This one time I had a friend who I guess I was sort of close to, I mean, he certainly seemed to be around all the time. Anyway, I showed this guy Monty Python’s Flying Circus and about two minutes into one of their sketches he began to complain; “This isn’t that funny”, “This is weird”, “This is stupid”, “It’s nothing like the movie”. By the movie, he was referring to the Holy Grail which if you’re any sort of decent human you’ll know isn’t the only movie the Pythons ever made. But this guy didn’t know that, and he didn’t like the show. I wish I could say I had the balls to cancel our friendship right then and there, but at least I can assure you that it certainly was the beginning of the end for us.
My point in telling this story is so that you know, I can’t be friends with people who don’t have deep and particularly unquenchable thirst for the wonderfully weird. Sure there are some misses scattered about the long list of Python hits. But one does not simply watch “Confuse a Cat” to lol. Some things are glorious purely for the sake of their own weirdness.
Like I said up there just now this is isn’t a question of sense of humor. Because the joy of the weird is not solely in its capacity to make you laugh. If you find yourself in the weird and spend all your time there looking for the point, well in my humble opinion you are bad at life. If you think that all things need to follow some invisible rule book of guidelines on normal behavior and if anything fails to meet this criteria you damn it by calling it stupid. Well, I think you’re stupid, so there.
The occasional break from reality and sanity is beneficial to your wellbeing and shit. It doesn’t just have to be in comedy. I think comedy is most often where we find it because it’s more acceptable when it seems to be done for the purpose of making you laugh. But once again I’m arguing for weirdness for its own sake so clothing the bizarre in some calculated attempt to elicit a laugh isn’t quite right. I like bizarre comedy as much as the next squid. But maybe the distinction I’d like to make is between funny and fun, or maybe what I’m trying to get at is a general plead for more silliness.
I’m not found of anarchy as a political strategy but I’m quite keen on it when it comes to psychic life.
Whatever it is I mean, I recognize a need in my own brain to come into contact every now and then with things that don’t make sense. I am, if it has not yet become clear, obsessively analytical. I will ponder the meaning of minutia till I’m blue in the face. And I’m not apologizing for it, personally I think it’s one of my best qualities. But I do see a need to, like a cat, be occasionally confused. As much as I’d love to sort the whole world out into neat little categorized stacks of everything making sense, things will always continue to not make sense. Fooling myself into thinking they will is just exhausting. So I unwind by taking a nice relaxing dip in the wonderfully weird.
So without further ado, my point;
There doesn’t have to be a point.
When I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it took for-freaking-ever, because I reread every page twice. The budding little social scientist in me was searching for the deeper meaning, and the pretentious little shithead in me was still stuck to an idea of a world where everything could be neatly packaged into sense and points. But admirable as I think the intense questioning of anything and everything is, sometimes the desire to understand becomes an obsession which limits the breadth of your experience, and by extension your capacity to not just regurgitate the test answers but to comprehend the spirit and soul of the thing. If we read a text with the only goal of pressing out all its meanings and condensing those meanings into a chewable vitamin supplement of “This is the point Lewis Carroll was making” we miss out on the flavor of the whole enterprise.
It’s like I wrote about in my last post, “If you like it, you understand it.” This sentiment gives a freedom to the reader to feel a part of intellectual clubs they might have hitherto thought they couldn’t join, but it also gives a mandate to the over analytical among us to not forget the basic purpose of the thing is to be enjoyed. (Anyone else think it’s ironic that I’m overanalyzing a quote about not overanalyzing?)
I’m not saying that reading critically is wrong, I’m saying that, aside from being the great American novel, The Great Gatsby is also extraordinarily beautiful. Appreciating beauty requires a little less asking and a little more basking. In the same way, the virtue of the wonderfully weird is lost on those who take themselves so seriously and hold on so tightly to their erroneous view that everything can and will make sense.
So should I fall in line with those non-critical watchers of Real Housewives? No, of course not. The difference between mass entertainment and the well told story, is that reality TV has no nuance, you never even get a chance to question or be curious because everything is spelled out for you in big block letters. No, what I mean is that the good story, the story that has depth and power and resonances, deserves to be savored.
But I’ve lost myself philosophizing again.
What I started out to say was that grapefruit hamster yuletide circuit board. Not everything makes sense, and I think that’s fun. Be weird, not as a joke, or a statement, or a fashion. Be weird because you can, because life is weird, and only boring people despise silliness. Be curious, be inquisitive, but also be weird. It’s lame to make sense. It’s also a lie. Enjoy the freedom of the bizarre.