A good street show is funny. You need to appeal to people’s better natures, they aren’t looking for Lear. They don’t want to know what the hell Congress has done now.
Of course the pantheon of the tragic-comic life is littered with many terrific examples: George Burns losing Gracie and then rising from his loss to laugh once more. There is the famous Lewinski fiasco that our recent President was unsuccessfully impeached for.
This is what I think was missing in Sarah Palins theatricality. She was too bellicose sexy and not big enough to laugh at her outlandish disguise. She was all glamour-puss and no wink-wink, nod-nod, look at me ain’t this grand even the Arctic bombshell can have a day in the sun.
I think a lot of the women I know would find George Clooney a great surrogate for Camelot. They could have a principled affair, surrendering to their lust and be all the better for it in the end. You never get that same vibe from Sarah. It would be like telling someone you buy Playboy because you really like reading the stories. Come on, who you kidding?
Lust, drugs, money, greed, thinking you won’t get caught and then you do, under certain conditions this can turn out sometimes as not too awful. A torrid affair with your wife (lust) after a sublime bottle of wine (drugs), while plunking down a fair chunk of cash for a hotel room with a spa on the balcony is benign, harms nobody. Do the same thing with someone you ought not to be with while using legally forbidden substances on an expense account you are not supposed to be using for such purposes and we have all the trappings of what we now seem to understand as an ordinary day in the life of corporate privilege of a kind.
I am most pleased by small tragedy to be followed by a larger more laughable comedy. Springtime for Hitler in Germany was Mel Brooks doing pitch perfect what I am talking about.
I find economics a great source of tragic-comic players. They do their deadpan so well. I feel like I am visiting a financial mortician sometimes, they are a kind of like the gay florist who pretends he’s straight. It would be so simple if we were all just one thing, but the biggest laugh isn’t who we are, but when our mask slips and the world gets a glimpse of not just our preferred self, but our whole self…the best of these disguised players it turns out are something less than half bad, and that’s about as good as it gets.
I used to worry I might turn out to be rotten to the core when in fact I was just a little too ripe. Most of what I am turned out to be not too bad, but still you have to be realistic. The half-life of tragic is still relentlessly in the hunt to spoil the punch lines of balance that is comic. Next time you flip out in rush hour traffic take a look in the rear view mirror. Who is that you see? I hope your answer is Daffy Duck….