Tuesday, September 27, 2005

We're Nothing but Coals in the Hibachi of Humour

A wise man - I think it was me - once said "A pessimist is just a realist who's well read". Translation, the more you know about the world, and how it works, and what the world governments are up to .... well, the more you know, the more you despair.

I'm not even going to bother going into specifics. You are either (a) politically aware, or (b) blissfully ignorant. If you are the former, you either agree with me, or disagree. My actual opinion doesn't matter here. What matters is, the world is pretty severely fucked up, and I don't see it getting better any time soon.

I would love to be an optimist. I think optimists live longer, and generally have nicer days. There's a good chance that in their world, colours are more vibrant, flowers are more fragrant, and bees are more fun and bumbly than nasty and waspy. However, there comes a point where, after a certain level of exposure to the world, optimism has to give way to pessimism. It just shows that you're paying attention.

As a teen, I thrilled to the promises of the new politician. I believed him when he said "I am different. I will do these things, because these things are right!" And I rejoiced when he was finally elected.

And I was deflated when he failed to keep his promises. He did not do the things he said he would do. Sometimes, he did the exact opposite of the things he said he would do. His promises we're Trojan Horses ... designed only to get him inside my hopes. I was disturbed when he was accused of the same kinds of political nepotism and necrophila that he had accused of his predecessor. I felt defeated when he turned out to be every bit as bad as the last guy.

But then a new guy came along, and I believed again ... although not as strongly as before.

Repeat that process umpteen times over the next 25 years. After awhile, I stopped believing the new guy. His claims were met with bitter disapointment. I expected the worst. And got it. After awhile, I just stopped caring. I stopped paying attention. I didn't watch the news, I didn't vote, I didn't participate. I didn't care.

And you know what? My life was no better or worse off than when I used to volunteer and deliver pamphelts. No, wait, thats not really true. I was happier. I wasn't being lied to and bamboozled. I realized I was better off not knowing, not caring, not ranting and raving over the latest scandal.

Recently, I started following the news again. Can you guess why? I realized that, as an improvisor, I had to have a knowledge of current events, because thats what audiences liked to see. Now, when I watch the news, its with a critically humorous eye. What is ripe for parody? Who can be lampooned? I need to know whats going on simply as fuel for comedy.

Which, when I come to think of it, is all our society really is.

1 comment:

Daxohol said...

Yah. My year at Humber was the 9/11 year. Our first day of school we were told that keeping up on current events, watching the news or reading the paper daily is mandatory for any kind of success in writing for most televised comedy.

I tell ya, it was both the best and the worst year to learn the business and how it works. A facinating and traumatizing year in the business indeed.