Thursday, July 20, 2006

Comedy's Pariah

I have a very healthy sense of humor. It is, I admit, somewhat cold and (if I may say so) intellectual, but even within such limitations the extent and depth of my comedic appreciation are significant. Unfortunately, broad as it may be, apparently it is not broad enough.

I am constantly amazed by the effortless descent into complete incapacitation people can achieve based off the most shallow of stimuli. There is nothing so crass or stupid that it fails to illicit riotous laughter from a vast base of the population. The height of comedy now resides, as no doubt it has long been accustomed, in the gutter. Incoherent screaming, loud bodily noises, twisted facial contortions, and flagrant sexual displays are all somehow the epitome of the humorous arts. Will Farrel, Jack Black, and the other knuckle-dragging misfits who troll the depths of degeneracy for cheap thrills have the gull to be comedians, and to my embarrassment, society agrees.

Please understand that I do not oppose physical comedy. Slapstick is not necessary bad, and when done well offers an incomparable experience. Rather, my complaint is that comedy is empty. It doesn't mean anything. I suspect half of the reason people laugh now is because they are supposed to, because they have been properly conditioned to accept media conventions without reservation. The other half of the time, they're just idiots.

Even outside of conventional humor-related exposures, I still find my sense of humor at odds with the rest of the world. Most people seem to have this ability to laugh at anything, even when if you had actually considered what was being said, it not only failed to be amusing, but it didn't make sense. Although this tendency may result in a dubious appreciation for comedy, I find myself envious of it all the same. I think I would find life more enjoyable if I understood what everyone thought was so funny - or at least if I understood why I don't think so.


Flyinfox_SATX said...

You were gracious enough to post to my Blog Space, I wanted to recipricate.

I completely agree with you. In fact, I have posted a blog with a specific video feed that gets right down to the point you are making. If you wish, please view it here...but be warned, I highly recommend bringing a puke bucket.

You may also wish to reference this other blog I posted basically detailing the same thing. My apologies as it is on a different Blog site that I no longer really maintain.;_ylt=Akfs_UMjkW4gl8RgiXguvCGsAOJ3

Bottom line is this. It seems that the absolute last gasp of creativity in most genres died in the 80s. I have not seen real creativity yet. In fact, I feel like I am living in the 70s all over again. Lets face it, they are remaking everything.


_LadyP_ said...

Having given the likes of Jack Black as an example of comedy that you don't see the merit of, are there examples of those that you do?

I have a slightly odd sense of humour I think. Often people find my oddities amusing but on more occasions that I expect I just get an look that says either "I don't get it" or "ok, strange girl"

LeperColony said...

Well, first of all I suppose I was too hard on Jack Black. He was pretty good in High Fidelity, after all, and I liked seeing him get all shot up in The Jackal.

As for what I think is funny, it's very situational and hard to explain if you aren't there. For instance, once I was watching election returns on FOX News and below their little text box was the footer "Party control is important". Now, I thought that was hilarious, in a Orwelian 1984 sort of way. But nobody I ever explain it to thinks its at all amusing. It is the little incongruencies like that, the clash between reality and expectation or the conjunction of occurence and reference, that I enjoy.

In a more general sense, I like The Simpsons (at least before it just started to be on TV to be on TV), Sports Night, and Fraiser on television.