Thursday, January 17, 2013

Comedy as a Refuge

Another facet of intellectual growth that blew my mind was good comedy. As a teenager I loved Kinison and Dice. As I have grown older I love Bill Hicks, Carlin and Stanhope. All of them are dead except for Stanhope. I believe that a true philospher/comedian in this day and age is a tortured soul. They are people who see American society for the consumerist fraud that it is and have no real tribe to join of like minded folk. I have always joked that if my dad wasnt stably employed in my youth I may have tried the standup thing. I have the burned by church thing that Hicks, Kinison and Carlin had. I am also a voracious reader and have figured out some of the authors that were source material for these guys. It has been enlightening to say the least too see how they combined current events with academia to make you laugh and think at the same time.

In a way the combination of comedy and punk rock killed my ability to be an evangelical. I lived in a personal hell (on every sunday for 2hrs) for 20 years as I though I was the problem for not getting it and I allowed the church from my youth that victimized me continue to do so as an adult. The next step in the process, independent films and documentaries come into my life 3 years ago and the evangelical bubble pops for good.

On a positive note comedy allowed for me a safe place to think and grow in private. It confronted all of the questions everyone else in my life were afraid to answer. I was beginning to see as I studied the lives of these guys that suffering adds a depth of character that occurs if you reflect on it and grow from it.

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