Re: Anti-Social Darwinism
I’m not too acquainted with Berlusconi’s “humor”—but comedy has a way of “bringing the crowd together” with the supposed “common sense” of the jokester. In the US, Marc Maron towards the left to Dennis Miller on the right illustrate this. I love comedy (Jack Benny was a favorite, and I think Stephen Colbert has a similar approach to irony of character)—but farce, etc, have tremendous rhetorical force; not only in subversive power, but for the attitudes assumed.
Momus, I think your “Unreliable Tour Guide” performance is great also for the “institutionalization of institutional critique.” Some claim that the question “what is art?” is defined by an educated coterie—an elite democracy; and you both fortify this position by being “obviously unreliable” (hence implying that there is a real legitimacy to the real tour guides: they will tell you what art is and why)—and also challenge it by BEING an artist who appropriates others’ art, painting pastiche mustaches if you will, to make your own new art that defies being framed by the real tour guides—hopefully not me, here—maybe a (fun-house) mirror in a museum would present an opportunity for you to unreliably self-critique?
The Darwin aspect is also relevant to some art theory, in that “historical narrative” can be taken to define art; as if art evolves too—with its legitimate claim to being art tied to a genealogical heritage—to some origin that is unquestionably art (if such exists). Maybe I’m projecting my own platitudinous simple-mindedness here, but I see a lot of theory behind the memorable comedy— even if art is best defined by example and not theory.