My brain was shutting down from working out all the details of a few projects and I found myself looking at old clips of the main comedians when I was growing up. I watched Richard pryer, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Cosby, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams. and George Carlin along with other various acts from the Johnny Carson era. What happened to our ability to laugh at ourselves or laugh with each other?
Comedy today appears to have people working inside politically correct boxes, or so out of touch with a level of decorum that the comedians don’t understand why they were fired or had performances canceled for having their idea of a joke backfire with the politically correct society. if you think about it, Kathy Griffin basically offended everyone, while I feel bad at the speed ones career can tank, I also realize how hard it is for us to get to a place where Rhett Butler says, “until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.”
you also have to be willing to let your idea of a reputation go in order to understand the deeper meaning of that line. too often our pride and ego holds on for dear life.
In a sense, perhaps that is where American culture is at, and comedy is simply a barometer of the health of the country. we have applied so much make-up, hair color, implanted and injected so many items and parts, all to make us look more like circus performers than the beautiful people we all are inside. the idea of legacy and collecting all the pieces in the game of capitalism has us forgetting how to laugh at ourselves. the speed of which we watch people being destroyed in the media, whether innocent or guilty, is astounding.
When i look at what people are making jokes about today, is it comedy and funny? or cheap laughs with being cruel to another misfortune? we are walking in the times where either Emerson or thorough commented years ago about man’s inability to not laugh at himself, for he always runs the risk of looking the fool.
maybe that is what is happening to the country, I just never put the pieces together until this morning as I type while staring out the window at the trees, where I can see the forest and the trees. punny joke, no? (rim shot)
it is like the past few weeks where a lot of work has gone into ideas that can really help a lot of people on the planet, yet, I have not found the folks that perhaps have taken the time to fail, and/or have failed before in life and understand the time left on this planet is limited and that when we die, it is all basically dust, as we can’t take it with us.
what we can do, no matter what the human condition claims with humanity – Is try to make the planet a better space to live in. what people will or won’t do with the time and resources, is simply their choice. but I can’t live in a world where we can’t laugh at ourselves, or run the risk of not being able to laugh at ourselves.
perhaps that is part of the problem in the USA, and some places on the planet. we have applied so much make-up to our images, that when we take it off, we are aghast at the reality, instead of laughing at ourselves and asking, “why exactly was I putting so much stuff on me? you can’t even recognize what I really am anymore.”
I think being a stand-up comedian, and doing it well, probably is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. to take the worst of human behavior and actions and shine a light upon the problems on the planet, have us laugh about it…perhaps plant a seed for everyone to think about the issue that was presented…and not get offended, defensive, or angry with someone talking about it…really is difficult, if not impossible, when you have an audience that can no longer laugh at themselves.