I saw the sun! It was like a big yellow Popsicle melting in the sky. Now it’s cloudy again, like surf’s up in the sky.
When I grew up in Wales, there were TVs and telephones and radios, which I listened to a lot, mostly John Peel on Radio 1, when radios were portable and lived by the side of one’s bed like faithful pets.
Last night I watched Eric Idle’s brilliant radio play, What About Dick? The Python man has described it as “ Oscar Wilde on acid,” and “Downton Abbey, only funnier.” The cast is some of the best Brit comedians, who are so dangerously funny, you might die laughing: Russell Brand, Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Eddie Izzard, Jane Leeves, Jim Piddock, Tracey Ullman, and Sophie Winkleman.
What I loved the most about the old-fashioned radio play, besides its anachronistic approach to entertainment (radio drama with the cast all decked out in dapper Edwardian threads), is that it’s full to the brim with satire, sexual innuendo, smart humour, absurdity, and just plain British silliness. Then there was its irreverence and dismissive tone of the hollow twang of pop culture, like “taking a Donald Trump” for “taking a dump” or telling it like it is about the Kardashians: “Is that some kind of disease?” “Yes.”
But that British silliness, where you can wander around for hours and not care who you offend because what is there to offend about the wonderful tragedy of our lives seen through the lens of wisdom, empathy? That’s classic comedy; trading clean spots for the cosmic dirt on humanity and making us laugh until the sacred cows come home for the slaughter.
“Brits excel at laughing at themselves. Americans don’t really like to laugh at themselves that much.” Eric Idle.
And I love a good dose of absurdity when it comes to humour, like surreal wings on the body politic, making us fly over reality one crazy moment to the next. The media, governments, religion, they don’t like absurdity, the derailment of the senses, they want nice happy, productive workers, happily buying with rational minds with a clear objective in mind when all around us is curved space. That gravity of spending and attaining takes up so much energy, no wonder none of us has time to change our lives, change the world, reorganize reality into something that aligns with what all of us inside know we want to hang out with like the daily washing on the line. We’re so down by laws, we don’t know our way around our own hearts and minds.
It’s time for something absurd to this way come. And fast. We’re drowning in complacency for the want of a passion, the beauty and sadness of life’s flux and mutability. “To set oneself up against all proponents of the grand idea – of progress, of perfectibility, of the right and only way to live.”
I don’t know who wrote this, maybe Joseph Campbell: “The power of myth is in making meaning from the wreckage of meaning.”
Here’s some Morrissey