We’re so whacky and zany and madcap. We celebrate the lighter side of life. Sure, there’s a place for that, but in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t compare with the graver, more serious types of creative endeavour. After all, it’s just a laugh, isn’t it? It’s not anything to take seriously.
I’m sorry, but I beg to differ. I’m quite fed up with being treated as a lightweight while other, more serious and supposedly deeper artists get taken so much more seriously.
I was reading in the paper last week about (another) profile of Nick Cave. He’s such a great artist. He’s so deep and intense. With apologies to any fans of Nick Cave (and I try not to be snobbish about this – people can like whoever they like) I find his brand of paint-by-numbers gothic to be quite irritating. To me there’s nothing so deep about it. He just seems like a kind of cartoon character.
People seem to have these stereotypical ideas that dark is somehow deeper and more meaningful than light. And sometimes that’s true. I won’t dispute that there are some forms of humour that are as lightweight as a feather. But there are also forms of humour that can explore into all sorts of complicated aspects of the human experience. Forms of humour that can help to illuminate dark corners and allow you to see the world in all sorts of ways you didn’t expect.
I’m not saying that my writing always achieves that, but I like to think that I’m on some sort of quest. I try to set myself the goal of uncovering some sort of truth about some aspect of the world, while at the same time trying to bring in the lightness of entertainment and humour. It’s not that easy. I may hazard to say it’s actually more difficult than just focusing on the darkness. But I’m sure many would find that contentious, so maybe I better not.
Certainly, at this time when one of the greatest “funny men” of recent times has left us in a way that revealed the shades of darkness behind the laughs, I think it’s an important that people understand this.
As the title of this post sums up – I’m a funny person, please take me seriously.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as