Settling for a lesser success

From time to time, I’ve pondered whether I’ve wanted to become a comedian. I juggle with the thought that, if I become famous, there’s no going back. Mostly, I would have a life of less privacy unless I choose to live like a recluse again. But, I think, if I had an idea or theme good enough, the gods would treat me nicely and I’d have time to retreat again into obscurity. Sometimes I juggle between not just fame and anonymity, but different types of fame. There are different levels and types of fame. I feel like comedians require a certain type of bravery to have a certain type of act, but can rest with little fear as long as they don’t appear to really challenge the status quo. But that’s not what I want- I do want to challenge the status quo in some concepts. So I think there are other ways to be progressive that I think would work better for me – by being gradual in delivery. It’s not the most exciting maneuver, but partly because the word maneuver is the only word I can use to describe my approach. I think there are some comedians and I will also say populists, who have taken the world by storm, in a very meaningful and timely way. Meaningful, because if one believed certain causes needed immediate justice, then a swift response would be the most rational form of governance. But reality doesn’t appear to deliver judgement immediately, which appears to be a flaw, or a feature, as major religions have sought to answer or even competed for. Deism, and by logical extension, eschatology, would be absent in atheism. Why is this relevant to fame and comedy? Well, I believe that any idea I set out to do write or act upon, however peripheral and contained, may have an eventual impact on the world, and the more I approach or engage the centers of world influence, the more I am responsible for my fate and the sooner I may see its societal response. It is both a sane and irrational fear, sometimes unwieldy, and other times a manageable illusion.  What if I became a film director, who portrayed the world in a way that I intended to as a comedian but in a much more subdued format? I think it would be more effective, but underwhelming. Good art is a labor of love. I thought it could be fun too, but it’s naive to think that I can accomplish anything without a personal sacrifice. I am starting to come to terms with that. I think of comedy as a way to redistribute knowledge in an artful and urgent way, and I am not joking when I compare it to farting. A joke is like a fart- it is unexpected, rude, disgusting, but necessary. It is something that is serves a fringe role, not an unimportant role, but a lot less frequently needed when it’s an overwhelming juggernaut. It’s not something that I think needs to be retired or kept at bay, just something that I don’t have an immediate or full-time use for. It’s true that there are stories and books about funny historical events, but there are many more stories about sober events. The entire history of human civilization is like a Greek Tragedy, and only intermittently does history repeat itself as a farce. So, in theory, there should be much more farce and comedy, but it does not seem humanly possible, though i am the first optimist and comedy’s first supporter.

If comedy could simply mutate without compromising its essence, it would gain a broader appeal. But if it can’t, then would a lesser success be something I could settle with? If it’s an actual success, then yes, I would. If comedy depends on the ability to fart openly, then drama or tragedy in film potentially allows one to fart insipidly. Farting is a symbol for many more things, and not just literally, but it seems that the status quo is about wanting some things to remain contained, and certain things to be open. Comedy, then serves as a progressive alternative, whereas in tragedies and dramatic artworks, success depends on getting past the censors. Farts, perhaps, are one clearer way of explaining the artist’s mission.

 

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