Friday, October 26, 2007

Training Comedians

I always believed that I had not sense of humor. I used to watch some of those comedy club shows on television, and I would hear the audience laughing while some comedian was on stage, and meanwhile, there I was without so much as a snicker.

Now it was Lenny Bruce who stated that the true source of all really hilarious comedy is to be found in the great tragedies and horrors of the world. This might sound counter intuitive, because a horrible tragedy one would think was the polar opposite of something very funny. However, as I was pushed deeper into depression and despair by the horrible tragedies of the world, the day finally came when something just snapped in my mind, and then, much to my surprise I became a comedian. For the very first time in my life I found myself roaring with laughter because of a comedy routine. This meant that I was laughing at my own performance, and they say that no good comedian should ever laugh at his own jokes, but I think that must be bullshit, because if even you do not find yourself to be funny why should anyone else.

My discovery of comedy also led me to discover that so many of today’s aspiring comedians are just not funny, which would then explain why I never laughed for years when watching those comedy club programs on television. There wasn’t anything wrong with me. There was something wrong with those comedians. With that thought in mind I thought I would train today’s aspiring comedians by drawing their attention to the horrible tragedies of life so that anyone with those comedic aspirations might actually be able to achieve that great dream of theirs, the dream of being really damned funny all the time.

The great tragedy that finally pushed me over the edge into comedy was that dreadful horror known as the Second World War. So I will use this as a brief example for the purposes of training up and coming comedians who just are not funny because they don’t know how to look at the world in the right sort of way. They just don’t understand that humor is always found in horror and in tragedy. Someone needs to teach them. Since I was pushed over the edge and found myself rediscovering this long established truth I thought that someone might as well be me.

Now as we all know capitalism is a fiercely competitive dog eat dog system and for that reason it becomes necessary for all of humanity to repeatedly play the game called ‘follow the sinful pig.’ Yes, it just takes one greedy pig to just screw everyone over really good under that capitalist economic system. So when one cabal of sinful pigs lowers their input costs and increases their sales and their profits by invading and conquering some technologically backwards nation, thus begins the stampede, until finally the entire planet had been invaded and conquered, leading to the creation of what we now know today as the impoverished third world. You see, those invading capitalists were locked into a fierce competition for markets and they were not invading those imperialists colonies to bring Jesus to the world or to uplift humanity but rather to generate profits, and given how even one greedy pig could lower his costs using slave type practices and ruthless oppression, it was inevitable that all those other European countries and America would have to do the same or lose market share to that greedy oppressive pig.

Germany and Japan had one thing in common. They were both bogged down in the decaying remains of the old feudal landlord system, and both of those countries did not become modernized nations until late in the 19th century. Bismarck invaded all those little fiefdoms and united them into one German nation while Japan was shocked by the sudden take over of all of Asia by the imperialist powers, and rapidly modernized over the course of just a few decades in order to counter the threat of having Japan invaded as well. They need not have worried, since Japan, like Germany, is a resource poor nation, and thus did not get plundered and sacked as happened to the Philippines, which was invaded and conquered by the United States, or the oil rich Dutch East Indies, which were invaded and plundered by the Dutch. They speak Spanish in Mexico and they speak Portuguese in Brazil, for obvious reasons.

By the time Japan had built up a powerful modern army and Germany had done the same, all the really weak, helpless countries in the world had already been invaded and conquered. Alas, Japan and Germany were stuck with the leftovers, really big countries that those imperialist powers had wisely decided not to devour lest they wind up biting off more than they could chew. Thus Japan was forced to chew long and hard for years and years upon that leftover known as China, trying to force a big bite like that to go down and become a colony of Japan, while Germany, under Hitler, was forced to turn Eastward and attempt to devour another big left over that no other power had risked devouring, Russia. Once again we note the similarities in the situation and the strategies of Japan and Germany, which then explains the axis alliance, with Mussolini just being some Italian carpetbagger who wanted to jump onboard with what looked to him to be the next big thing and the winning team.

Now to find the humor in a great tragedy it is required that a comedian discover what I call the ‘ironic juxtaposition’. This is normally located in the exact same spot where you find hypocrisy, and since hypocrisy is normally pretty hard to miss, finding the irony in that situation is far from being impossible.

If you read the actual unedited texts of Hitler’s speeches in various beer halls and taverns, you will find that Hitler was constantly returning to the subject of ‘justice among the great powers.’ You will notice right away that never once does Hitler call for justice among the puny powers, because that would ruin everything. But among the Great Powers there must be a righteous crusade to return justice to the world, and that meant that Germany needed some imperialist colonies. Unfortunately those other European powers and America had already carved up the world like a giant pie, and now there wasn’t so much as one country left over that Hitler could invade and conquer. That really pissed him off. Another thing that got Hitler all riled up was the hypocrisy of those other powers, especially Great Britain, a nation which at that time had invaded one quarter of the world, trying to tell him that he couldn’t invade even so much as one more country. To make matters worse leading that so-called ‘moral crusade’ against Germany was that arch-imperialist Churchill, the Saddam Hussein of London, who had already pushed hard to knock down the Kurds in British invaded Iraq with poison gas, and Churchill was hypocritically trying to blacken the reputation of Hitler for being a fascist despot. It was more than someone with a keen sense of justice could tolerate, and Hitler kept reminding Churchill that his moral values on this issue of imperialist invasions was so strongly held that he was willing to go to war with ever damned country in Europe to get some justice for Germany, so threats and bullying by that Saddam in London were never going to deter him from pursuing his plans to invade and conquer Russia. Besides, Hitler, tried to tell those other powers, he would be doing them all a favor for at the same time as he was making an imperialist colony for Germany he would also be leading the world wide crusade against those Marxists in Russia, and if they tried to stop them all they would get for their troubles would be to have Russian invading half of Europe.

Well as we know, Hitler found a really tough target like Russia to be a hard chew, and Japan, after bombing Pearl Harbor then went on a year long rampage, kicking the Dutch out and taking over some of their colonies and kicking the French out of Indo-China and the British out of places like Burma, which then left Japan with the problem of actually holding onto all those imperialist colonies. Taking them was easy once the Americans had been bombed out at Pearl Harbor, but hanging onto those new imperialist colonies was a problem, and so we saw the French returning to reclaim their Imperialist colonies and the British returning and the Dutch, after the Americans had finally trounced Japan so that those Europeans could get back all those colonies that had been robbed and taken from them by Japan.

What I really find so funny about those two world wars with Germany over that issue of imperialist invasions of other countries and diving the pie up with fairness and so on, is the truly rancid hypocrisy of those two solemn occasions known as ‘Remembrance Day’ or ‘Memorial Day.’ It is on these two days that our politicians trot out some old vets, probably from right wing sections of the American Legion, and then with great solemnity we all express our deep gratitude and affection for the Military Industrial Complex for having saved peace, democracy and freedom, not just one, but twice in a row. If you complain then you will be reminded that the only reason you can complain is because of the tireless devotion and sacrifice of the military industrial complex which has yet again preserved even the freedom of complainers to complain, which is another example of selflessness on the part of that massive complex. “Military Industrial Complex, I want to thank you for my freedom of speech.” This is what you are supposed to say, although if you are a student of history, you would know that those two world wars had nothing to do with democracy, and the freedom of speech was a product of such things as ‘the American Revolution’ and was far from being some free gift bestowed upon humanity but rather something that had to be fought for until finally the Military Industrial Complex of that day had been defeated by the revolutionary armies, which is the only way people found that they could ever really be free or have a democracy.

I will leave any aspiring comedian to contemplate the gold mine of comedy to be found in this heap of tragedy, because there is so much here that is really damned funny. Hell, even a really great tragedy like the Jewish Holocaust has what it takes to generate good comedy, when you consider how ‘God’s specially chosen people’ as ‘promised by the Bible’ were just massacred by a weirdo, and then later on when churches all over Europe were burning right to the ground, since it was obvious there was no God, for how could that have happened, meanwhile you have priests and ministers going around blaming liberals or Hollywood movies or Charles Darwin for the fact that their churches were burning right to the ground. Apparently they seem to think that barbequing six million of ‘God’s biblical people’ doesn’t do much damage to the claims of the Bible or to religion, and even when something like that happens you can just carry on as though nothing had happened. I suppose I can understand why they would behave like the blind leading the blind over some cliff because to deal with that problem Hitler gave them they would have to come up with an answer to the question ‘where is your God?’, which would imply that there God was absent, which would then be a problem for traditional dogma. Therefore they must become hypocrites, and since hypocrisy is always funny, therefore even something that bad has its element of comedy.