Saturday, March 15, 2014

Worldy Comedy vs Divine Comedy

"Success is the enemy of comedy"...  It just shows how comedy is in a position of submission to the tragic, and the lords of tragedy accept such an arrangement, because in this case the spirit of a man must play their fool.  

Comedy rarely commits itself to observations of the sort of TRUTH which brings any significant response from those with power in this world.. rarely.  But it is barely on the cusp of doing so, but still avoids the direct truth.  But Carlin was willing to "go there", and Louis C.K. is on the edge of "going there".  But those who truly go there, aren't usually truly "successful".   Hence, the persistence of a balance between "success" and "comedy".  

But is it because, as Seinfeld implies, that with too much success comedy can no longer hold the image of revealing any truth with authenticity?  The real reason is this:  Comedy must go around the Truth in order to be successful.  Its "success" is measured in how close it comes to the truth without really baring it out for everyone in such a way as to attract the "grim and humorless" powers that be.  

If it is "too successful" at revealing any Truth, it becomes "unsuccessful" because it will not be accepted by the "judging mob".  Comedy, in the end, sells out to the mob.  It is just that part of the "political debate" which is humorous, then prolonged into "an act".  These are politicians, who happen to be funny enough that they decided rather to influence people by persuasion rather than by force... but in the end, they are within the parameters of those who use force, or they are not going to be successful.  Because that force does not accept being disrespected.

The evil forces which hold sway over this material world, and who physically manage it, use coercion and deception, and arrange for the detriment and downfall of anyone who doesn't OBEY them, yet claim to the faces of those they manipulate that "all is fair"...  How can this be ignored as "just the way it is"?  Only by surrendering to it, and for all its rebellion to "the powers that be" that many comedians seem to manifest, they never really go in for "the kill", which is to take stand on something that will upset their audience.  Their audience, the mob, is all that protects them from tptb, or gives them a living.  They must cater to the audience.  This is true for all performing arts and it would go without saying, except here it must be said because this means they obey the audience.

They require the audience to identify with them or they will not present a joke, because the objective of the joke is to entertain.  If the audience isn't entertained, it is over.  "Off with his head" is now "bombing a show".  This is a pure form of submission, to seek to avoid such disapproval.  It is what is always avoided, even if the shtick is that "your approval is not required".  In the end that is just an act at best.  No one goes on stage just to bomb unless that person has a suicidal mentality.  This is why there are no "Gnostic Comedians" in this world.  For we see in the world a MORAL ABSURDITY which is a real tragedy, and this cannot be laughed away as the afterthought of finding in life, as Seinfeld puts it "The torture which makes one happiest".

But that its exactly what the world requires of those who are an "accepted part" of it.  To be a part of it, one must authorize its having such a hold over one's mind that one would buy into it even if all it had to offer was torture, and so one accepts the major condition, on the minor condition of hoping to be accommodated in seeking the form of torture which makes one most happy (or least sad).  Such a mealy-mouthed surrender, from a moral standpoint.  

The idea of morality is merely a pittance of thought if it must be doled out in terms of surrendering to prevalent norms, especially if those are ensconced in a world of petty and faux nobility or else the false alternative of a broodingly ignorant mob, who don't want to be confronted with any REAL truth, as that would disturb the personality masks they are wearing all day every day.

Because some of us happen to know about the methods of coercion being used, and we know the great MORAL STAIN which is upon those who engage in such perversions.  We know about the things kept in the dark, and GOD Knows. So this sort of thing is too uncomfortable for a comedian to broach seriously, because it wouldn't be funny to do so.  This is beyond their reach.  A comedian cannot touch vital truth in the end, because if he did, he'd lose most of his audience immediately, because nor can they.

So the comedy of this world, just like the tragedy of it, is absurd, because all comedy does is round out the rough edges of the tragedy of this world's by observing its absurdity, but bringing it into focus in such a way that any tensions about it are "settled out of court".  People are expected to "have an understanding".  Understandings such as "things could be worse" or "we all know what goes on behind closed doors" or "think about it, but don't say it", and we are supposed to laugh that "Yes, ideally I would say something, but in this case I wouldn't.  What an ass anyone is who thinks they are really brave, because no one really is that brave", and yet they are "all together in this", so in this big support group they have formed everyone can feel a sudden burst of identification that normal human contact does not permit widely, and so this creates a zone where there is a sudden release of tension about "some really dark shit" as a comedian might observe.  They can broach even the most heinous subjects as long as somehow, we are all "in this together, so what are we going to do about it?" and so we can release that sense of moral tension and just "let it go".  These and other sorts of stock phrases are usually the heading under which comedic material is presented.

In the end, it is the "slap on the back" of a "good" car salesman ("hash tag" oxymoronic).  And over the worse possible things one could be so phony about, such as the human condition, the nature of life and death, god the universe and everything, etc.  It is such a lame duck quality in human beings, this "sense of humor".   But the real irony of all this is that people who are truly moral and have a serious attitude about honesty and sincerity, and who despise deception, but who are treated as that which is to be pitied by the world (at best), in other words LOVERS OF TRUTH , also have a "sense of humor".  It is reserved for laughing at evil in its face, it is reserved for praising rightness and innocence in the face of what demeans, and it makes no apology for hurting the feelings of any audience, no matter how large or how "powerful".  It points out what is absurd for the pure moral satisfaction that comes with that, and for no other motive.  Laughter is just an unintended side effect.

The title had nothing to do directly with Dante's Inferno, but here are the rough equations for your perusal and consideration:

   Worldy Comedy =  (Absurdity x (-1/Morality^Rhetorical Deception))

   Divine Comedy =  (Absurdity x (1/Morality^Truthful Observation))

Both can work on exactly the same material, but must go about it in different ways, and these ways matter which can raise by degrees of power the meaningful spiritual impact of those observations of the world over which they supervene.  The nature of "Morality" is completely determined to be two utter antivalent orientations about Truth and Justice on the one hand and Goodness and Beauty on the other.  The attitudes are aligned along the axis where the Soul/Spirit meets the bodies of flesh/emotion/ego.  

That which is "Worldly" in nature seeks to make peace with the world's corruption and to "make the most of a bad thing" (to paraphrase Seinfeld's point about finding a vocation in life), while paying lip service to the idea that it should be "better than all this" but without any real commitment to "stirring the pot".

That which is Divine is that nature which seeks to make utter war with the world's corruption, to reject the bad utterly and seek the Good in purity, making no apologies for this.  If you have to apologize for it, or feel you have to, then you have done wrong and not right.

The laughter comes from the absurd notion that any other stand could be worth taking.  It is a laughter of release from evil, a sense of pure freedom in KNOWING that:  This world is A COMPLETE FARCE that has no power over me, but pretends to have all power over me.  It is a COSMIC JOKE about a very serious matter, and it is TOTALLY LAUGABLE to imagine for an instant that we can be persuaded otherwise.  At the crossroads of morally evaluating the world and our place in it we have found that the world cannot be taken seriously, and so we must laugh at its silly antics at trying to gain our serious attention because it thinks we think we are a body at their behest.  It is amazingly DUMB.

Imagine a world that PRETENDS TO BE A WORLD.  A giant "Truman Show", where everyone is TOTALLY FAKING IT, and their only major goal is to get you to believe it is genuine when it is not.  It is a giant practical joke of the general and commonplace corruption and falsehood over the particular and rare virtue and truth.  It is a massively EVIL LIE that deserves to be mocked all day long and with all one's might, and certainly not with any eye to entertaining IT.  But rather, to the contrary: to entertain our own minds to a view proper for the subject we wish to evaluate, and to enable our conscience the release of the tension of possibly going along with the world in its ways, or even seeming to.

Even when it comes to laughter:  WE ARE NOT ALL ONE

1 comment:

NikiWonoto said...

so, what is the Solution to really 'transcend' this hellish, lowly physical world then?

Or,..should we stay remain until our death and get tortured by like 90% most/majority of 'sleeping', ignorant, superficial, lowly people around us everyday?

But then, where is the fairness of such system? and is God really that unfair?

- a truthseeker from Indonesia-