Contributed by Jonny Collins
Would you believe it, Blizzard Comedy is 2 years old? Isn’t it incredible how time moves forwards?
At this point we will have been running online longer than we were prior to the pandemic, that’s depressing. But I think it’s fair to say that in that time we have gone from strength to strength. Two whole strengths – imagine that!
Seriously though it is entirely thanks to the dedicated viewing of our beloved regulars of whatever nonsense we put out based on the limitations of the hour that we didn’t just fade into obscurity… well, deeper into obscurity due to the lack of live shows. So, a huge thank you to everyone who’s watched, supported, or taken part in any of our online shows over the last year or so.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we’ve decided to produce a best of Blizzard playlist. No specific theme this month, just a collection of songs we think encapsulate what Blizzard stands for, including some of our favourite tracks from the last year of playlists, and some which we love but haven’t yet found an easy way to shoehorn into any of the themes.
So here are some of the songs we think best capture the soul of Blizzard Comedy:
“Call me snowflake, and expect the avalanche”.
This song is the unofficial theme song of Blizzard (maybe I should approach the band and ask to make it official). That opening line is pretty much the cornerstone of the Blizzard ethos – to the point that before I settled on the title I was going to call it Avalanche Comedy – but upon Googling it that had already been used for a comedy event in America, so I settled on Blizzard.
Like many Millennials and Gen Z, I was getting pretty tired of every conversation about social justice, bigotry or problems with the political system getting shut down with the ‘snowflake’ rhetoric that the right obsessed over throughout the late 2010s. As an insult it was designed to undermine the mere act of caring about socio-political issues whether or not they affected you directly. Every social wrong that has been solved in the decades prior were fine and just, but anything we’re talking about now is asking too much and overreacting, and ‘that’s just how things are, get over it.’ I’m sad to say at times I bought into this rhetoric myself.
But these are the exact same people who would have said the same things in the 00s before gay marriage was legal, or in the 80s and 90s before section 28 was repealed.
And no matter how much these people try to undermine the facts by calling us snowflakes. You get enough snowflakes together with a common goal, and we’ll bury the old, outdated shit in an avalanche.
Editor’s note: I (Kurt) have long contemplated getting a tattoo inspired by this “snowflakes defeated the Nazis” tweet
“Negative are all your views
So you to can prop up your fake cool
A puppet all the same political”
Another theme that’s been fucking me off a lot recently is the amount of time white men moan about being fed up of politics, and complaining that all of their favourite entertainment mediums are being ‘too political’… ignoring the fact that everything they previously enjoyed is by nature steeped in politics. It is a matter of privilege that you’re tired of politics.
I’m fucking tired of politics – but when I’m tired of politics, stop engaging, stop fighting, there is absolutely nothing to stop my rights being stripped away. And that isn’t a hypothetical. In the last 12 months around the world access to life saving treatments and therapy for trans people is being stripped away and made harder to get. Trans kids are no longer granted agency over their decisions and can’t access puberty blockers despite being very reversible and makes the process of transition infinitely easier. Some countries are denying Trans people human rights through various loopholes and legislations that strip back what little protections we had.
There have been some small victories – the fee for applying for a gender recognition certificate has been drastically reduced from £140 to less than £10. But this has happened long after the government announced they were ignoring the results of their consultation as they felt it was hijacked by trans rights activists. For a consultation, about legislation, about trans rights.
I don’t know where this change of heart came from – but if we’d laid down and accepted their initial statement without fighting back and kicking a fuss, this change would not have happened. And this was nearly 4 years of constant campaigning and fighting, despite setbacks from anti-trans organizations lobbying against this, with either ignorant or malicious media backing.
Yes, this is political, everything’s political, and unlike you, we can’t just ‘switch off’ from politics. Because when we do that, we die. When you do that, you get to not feel bad about what’s happening to other people. Fuck you.
“What if life as we knew it was over?
Guess what? God is a woman, I know her.
What if rich, white, straight men
Didn’t rule the world anymore?”
CW: Cissentric language
It was this song which made me fall in love with Kesha.
I was never particularly a fan when she was blowing up, I dismissed Tik Tok as pop garbage which the killjoy that I was refused to engage with (despite actually being a really catchy song). But taking a deeper dive into her work she is an absolute legend.
This is a brilliant anthem about all the things the world could be if it weren’t for rich white straight men in charge refusing to do anything even slightly detrimental to their own interests – or even stuff that doesn’t directly benefit them.
This is oversimplifying of course, as Thatcher and May hardly helped with any of these causes, and Obama did the bare minimum. But those are three people – rich straight white men represent over 2/3 of positions of political power in America. Less than 7% of leaders around the world are women. This needs diversifying – and this is something that most major left wing political parties are also pretty terrible at addressing. We need to do better. We need to have a more representative demographic in our positions of power.
“Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power”
There’s a myth that people on the left are anti freedom of speech. This has been debunked many times by people far more patient and eloquent than me – but what is talked about less is how the right caring about freedom of speech is also a myth.
There may genuinely be people who believe in ‘true’ freedom of speech, whatever that is. But the fact of the matter is true freedom of speech in anything other than an anarchist society is unworkable. Sure, there are policies you can implement under the guise of freedom of speech, but there are always limits – and for good reason.
Freedom of speech does not cover threats or incitements of violence. It does not cover hate speech. It does not cover slander. When you boil it down, most laws we have are to a greater or lesser extent, based around mostly sensible limits on freedom of speech. You can’t say you own a thing that you don’t – you can’t tell overt lies to undermine someone else (as long as it’s provable), you can’t make threats without challenge and consequences.
If conservatives really cared about freedom of speech, they would have to be okay with, for example, false accusations of crimes being fine (a thing which they moan about a lot when it comes to sexual assault – even in the majority of cases where the accusations are not false), people making fun of them on The Simpsons, people talking about social issues which don’t directly affect them. The list goes on.
The big difference between the left and the right in broad terms, are where they think those lines on free speech should be. They’d make an argument that free expression of ideas should be the priority – which is a gateway to fascism, whether or not the people making that argument actively support fascism. Whereas the left want freedom of speech in a broad political sense; i.e. you can criticize your government, have an unbiased media etc – but have parameters against hate speech, dangerous spreading of misinformation, etc.
We can argue a lot about the feasibility of implementing this system. But the fact that the right claim to be the party of free speech when they will actively suppress the free speech of marginalized groups, under the guise of promoting free speech, demonstrates that free speech is a lie. They just want to be the ones in control of the speech.
The key difference is – in a left wing utopia – the right will get told off for being impolite and bigoted every now and then. In a right wing utopia – entire demographics may become victims of genocide.
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death.
“You’ll never silence tha voice of tha voiceless
You see the powerful got nervous
Cause he refused to be their servant
‘cause he spit truth”
This is far from my favourite RATM song, but ‘Voice of the Voiceless’ encompasses what Blizzard tries to achieve better than any other. One of the key components of our ethos, is platforming oppressed voices.
Voices which, as talked about above, are oppressed by the same people claiming to be fighting for freedom of speech. The powerful are nervous, and they are weaponizing their power to silence opposition.
The fight will be hard, but if they’re resorting to these tactics, that is a good sign of progress.
“It’s ok, allow yourself a little hate
Hatred is not so bad when directed at injustice
You can turn the other cheek, just don’t turn the other way”
I included this song, as it illustrates a seemingly complicated point in a matter of seconds.
There is another myth that the left is the party of ‘tolerance’. To the point that “so much for the tolerant left” is a meme now. The problem with viewing the left in this way, is that it only really describes liberalism – specifically neoliberalism.
Preaching tolerance isn’t a tool of the left, it’s a tool of the white centrist who just wants everyone to stop arguing. The fact that people associate the left with tolerance, leads to a paradox the right love to make fun of. “You claim to be the party of tolerance, yet you don’t tolerate people who don’t tolerate you? … I am very smart.”
Apart from being a very obvious bad argument, the left isn’t the party of toleration. To tolerate things, implies that things are less than ideal, but you’ll put up with them. And if that’s how you view ‘The Gays’, then quite frankly you can fuck off.
The left is not against hate – it’s just the hate is directed towards injustice. I love the line “You can turn the other cheek, just don’t turn the other way”. You don’t have to punch back – but don’t look past what’s happening and pretend it isn’t.
Blizzard Comedy is not the comedy night of the tolerant left, it’s the comedy of the angry and fed up left.
“Too late, trendy thinkers
Your time is running out
Ain’t no time to wonder why
Ain’t no time for doubt
Joseph, Reed and Whitehouse
Are out to get your guts
You better decide which side you’re on
Forget those ifs and buts”
To further the general theme of this playlist, this is a not so subtle track on picking a side. The centre aren’t in theory as bad as the right, it’s true.
However it is the centre who actually hold all the power. The centre gets to be the middle ground which the left and right have to appease in order to get power. In theory, this is a good thing, because it will naturally provide a solution where both major political parties will have to be within a certain framework suitable for the majority of people. An average, if you will.
In reality, the centre’s obsession with compromise, leads to the centre moving rightward, the right moving rightward, and the left being abandoned.
When you look at the political spectrum from a purely quantitative view, it’s easy to see how the centre is appealing. However that is ignoring the content of the spectrum. The fact of the matter is, the centre rarely compromises in favour of the left. It is the left generally that proposes radical change, because that’s what’s needed.
By its very nature, the centre is leaning towards conservatism, because as far as they’re concerned, things should broadly remain the same, apart from the odd issue. This means that the right proposes one thing, the left proposes another, the centre tries to form a compromise .
But to use a cliché, the compromise between genocide and not genocide, is a slightly smaller scale genocide. That is acceptable to the right, not to the left.
The right don’t explicitly promote that of course, but it’s the same principal – the right proposes austerity, the left opposes, the centre opts for a middle ground, which is still austerity. And if this keeps happening, the left will remain stagnant, and the right and centre get closer. The centre drags the right one step to the centre, but the centre moves two steps to the right. Eventually, the distinctions between the two become inconsequential.
So yes, this is the point where if you are someone who identifies as a centrist – either you pick a side, or you will be merged into the right regardless.
“Just because you find that life’s not fair it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it
If you always take it on the chin and wear it
Nothing will change
Even if you’re little you can do a lot, you
Mustn’t let a little thing like little stop you
If you sit around and let them get on top you
You might as well be saying you think that it’s okay
And that’s not right”
Matilda the Musical is one of, if not the best stage musical I have ever seen. Sure The Lion King is iconic, Avenue Q is a masterpiece of parody, The Book of Mormon is somehow the best thing that Trey and Matt have ever worked on. But for a pure balance of humour, scripting, staging, set design, adaptation, score and pure fucking feeling – it’s gotta be Matilda.
Based off fantastic source material, the very unique musical stylings of Tim Minchin shine through the narrative and compliment the story excellently, to the point that I now think of Tim Minchin, before Road Dahl when I think of Matilda.
Not to be a stan, Minchin has his fair share of shit takes that makes me somewhat question whether to endorse him on this blog. But overall he’s alright, and this work in particular is very relevant to our ethos.
This is a song that’s unsubtly about standing up to unjust authority regardless of whether it seems possible, regardless of who you are. Inactivity is ultimately complicity. You don’t necessarily need to put yourself in harms way, but we all need a bit of this Matilda energy when things get tough.
You may only be one person in a sea of bullshit – but you can, and you will shout against it. And with enough of us shouting, and enough of us fighting, we will see change within our lifetimes.
“Adolf Hitler himself said that the only way the rise of the German Nazi party could have been prevented was if its
Enemies had recognised it for what it was right at the start and had smashed it in its infancy with utmost force.
For once we would agree with him – waving placards and chanting at fascists through megaphones
Accomplishes absolutely nothing. The only way to stop Nazi scum like the B.N.P. is by physically confronting
Them and literally kicking them off our streets.”
I didn’t know this song last year. I do now, and it’s one of my favourites of all time. Punch Nazis. It’s fun, therapeutic, and it means there’s fewer Nazis out in the open.
““See, if we keep them silent
Then they’ll resort to violence
And that’s how we criminalise change”
Oh, Yabba dabba do one, son
We don’t want your rules
Who you fooling son?
We’ve got all the tools
We need to build a whole new system
To correct these flaws”
Enter Shikari are a strong contender for my all time favourite band (now that John Dolymayan from System of a Down is a piece of shit). They are loud, obnoxious, socialist, the best blend of electro, pop and metalcore since Linkin Park. And most importantly, the line “Yabba dabba do one son” is the best thing that anyone has ever said ever, so we can just stop writing new songs right?
“Get up! Get up! Your voices are needed
Become, become the pulse of the revolution
In the ranks of the masses rising’”
I sometimes get too bogged down in dark and depressing songs for these playlists. This Anti Flag track is the anthem of a revolution. Sometimes songs don’t need to say things deep, they don’t need to deconstruct systematic oppressions and capitalism.
Sometimes, we just need loud drums, a collection of power chords, and a good old yell of revolution. This song scratches that itch.
“’cause we are the many and they are the few”
Honestly I just include this one because it makes me reminiscent of a time when the Labour party actually had policies.
“Don’t wait for
A knight in shining armour
Reflected in the mirror”
Similar to the Matilda song above, this is an anthem about taking things into your own hands. Now for many people, particularly the oppressed, this often isn’t possible. So if you’re someone who is able to fight, please don’t wait for someone else to do it. Because others who can’t fight for themselves, at least not alone, need you.
If you can fight, don’t wait for others to do it for you. And even if you can’t, there are ways you can help without fighting. Find community schemes, donate to GoFundMes, share content from creators exposing fascism.
When we talk about the fight, we don’t just mean a physical fight (although that is inevitably a part of it). It’s campaigning, it’s solidarity, it’s platforming the oppresses and debunking rhetoric against us.
All of you who watch and take part in our shows are already doing great, keep it up. I love you.
“If I could learn to write, I’d write the queen a letter
Say if things around here don’t start getting better
I’m gonna raise an army, come knocking on her door
Gonna storm the bloody palace, can’t take it anymore”
If Desperate Measures is our theme song, then There’s Going To Be A Revolution is our ending theme.
I often play this song before the headline act in our live shows. It’s just under 5 minutes, which is perfect to use as a timer for people to get back to their seats. It’s simple but powerful, it has a brilliant progression. It’s anthemic. The pained ascending rasps of Andy Heintz’ lyrics, the repeated refrain.
This song, like the Anti Flag one, is a call to revolution. But it’s simultaneously hopeful, yet reflective of the hopeless situation we are in.
While on a literal level this song is set in Victorian times, per their niche, this, like many of their songs, share many parallels with the modern day. If any song on this playlist will get you ready for a revolution, it’s this one.
There’s going to be a revolution.
These are just a handful of the tracks from the soundtrack of Blizzard Comedy. You can listen to these tracks, as well as other songs by: Muse, Run The Jewels, Warbringer and more here on YouTube and here on Spotify.
And get ready for our show on the 26th April with Guest host Umby Winters, Team Captains Bobbie Jones & Thom Bee, with special guests Laura Monmoth, Mark Grimshaw, Hannah Platt and Roo Stellin!