I’m drinking coffee in one of the hipper places in Laconia, NH: the new McDonald’s. There’s a fireplace, chandelier, and multitudinous wood-framed pictures of boats. There was a Play Place when I was a kid, but this McDonald’s is more of a Starbucks than the childhood escape I came to know, love, and then hate myself for continuing to attend.
Everyone’s trying so hard to find something. From making their way in art, to finding time while having a relationship, to getting their kid to eat a Happy Meal BEFORE playing with the toy, so “Daddy can get back to work.” My goals are to be a masterful comedic performer, and be surrounded by people I love, and who love me. And ideally, we all nudge each other closer to who we ideal ourselves to be.
You look around the comedic world, and it’s clear being funny doesn’t necessarily lead to an amazing life. Comics who think so poorly of themselves, yet are much greater than they realize. I think very highly of stand ups. At best, we’re exposing people to new ideas, making learning fun, spreading joy. At worst, we’re chastising puppets when we’re being racist (that’s not really the worst, but take that anyway, infrequent reader Jeff Dunham!). George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Patrice O’Neill, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and many others make it clear how you can get ideas to stick in the world with comedy.
The most eternal comedians are experts at sharing information with people. I believe that is the purpose of humanity (ooo, getting deep, Dunlap): it takes only one mind with one original idea, for infinite humans to benefit from it. And it takes interactions with parts of infinite minds, past and present, to form a person capable of original ideas. What I mean is, science has been built over thousands of years, by billions of humans compiling and comparing data. So too is a human mind.
From conception, we are observing other people; trying to recreate the behaviors that we like, and avoid the behaviors we find damaging. We absorb other people’s actions and emotions through subconscious “mirror neurons,” and create our own pastiche of humanity from friends, family, strangers, television, and everything else that resembles a sentient being. Our personalities are tiny pieces of every person our ancestors have ever come in contact with. In fact, interactions with other human beings changes our genes through epigenetics. I don’t know how epigenetics work, but a lot of scientists say it’s true!
Through comedy, or any wide-reaching art, you can put your ideas, your personality, your beliefs, in a lot of people’s’ minds. You make questioning and reason fun. This is a rationalization and glorification of comedy, a thing that has treated me both amazingly and poorly for several years now (if this sounds like the psychology of a battered wife or hazed frat bro, so be it). But I love comedy, and think it can be better than what’s accepted. These are my ramblings for today. Until I write again!