Just Darts Since 2009
Cleaning out my files–part 1: Borat
February 20, 2007Posted by on
I’ll let you in on a little secret. For every item I post here, I write two or three. I get hung up on the way I word what I write, or whether I’m being fair to the people I disagree with, and so I save the post and look at it again the next day. And the next. And the the next thing I know, it’s a week (or more) later and I feel like it’s too stale to post. Problem solved!
So, to clean out my files, I’m just going to post some links with just a line or two of commentary.
I decided not to see the Borat movie without really thinking about why it didn’t appeal to me. Then I came upon these two articles and I think they express how I feel about this kind of comedy better than I could:
The Laugh of the Future argues that Christianity teaches us that we can laugh at fools while simultaneously identifying with them, and that the new paganism replaces this identification with a smug superiority. This was written several months before the Borat movie was released.
Twelfth Night and the Art of Humiliation uses one of my favorite plays to illustrate the tension between humor and compassion, and how much depth our comedies lose when the compassion is jettisoned.
I was flipping through the channels a couple of nights ago. I was about to zap right by “Mama’s Family” when I saw Carol Burnett there. I watched the rest of the show. She’s got it right. Eunice is somebody we laugh at. And then we feel horrible for laughing at her. It’s the perfect balance.
If any of you remember the story where Eunice gets on the Gong Show, you’ll know what I’m talking about. She was gonged. Right away. The camera zoomed in to capture her face. Do you remember that?
I laugh at Eunice. And my heart breaks for Eunice. And you can’t seperate those two things, or there is diminishment.