Friday, June 21, 2024

Modern Times

The basic crux of Freud's
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious is that humor is veiled aggression. For Henri Bergson it's inelasticity. Comical people and those who impersonate them don't roll with the punches. But humor cuts a wider swathe. One the great French intellectual magazines, the forum for the likes of Sartre and Simon de Beauvoir, Les Tempes Modernes was named after a Charlie Chaplin movie, Modern Times as was Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights bookstore. However the posture of the humorist is often akin to the person who gets annoyed at a tasteless joke. Whether it's Chaplin's tramp or one of Moliere's duped characters (who have the wool pulled over their eyes by a religious imposter or flirt) the comedy is ultimately sad, rather than funny. Alceste like Rath inThe Blue Angel is a cuckold. Dr Strangelove is a harrowing prognostication of Armageddon though you laugh at Peter Sellers.There's a famous scene in Preston Sturges Sullivan's Travels in which a group of convicts are laughing at Disney cartoons. The cartoons themselves are sadistic and provide a comic (rather than tragic) catharsis to the extent that they lower the bar and demonstrate everyone is alike in their misery.

read "An Incident of Defenestration" by Francis Levy, Vol. 1 Brooklyn

and listen to "Modern Love" by David Bowie

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.