Niagara Gazette

January 29, 2013

Black tackles 'Obamacare,' Facebook at casino

by Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — When someone mentions the name Lewis Black, there are a few ideas that immediately pop into the brain. Funny? Yes. Vulgar? Definitely. Poignant? Sure.

All of these were on full display as the wildly popular stand-up comedian played a sold-out show Saturday at the Seneca Niagara Events Center. About 2,500 people showed up to hear the political commentator wax poetic on stage, which he's a bona fide master of. He brought the house down with well-developed bits about social security, the use of the term “Obamacare” and the difference between a Democrat and Republican. He took on the possibilities of alternative energy in the future and whether some states deserve to be states.

But his best moments came when he commented on the status of society itself in the 21st century, one he said is the worst so far.

“One of the reasons this has been such a (expletive) future is the fault of my generation,” he said. “This is the future I helped build. But we (messed) it up. It was our fault. Because what my generation is great at, and no generation before or after will be as great at, nobody ... hangs out as well as we do.”

He said this interest and skill at sitting around and doing nothing has helped control a country's dependence on oil and made it impossible for alternative energy sources to become prevalent.

It won't be reality, he said, until every last bit of oil is pulled from the Earth, and maybe even longer.

“Not until every drop of oil has been extracted,” he said. “Not until every oil company has taken every dime it can. And then ... they'll gather up all the adolescents and squeeze the oil out of their faces.”

Instead, he ventures, the country created Earth Day. But he said there's an alternative explanation why the environmentalist movement chose to name it Earth Day.

“We were doing a lot of drugs,” he said. “So we came up with Earth Day to remind us every year what planet we were living on.”

He also took on society's dependence on the Internet, lamenting about the need he has to run Twitter and Facebook accounts along with a website and some oversharing issues on a mobile music player, all of which, he said, he doesn't need.

Facebook, especially, connected him with thousands of fans he doesn't know and informed him of things he had no interest in knowing.

“What have I gotten from Facebook?” he asked. “Oh right, I learned Janet has irritable bowel syndrome.”