Art is dead
Some people think you’re funny
How do we get those people’s money?
I said art is dead
We’re rolling in dough while Carlin rolls in his grave
His grave
His grave

This show has got a budget
This show has got a budget
And all the poor people way more deserving
Of the money won’t budge it
Cause I wanted my name in lights
When I could have fed a family of four
For forty fucking fortnights
Forty fucking fortnights!

I am an artist
Please God, forgive me
I am an artist
Please don’t revere me
I am an artist
Please don’t respect me
I am an artist
You’re free to correct me

A self-centered artist
Self-obsessed artist
I am an artist
I am an artist
But I’m just a kid
I’m just a kid
I’m just a kid, kid
And maybe I’ll grow out of it.


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