Serious Silliness

So I'm kind of failing at this "blog-once-a-week" thing. Not as egregiously as Monica, certainly, but markedly nonetheless. It's not that I'm not writing- I have several half-finished entries that I've written over the last few weeks. It's just that if I don't do it all at once, I can't return to it without feeling like I've missed the moment, so then i have to re-write it, but it's still no longer relevant, and blah blah blah. The moral of the story is, I'm taking this way too seriously. What happened to that "anything goes" blog mentality?

I hereby reinstate permission to be stupid! Silly! Frivolous! Half-formed, barely-thought-out and downright dumb!

Thank god.  It's so easy to get trapped in the heavy shit that makes up this world. And it's so easy to feel like everything has to be taken seriously, that Important Things should be treated Importantly.  I need a little fluff! A little fun and cotton candy.

Of course, the beauty of it is that silly frivolous things are important too. I fundamentally believe that the fluff of life has profound meaning, and that silliness is one of the best approaches to serious subjects. How else could Mad King Thomas make such ridiculous dances and still be in earnest? 

We've talked about it before: how we take humor very seriously. I don't really like putting it that way; it makes us sound like assholes. Maybe it's more like humor takes us very seriously. We can't not laugh in the face of everything. I think if we tried to take serious things seriously, we'd drown in despair and pretentiousness. We can't really help ourselves; silliness is a survival strategy.

Humor is always a good way to take things down a few pegs, and maybe there's a bit of cowardly self-defense in this approach- if we are constantly making fools of ourselves, no one else can do it for us. If we ask you to laugh at us, then we can't be humiliated when you do. But I think there's more to it than that. It's not just humor, it's absurdity. There is meaning-making in the absurd, the ridiculous, the irreverent, and odd that cannot be accessed by logical means. It goes back to the root of why we make dances- there is something to be discovered in fractured para-linguistic exploration, in letting go of the patterns that make sense. The fact that it makes our logical minds laugh is only part of its power.

The body is often set below the mind in our hierarchy. (It's an interesting feminist critique- that bodies and emotions are associated with femininity and minds and intellectualism and logic are in the masculine camp... but that's a tangent for another post.) We think our minds tell our bodies what to do. But our bodies are so smart. If we listen to the 'dumbness' of our bodies, how much more can we know? I like the idea of practicing dumbness. Let's not relegate that only to our poor beleagered bodies, let's let ourselves be dumb all over. (We are whole people, after all- this is a false divide, between mind and body.) What kind of brilliance and release can we find in stupid silliness? 

There are so many options to being dumb, silly, and funny, it's almost wrong to talk about them all at once.  I could obsess about each for another couple of blog posts. But that wouldn't be practicing dumbness. So now I feel compelled to go grocery shopping in a tiara and wings. Or beat my head against a wall repeatedly. Or just lie here and sing with no words, la la la for half an hour.  La la la. 



Camp and humor is also a great way to relax your audience, given them a break, and start their attention span over; primed for new intensity (or gore, or drollness, or obscenity).