January 3, 2019

From Gerald R. Lucas

Today during lunch, I watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette on Netflix. Wow, what a great show. Funny, thoughtful, angry, and a great explanation of white male privilege. I mean, if you don’t understand it by the end of Gadsby’s show, you’re never going to, or, in her words, “you haven’t been listening.” Near the end of her show she says: "To the men in the room who feel I may have been persecuting you this evening – well spotted, but this is theatre, fellas. I've given you an hour, a taste.” She has had to endure the tension her whole life. Very poignant.

I agree with Tig Notero that “‘Nanette’ should be required viewing if you’re a human being.”[1] I even learned something about art — especially Picasso,[2] who, she argues, suffered from the mental illness of misogyny — and that the history of Western art has defined women as “flesh vases for dick flowers.”[3] She is ultimately interested in stories, our ability to tell them to one another, and not be defined by others’ stories. Stories lead to empathy and connection, as long as we’re listening: “We need a more complete picture . . . which must include the humanity of all people.”[4]

Unfortunately, I think those who most need to see this will not. Is that you? If you’re not afraid of a bit of discomfort — I’m looking at you, heterosexual white guys — you will be better for it.


  1. Ryzik, Melena (July 24, 2018). "The Comedy-Destroying, Soul-Affirming Art of Hannah Gadsby". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  2. For example, see Lee, Shannon (November 22, 2017). "The Picasso Problem: Why We Shouldn't Separate the Art From the Artist's Misogyny". Artspace. Retrieved 2019-01-03. Linked in Ryzik (2018). I wonder if Mailer mentions this side of Picasso in his biography? Now I’ll have to find out. I kinda wonder what Gadsby thinks of Mailer.
  3. Quinn, Karl (June 27, 2018). "'Remarkable': The Netflix special everyone is talking about". The Sydney Morning Herald. TV & Radio. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  4. Griswold, John (September 14, 2018). "Unfunny Brilliance in Standup Comedy: Part 3, Hannah Gadsby". The Common Reader. Retrieved 2019-01-03.