We should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
In Eugene O'Neill's play "Long Days Journey Into Night" James Tyrone wants to know what his young son Edmund is laughing about and he says he's laughing at life because it's so funny.
Ancient Greek theatre was a very vibrant, powerful and important one. There would be a festival at which four plays were presented all by the same author. The plays were based on ancient Greek history or legend. It often took a year to prepare them. The acting and the writing needed to be spectacular to hold a Greek audience for that length of time, and they were. Many of those plays still exist and the few famous ones, Oedipus the King, Hecuba, Medea, sometimes show up in regional theatres and Off-Broadway.
Though the plays took their plots from stories everyone knew the themes were relevant to life and portrayed the tragedies and dramas of human existence. While the first three plays in the festival were tragedies and high dramas the fourth play was a comedy. It was a parody, a satire on the same topic as the first three plays. After the audience had been put through the thunder dramas of life they were allowed to laugh about it.
Many of those ancient plays have been lost. But, and here a classical scholar, if there is one reading this, can inform me further if I'm mistaken, as far as I know only one of those final satires still exists: The Cyclops by Euripides, based on the Ulysses story.
There is a great lesson here. There isn't anything in life, no matter how dramatic, tragic or terrifying it may be that doesn't deserve to be laughed at. My developed and cherished sense of humor allows me to poke fun at everything about life, except other people. People change, life doesn't. To make fun of people is a bad way to get a laugh. I don't listen to people like Limbaugh, Leno and Beck. They take delight in putting other people down by scorning them and trying to make me laugh at them. It's cheap. low level. decadent humor and a total waste of my time.
(This is not a contest.)
In your opinion what is the most amazing thing that could happen during this decade? Make it as outrageous as you want but keep it within the realm of what you consider a possibility.
14 responses so far.
Answers will be published the first day of Summer.
DB - The Vagabond