Friday, July 17, 2015

"I Can See The Mountain But Am Not Ready For The Ascent"

I write about universalism in comedy, where once, everybody laughed at the same thing – and they don’t anymore – people only laugh at their own niche, often agenda-driven comedy – and I believe that that’s unfortunate.

It is not just unfortunate for the obvious reason – that it drove me entirely out of show business, which was significant, although probably less so for you than it was for me.  

That one bothered me quite a bit.

That backstory, however, opens me to charges of personal bias concerning this matter that are not easy to rebut.  I bemoan, you might reasonably argue, the lost universalism where we could all lay down our swords and shields – not down by the riverside – but around a campfire – or the metaphorical comedy campfire.  The reason for my perspective:

Sour grapes.

From a guy who went to the bathroom in the bushes, and when he emerged, found that the wagon train had moved on without him.

“Hello? – I’m in the wilderness.”

The thing is…

That rationalization of my perspective is decidedly incorrect.

I mean, it is correct that I am bitter and resentful at having been ignominiously left behind.  Who wouldn’t be?  (Not counting mentally healthy people.)  But even my personal misfortune – which I have internalized as a shattering cataclysm – is not the source of my continued interest in that particular subject matter.

Unfortunately, I cannot – or at least not yet – write about what is, due to the disqualifying combo of insufficient ability and personal cowardice. 

I am currently inadequately gifted to respectably articulate my position.  And not brave enough to promote an unpopular point of view.

I wholeheartedly wish that that were not the case. 

I wish I could persuade you, presenting examples of situations from the past, in which minorities were barred from engaging in certain activities because it was not “natural” for them to participate in them. 

Or examples of women, restricted from voting and serving on juries because they lacked the “natural” requirements to fulfill those responsibilities.

I would employ such paralleling examples as “opening salvos”, prior to uncorking my rhetorical “Haymaker.”  That goes something like this:

Although “Conventional Wisdom” maintains that it is impossible for people of disparate subcultures to coexist and cooperate – anchored by the belief that the recognized “ Us’ versus ‘Them’” configuration is the unalterable “natural way of things”…

In fact – as those “opening salvo” examples clearly demonstrate – it is not an indisputable certainty that this, albeit popular, belief is actually the case.

It is possible that inter-identity-group hostility is not necessarily the “natural way of things.”

It is possible we just think it is.  And by believing that to be true,

Aggressive adversarialism becomes – anointed the “natural way of things” – the inevitable way of things.

That’s what I’d really like to write about, rather than pussyfooting around with book-marking surrogate of comedy.  I’d like to powerfully advocate for taking a second look at internecine hatred and division, positing the serious possibility of an alternate direction.   

“It appears that you just did that.”

A little, perhaps, but that’s as far as I can take it.  Without becoming insufferably ponderous, preachy, pedantic, and dull.

Hopefully, some day, I can do better.   Challenge long-held perceptions.  Maybe alter a few minds.  While not annoying my audience.  Or putting them immediately to sleep.

But not today.

Today, instead, I shall retreat where I always retreat – to the salving sanctuary of hilarious comedy.

Not with something I wrote myself.  But with something I like. 

Which is sort of on the subject.

Though not entirely dead center.

We will now turn in our hymnals – excuse me, we will now repair to Google – and type in “Tex, The Passive/Aggressive Gunslinger.”

In the meantime, I shall work on sharpening my skills and strengthening my backbone, marshaling my forces for a, hopefully effectuating, future campaign.

I thank you for your attention.

And I wish you “Good day.”

Don't be lazy, you guys.

"Tex, The Passive-Agressive Gunslinger."

It's really funny.

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