There’s something internally challenging about having a socially-conscious mind in an institution in which it is encouraged, or at least not discouraged to take light the most serious issues that affect our species. As a result, I occasionally take leave from the all-encompassing social world of comedy on occasion to take something that makes me so morbidly depressed I have to remind myself why it’s so damned important to laugh sometimes.
Although, I’m not entirely positive that’s the approach my colleagues take, nor am I certain it’s the most healthy approach to take.
Regardless, tonight, comedy was put on hold so that I might see Javier Bardem’s Oscar nominated Biutiful. I went in with minimal knowledge of the film’s subject – ‘OK – this guy’s got cancer and it’s going to be sad.’ I had no idea the film would dive into the Spanish/European social divide, metaphysics, psychological disabilities and illegal immigration to name a few. Needless to say, the film was pretty heavy.
It was the kind of movie that makes you feel guilty to live in a society so-filled with excess, we grant diplomas to people who, for example, dream to get rich through the act of ridiculing those whose struggles they know absolutely nothing about. The comic in me understands the ease with which people believe they can take race, religion, gender etc., lightly – they’re such powerfully touchy subjects that it is easy to relieve the tension built up about it through stereotype-induced laughter. However, the political scientist in me believes that, one cannot truly appreciate the humour in a situation without first completely understanding that situation; its history, development and significance.
To me, it’s the difference between prejudice and intelligence, or if not intelligence, just… accurate information.
So my advice, as usual: Read a book, for fuck’s sake.