Pete Ludovice, a professor at Georgia Tech and comedian, and Charlie Bennett, a Georgia Tech librarian, had a conversation on their podcast Consilience about the sensitivity landscape of comedy. I enjoyed Charlie’s excellent questions to Pete as well as Pete sharing his personal experience and assessment of the evolution of comedy throughout the years. It might seem strange to say, but I also very much appreciated the reservation both of them had, as is usual for the podcast. Rare is it that a discussion of political correctness and comedy goes without lambasting young people for their feels or calling them buzzkills!
As I’m slowly assembling my apartment, I took some time to connect an HDMI cable from my computer to my TV. It’s not much bigger than my computer screens, but it still feels like a different experience. Less distractions. Anyway, I decided to watch a comedy special I downloaded from Comedy Central’s new online store full of ’em, especially since my cable TV doesn’t work at the moment. I picked out Hannibal Buress’ Animal Furnace. Which, after watching and hearing no memorable jokes about igniting fauna, I realized was simply a pun on his name.
It’s always so fascinating to me to find out the hidden details about real stories that move people, that are touching, that are… perfect. Because I’m not sure if it’s always a venture with a positive outcome.
I’ve had an ongoing battle for years in my head on whether ignorance is actually bliss. On whether purposefully not knowing pieces of information can be beneficial to you, or if learning to cope or appreciate that information would make you a better person in the long run. It’s a topic I’ve covered in full-post-length before, I’m sure.
But this idea came to mind one afternoon when I was driving home a week ago listening to a Nerdist podcast with guest Tig Notaro.
A lot of times when I watch, read, or experience something great, I have a lot of thoughts that I want to put down. But it’s not always as formal as a “review”. It’s not always as glowing of a “recommendation”. And “dissection” leaves a bad taste in the mouth. So for now, I’ll leave it as Re:, as in “regarding”, or any other re- words that fit what I’m trying to say!
Maria Bamford is a comedian I didn’t know much about until she appeared on the Nerdist podcast a while ago promoting her new special (that I’m discussing here). She talked about mental illness and other serious topics in a wonderfully humorous way, which is rare. This was also at a time when my own views on the subject had recently evolved to a more reasonable and compassionate approach. It’s sad to say that some of the terrible, harmful examples Maria impersonates in her routine are thoughts I’ve had, though thankfully rarely shared.
Anyway, it took me far too long to sit down and watch it. And it’s great!