Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette is unmissable

Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette is unlike any comedy; it is unconventional, it is disturbing, and it is powerful at the same time! The show will leave you with uncomfortable, harrowing thoughts and questions… with every word reverberating in your head long after you have finished watching. Here are some of the best quotes from the searing comedy special:

1) On shame:

“Shame is not a weapon. At least, it shouldn’t be, because it is way too powerful. But here we are living in cultures where we regularly, habitually “soak one child in shame and give permission to another to hate”. Shame is an identity-shredding bullet when aimed at a kid.”

2) On straight white male privilege:

“I love being mistaken for a man, ‘cause for a few moments, life gets a hell of a lot easier. I’m top-shelf, normal king of the humans. I’m a straight white man. I’m about to get good service for no fucking effort.”

3) On resilience, humanity and strength:

“What about their humanity? These men control our stories and yet they have a diminishing connection to their own humanity, and we don’t seem to mind so long as they get to hold onto their precious reputation…. to be rendered powerless does not destroy your humanity. Your resilience is your humanity. The only people who lose their humanity are those who believe they have the right to render another human being powerless. They are the weak. To yield and not break, that is incredible strength.”

4) On diversity and power:

I am incorrectly female. I’m incorrect. And that is a punishable offense. And this tension is yours. I’m not helping you anymore. You need to learn what this feels like because this tension is what not-normals carry inside of them all of the time because it is dangerous to be different…

All my life, I’ve been told that I’m a man-hater. I don’t hate men, I honestly do not. I don’t hate men. But… there’s a problem. See, I don’t even believe that women are better than men. I believe women are just as corruptible by power as men, because you know what, fellas, you don’t have a monopoly on the human condition, you arrogant fucks. But the story is as you have told it. Power belongs to you. And if you can’t handle criticism, take a joke, or deal with your own tension without violence, you have to wonder if you are up to the task of being in charge.

I’m not a man-hater. But I’m afraid of men. If I’m the only woman in a room full of men, I am afraid. And if you think that’s unusual, you’re not speaking to the women in your life.

I don’t hate men, but I wonder how a man would feel if they would have lived my life. Because it was a man who sexually abused me when I was a child. It was a man who beat the shit out of me at 17 (my prime). And it was two men who raped me when I was barely in my 20’s. Tell me why is that OK? … It would have been more humane to take me out to the back paddock and put a bullet in my head if it is that much of a crime to be different! I don’t tell you this so you think of me as a victim… I tell you this because my story has value… ‘You destroy the woman, you destroy the past she represents.’ I will not allow my story to be destroyed. What I would have done to have heard a story like mine. Not for blame. Not for reputation, not for money, not for power. But to feel less alone. To feel connected… Diversity is strength. Difference is a teacher. Fear difference, you learn nothing.”

5) On connection:

“Do you know why we have the sunflowers? It’s not because Vincent van Gogh suffered. It’s because Vincent van Gogh had a brother who loved him. Through all the pain, he had a tether, a connection to the world. And that is the focus of the story we need. Connection.”

6) On a broken woman:

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.”

7) Stories hold our cure:

Laughter is not our medicine. Stories hold our cure. Laughter is just the honey that sweetens the bitter medicine.

8) On abuse of power:

“Comedy is more used to throwaway joke about priests being pedophiles and Trump grabbing pussy. I don’t have time for that shit. Do you know who used to be an easy punchline? Monica Lewinsky. Maybe, if comedians had done their job properly, and made fun of the man who abused his power, then perhaps we might have had a middle-aged woman with an appropriate amount of experience in the White House, instead of, as we do, a man who openly admitted to sexually assaulting vulnerable young women because he could.”

9) On being sensitive:

“Why is insensitivity something to strive for? I happen to know that my sensitivity is my strength. I know that. It’s my sensitivity that’s helped me navigate a very difficult path in life. So when somebody tells me to “stop being so sensitive,” you know what? I feel a little bit like a nose being lectured by a fart. Not the problem.”

10) On options as a woman in a man’s world:

“There’s only ever been two options for a little girl to grow up into. Virgin or whore. We were always given a choice. Take your pick. Ladies’ choice! That’s the trick. The patriarchy, it’s not a dictatorship. Take your choice! And I don’t fit very neatly into either of those categories.”

11) On our obsession with reputation:

“Do you know what should be the target of our jokes at the moment? Our obsession with reputation. We’re obsessed. We think reputation is more important than anything else, including humanity.”

12) On anger: 

But this is why… I must quit comedy. Because the only way… I can tell my truth and put tension in the room is with anger. And I am angry, and I believe I’ve got every right to be angry! But what I don’t have a right to do is to spread anger. I don’t. Because anger, much like laughter, can connect a room full of strangers like nothing else. But anger, even if it’s connected to laughter, will not… relieve tension. Because anger is a tension. It is a toxic, infectious… tension. And it knows no other purpose than to spread blind hatred, and I want no part of it. Because I take my freedom of speech as a responsibility, and just because I can position myself as a victim, does not make my anger constructive. It never is constructive.

13) On internalizing homophobia:

Punch lines need trauma, because punch lines… need tension, and tension feeds trauma. I didn’t come out to my grandma last year because I’m still ashamed of who I am— not intellectually, but right there [pats her heart] I still have shame. You learn from the part of the story you focus on. I need to tell my story properly, because the closet, for me, was no easy thing to come out of. From the years 1989 to 1997, right? This is ten years, effectively my adolescence, Tasmania was at the center of a very toxic national debate about homosexuality and whether or not it should be legalized. And I’m from the northwest coast of Tasmania, the Bible Belt. Seventy percent of the people I lived amongst believed that homosexuality should be a criminal act. Seventy percent of the people who raised me, who loved me, who I trusted, believed that homosexuality was a sin, that homosexuals were heinous, sub-human pedophiles. Seventy percent! And by the time I identified as being gay, it was too late. I was already homophobic, and you do not get to just flick a switch on that. No, what you do is you internalize that homophobia and you learn to hate yourself. Hate yourself to the core. I sat soaking in shame in the closet for ten years. Because the closet can only stop you from being seen. It is not shame-proof. When you soak a child in shame, they cannot develop the neurological pathways that… carry thoughts of self-worth. They can’t do that. Self-hatred is only ever a seed planted from outside in. But when you do that to a child, it becomes a weed so thick, and it grows so fast, the child doesn’t know any different. It becomes as natural as gravity. When I came out of the closet, I didn’t have any jokes. The only thing I knew how to do when I came out of the closet was to be invisible and to hate myself. It took me another ten years to understand that I was allowed to take up space in the world.

Wild Wild Country

At first glance, #Netflix’s #WildWildCountry looks like a story of power and money, but, observed more closely, it is so much more. The docuseries reveals the ugly truth of the extent to which people can go to break free from the mundanity of everyday life to seek peace, adventure and happiness; however bizarre or strange the source. It brings to the fore the most basic human need to belong, to be unconditionally accepted and to be loved.

The Way brothers manage to capture the strange rise and fall of the controversial cult guru’s commune in Oregon in an absolutely riveting way.

P.S. Now if you have been living under a rock (like me) and missed this totally binge-worthy Netflix six-part docuseries, go watch it right away!

That conversation between her liquid friends…

Sitting on that beautiful, dark wood high shelf, her good friends for bad times Whiskey, Wine and Vodka seemed to be having a hush-hush talk about her disappearance from their lives. “The real question is why is she avoiding us?” asked Whiskey rhetorically. Wine sighed but remained silent. “She looks pretty happy without us; look at her new friend, Water.” Vodka added angrily, while she poured a glass of water and gulped it down.

It’s not like she wasn’t grateful to her liquid friends for loaning her some sanity in the middle of the storm; but the worst was over. She had done it; despite everything, she had managed to get her life back. The desire to take refuge in alcohol had finally been tamed by her sheer grit to punch the demon of depression right in the gut. Those very emotions that sabotaged her life were now the lessons, experiences and scars she valued greatly.

Yes, she had her life back.

Piyush Mishra: The Quiet Genius

There is a mad intensity in the way I am reading these days. I always was a reader, but I have now become a manic reader. I want to know all about the authors, what they were going through when they wrote a particular book (particularly the ones that had unapologetically non-conforming protagonists) and more. From Rumi to Dostoyevsky, Proust to Kafka, Nietzsche to Haruki Murakami… I am going insane. There is so much to read (and so little time)! Words have become my fuel and I can’t survive without them. Amid all this, I bumped into this beautiful piece (a fusion of humour and truth) from the man I have loved since I heard him sing Husna on Coke Studio – ?#?PiyushMishra?, the born rebel. Watch it for yourself.

“Woh kaam bhala kya kaam hua jo maza nahi de whisky ka, wo ishq bhala kya ishq hua jisme na mauka siski ka.” ;)

Money, money, money

Every time I meet someone with goals like fancy cars, a swanky house and opulent lifestyle I fail to relate with that person. I know money matters (a lot), but money is just a means to an end and can never be the end in itself. How can you base your entire life on a selfish man-made concept like money? A fixation like that has no end.

~ It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy. – George Horace Lorimer ~

Feel

I will never know for sure if music eases or aggravates a lover’s pain. It is difficult, almost impossible, to define the function of music; but an existence without it seems preposterous… it satisfies a primal need to feel, to feel till you bleed out all those emotions… and then feel some more.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

This super-quick read might look ordinary, but it is anything but. What a creative way to explain the perils and pleasures of love! Although it is difficult to pick one favourite, here is mine…

“love, n. I’m not even going to try.”

Posted by Pooja Chopra Goel on Tuesday, 23 February 2016