Thursday, 25 June 2015

Bob Slayer - Zen Master

He's been many things - a promoter at the Fringe, a stand-up comedian, the manager of Japanese rockers Electric Eel Shock - but Slayer's wisdom as a master of the Japanese poetic form, the koan, is rarely recognised. When questioned about his influences, Slayer gave back this pithy reply.

When I was 11 all I wanted to be when I grew up was Dave Allen. So I cut my finger off...

Slayer's comment plays on the common assumption that reality is merely a singular entity - that the defining characteristic of Dave Allen is not his humour but his physicality. And so, in punning on the concept of the real itself, Slayer exposes the cultural assumptions about identity and essence, without settling on a permanent definition.

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