THE GIFT OF COMEDY. We are all familiar with the therapy of laughing. That emotional and physical release that comes from sharing laughs with friends or watching a funny movie. The permission humor gives us to be sllly ourselves when we see someone doing something bizarre for the first time. The feeling of not being so alone when a comedian treads on territory rarely spoken of. The relief of seeing typically serious topics framed in a way that illuminates the bizarreness of the tragedy, relieving us - for a moment - of taking a topic so seriously.
But what about the psychological impact of writing our own comedies? I recently embarked on this new territory in my own life and found it to have immense therapeutic impacts, different from those of watching the comedy of others.
DO TRY THIS AT HOME! So my question is, what currently is going on your life that you find hard to digest, metaphorically speaking? Is it a boss, a co-worker, a friend, a family member, a public figure, wars abroad. Now look at this situation as the bizarreness it really it - perhaps from the perspective of an alien with Spock-like logic, and Buddha-like wisdom. What do you see? Think about shows you have seen that have perhaps parodied a similar idea - for examples, the Simpsons family with an incredibly trouble making youngster and a goofy spaced out Dad.
Now take out a pen and paper and express this vision.
Whatever you do, have fun and see how this process changes your feelings about the situation or person. Does it take the sting or charge out of it? Does it make you realize this situation is probably a lot more common than you think? Does it shed another layer of understanding?
I'd love to hear your experiences with this! Please comment below!
Example of Cartoon Therapy in Action
A great example of the cartoon therapy in action is the cartoon strip Dilbert. In real life the experience of the insanity that goes on in this comic is not fun at all (believe me!). But in the cartoon light it offers some solace. As a reader, I feel relief knowing I am not alone and get to stand back a bit and see the ridiculousness of it. For the writer, the therapy can be deeper, for it's often a direct translation and processing of their personal experiences.
Interesting personal note - it was a colleague at work who shared the Dilbert character Mordac, "the Preventer of Information Services", in order to defuse a co-worker's stress about the ridiculous inefficiency of our IT department. It really helped not take it so seriously!
NOTE: with the exception of the inference that engineering models are rare (I believe there are plenty), this cartoon below is spot on.
Amanda I. Greene
This is where I share my latest creative projects and link to my other blogs (Squishy Blueberry, Hollyfrost Comics, and Imagine the News).