USO: I'll Be Seeing You
Author: Kim Rosenfield
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2013)
USO: I'll Be Seeing You is at its core a parable of performance and service. How does one perform/serve issues of identity, race, politics, and the essential vulnerability of what it means to be human? What is language in service of and when does it go too far? What degrades? What supports? What is heroic? What does it mean to put oneself at risk or in harm's way? This book speaks via the poetry of stand-up comedy to the U.S. involvement in the Middle East and the difficulties of naming the unnameable.
This book treats themes of race, politics, religion, gender, power, sexuality, and trauma within appropriated, amalgamated frames of stand-up comedy and comedians entertaining the military via USO performances in war zones. As Freud theorized, humor, like dreams, carries unconscious content that makes the unspeakable explicit. The idea of this book is to investigate undigested collective cultural taboos that have historically only been able to be metabolized through vehicles of popular culture, especially comedy. Ideas of personhood and sense of self within the abovementioned themes is challenged through multiply subjective iterations, non-narrative structure, and appropriated language systems.