Eminem put out a fantastic and bombastic video directed at the President this week, who challenged his Secretary of State to an I.Q. duel while fires raged in California, Puerto Rico fell into more desperate straits, Florida and Texas were still reeling in shock, the House passed an abortion ban, the true cruelty behind the revised Dreamers' Act came to light, etc. etc. etc. Oh, and two Air Force jets few over North Korean air space as a show of American force yesterday, according to the BBC.
E's video is amazing and I'm glad to see it out there. But the rage he can express creatively can also burn us up -- me anyway. What's happening -- all of it -- can make us so hysterical, and physically, emotionally, and spiritually sick, that we may lash out at each other instead of effectively resisting. So how to stay healthy for the long haul ahead to restore sanity to America?
Through humor, not denying anything, just re-energizing ourselves through a comic lens. I'm not talking about humor directed at the frauds in power-- that's being taken care of by the comic geniuses at Late Night and SNL. I'm thinking of light-hearted humor directed at our own psyches, where a new idea, a better way of saying something, or a transformational insight might be lurking in the wings. Look inside and I bet you'll find a hilarious, and yes, contentious cast of characters that is trying to pull a new production together. In my life, so many are trying to get out that sometimes it seems like they've become stuck in the doorway.
What if all of this is a dream, as the Bard and the Buddha say? What if this life you're living is an improvisational puppet show in a public square? Who are your stock characters? What's the plot that you see unfolding? What do all these crazies yearn for?
I've begun to develop a new story workshop, based on the Renaissance commedia dell'arte, which I plan to present at my closed Story Cauldron group in a few weeks. It will be a beta test to see if we really can come up with fresh ideas or new hope through comic re-imaginings of crisis situations.
Photo: Take the First Left