I am trying, with all of my artistic endeavors, including this blog, to reconcile deep opposition to the way the world works, with the interest of being an entertainer to the world. I've spent most of my adult life struggling with this question.
I have also called some people out for being mean, sometimes other comedians who moved up to the next level and who will no doubt will blackball me every chance they get. It torments me to know if I ever had a shot, it would probably be shot down.
I make fun of myself a great deal. I hurt my own feelings. Any attempt I make to explain any difficulty of my circumstances, brings immediate rebuttal, from myself, that given my gifts and abilities, and apparently even sis white privilege, I have no grounds to ever complain about anything whatsoever.
Further, any negative critique I make of jokes, shows or The Industry, for instance, why most of it doesn't make me laugh, and/or frequently morally angers me, makes it look like I am just making garden variety sour grapes excuses. Admitting my failure and exclusion, which may or may not just be in my head, I give myself solace by pointing out that standup comedy isn't all it's cracked up to be. And when I allow myself to speak my mind against the nature of the business, I'm also inadvertently slinging mud at the handful of comedians achieving their dreams who were friendly to me and the many, many facebork acquaintances who struggle like I do.
The end result of these internal dynamics is utterly paralyzing. I see myself for long stretches primarily through the eyes of my worst critics. I get through it with vodka and video games, one could do worse.
I think a lot of people spend most of their lives at this spot and a lot of people end up dying here.
While it is a legitimate part of growth to consider yourself from the eyes of your detractors, it's just not where it is healthy to live and you run the danger of getting stuck.
So for a second, I'd like to set aside this stuff and start from a different point. If we believe for a second that the last 10 years of studying comedy, drama, film, writing, music and culture in resulted in me learning anything, what do I have to say about the state of the art?
Comedy right now is overwhelmingly tame. It is an age of the court jester, where vast swaths of uncomfortable material is swept under the rug while endless arguments over what subcultures consider it is polite to call themselves warrants endless redundant commentary and while the victims of our society are further harangued for shallow chuckles and the money you get for picking low apples.
Meanwhile, another mysterious bomb flew from a robot airplane in the middle of the arabian peninsula, killing someone who may or may not be a threat to anyone while also killing 8 other people randomly nearby and enraging 20 more people to join the jihad against our country.
Meanwhile, the age of the internet is being subverted such that our own devices and access to information has turned modernity itself into a panopticon, where privacy is considered uncool and tedious.
Meanwhile, the same ecological disaster that has been going on my entire lifetime continues with no sign of slowing.
Meanwhile, a bunch of bankers bleed us dry while plotting the next crash and bombardiers polish their nukes.
We live in a great mania, a profound separation of masses of human minds from reality, from the consequences of their ideas and actions.
The people funding the violence are separated from it as if by magic, and when that spell gets broken, they get understandably upset and call for yet more violence and demand yet more easy comfort entertainment.
How can any one person keep track of all the illusory sacred cows so as not to shatter any of them for sport in front of their very eyes? How can I package a little bit of shattering the illusion into a commercially viable piece of intellectual property and squeeze it for all it's worth?
If I am on a stage, how can I bring what is actually in my mind about these serious things, and still be that guy that cheers people up?
I write as many jokes as I ever do, but I haven't felt like yucking it up at open mics lately. And I definitely don't feel like trying to climb some ladder of comedy so I can be a comforting parrot.
And I understand why. If there is ever going to be peace, and especially when this war gets much worse, we will have to look back on this time and wonder what exactly we contributed.
I know for instance that when the current issues of ISIS were started, by the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I protested loudly. I screamed at people in their cars. I gave speeches and was willing to get arrested but we apparently weren't enough of a threat.
So now when ISIS soldiers gun down people in [whichever city it is today], I know I didn't start that fire. I'm not going to throw any fuel on it now either, because I saw our present day as the future results of that action.
The future that will result from the present course looks even worse, and if you wonder why at a point in time I am having trouble being a good clown, now you know.