Sep 25, 2008

Mockery is Easy. Comedy is Hard.

The world is filling up fast with mockers. Not comedians, just mockers. Our humor has become so politically grounded and one-sided, that most young people have been indoctrinated in mockery as a de facto life medium.

You'd have to be a student of Will Rogers or Shakespeare to understand how funny politics can be, without being partisan. Yeah, go Google up Shakespeare Politics and Will Rogers and you'll fare better than reading this blog, and may be smarter afterward. Who knew that, "All I know is what I read in the papers," would be the grimmest irony of all? That's comedy gold, however. Jam-packed full of Truth, in a few words, and it touches both shores of political life. No mockery is needed, because the painful truth delivered while twirling a lariat is just funny.

Today's comedian can only shove his hands in his pockets and jingle his junk while he raves on about what he thinks, never seeing the beautiful opportunity of incongruent realities. He'd never survive in a king's court.

Mostly, the mockers' brand of comedy carries the stench of predictability. An agile mind cannot be entertained by mockery; possibly it can be "a"mused, but not actually engaged. It's so easy to do when your target is bigger than you. Just point and shoot. Anybody can let mocking arrows fly, to the approving noises of the audience, but so few actually hit the mark of Truth. The twang of the string is all they really want.

Mockery is usually the weak man's ploy and can only be employed to any effect against a perceived threat. Which means that anyone tasked with upholding Hard Truth is a prime target for the jack-a-napes and mewling milquetoasts. With enough jackals, even the most powerful Truth can be rendered powerless.

But, it's best to keep a sunny disposition about national politics if you want to stay sane. An old preacher friend used to say, "Republicans lie. Democrats lie. I just happen to like one set of lies better than another."

And really? That's a healthy attitude, even in the midst of our current crisis. Even your most revered politician is likely lying to you, either out of personal expediency, or national expediency... or just because the truth isn't working.

The hearers have to suspend disbelief, or go mad with paranoia.

And I'd almost-- almost-- rather listen to a politician lying than a mocker mocking. Mockers haven't the gravitas of a Shakespearean jester. Jesters were a much better muse for the politically inclined, as their barbs were founded in the funniest thing around: Truth. And Truth is hard to come by; that's why comedy is hard and dying is easy. Tragedy writes itself without regard of life or circumstance, but Comedy needs an outside observer with a mind large enough to put A next to Z and come up with 42.

Mockery plays to the lowest of natures; the decaying intellect infused with self-regard. It is picked up by lesser minds-- more innocent, but culpably lazy-- and repeated with a sniggering snort and an email forwarding list of amoebic friends.

Or on a blog...


Erica said...

I've been thinking about this lately...and how the entire entertainment industry is now comprised of these cynical mockers, who target the feeble-minded with their version of the truth...and make it seem appealing to them by shrouding it in this eye-rolling cynicism that comes off to young people as being "hip." Said assholes then self-congratulate themselves for their brilliant (only to them) epiphany, after which their earth shattering revelation ("Suck it") is then posted as a legit news bit on the Daily Kos.

Wow. "Suck it." Those two words serve to threaten the entire journalistic canon of William F. Buckley. I wish I could be joking.

joated said...

Excellent commentary on the state of "entertainment" today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject.

mushroom said...

Great stuff, Joan. I am telling the truth -- I had written my blog this morning before I even logged on. Had I seen this I would have had to change subjects. We have a bit of coonvergence -- but I'm not worthy. You nailed it.

julie said...

Ouch. I'll have to bear this in mind when I'm tempted to mock; I aim for humorous, but I know that's not always (or even usually? hm.) the case.

Food for thought. Thanks, Joan.

cousin dupree said...


Joan of Argghh! said...

Cuz, I haven't been reading over at One Cosmos, (but I'm warming to the subject of today's post there) but it's funny to see everyone is still on the same page. 'Shroom had a good one, too.

Erica said: "Those two words serve to threaten the entire journalistic canon of William F. Buckley. I wish I could be joking."


Irrelephant said...

Darlin', you're getting awfully deep there. You're not considering starting a religion, are ya? Or running for public office? *smile*

Very, VERY excellent post. That sort of open-eyed writing is why I come back and come back and come back.

Oh, and for the pictures of your toes.

Jim - PRS said...

I wonder if Bill Maher's ears are burning.

Jean said...

Damn, you're good!

dogette said...

I'm pretty much a mocker on my blog, I would say. I know I've typed, "This needs mocking badly and I'm just the person to do it" on a regular basis.

I could *probably* mock in an Elizabethan manner, and actually I think I did, once. But it took a lot more effort than just typing "f--- you Chris Rock." Yes, I mock Mr. Rock.

I'm going to hell!

Joan of Argghh! said...

No, Dogette, there will be no room for you in Hell. Bill Maher and Jeanneane Garafalo's egos will fill Hell up nicely!!


P.S. Fuck Oprah!!!