Tuesday, October 28, 2008

comedy is outright difficult

I signed up to the National Novel Writing Month partly because it's actually an international event and a tremendous way to (re)test self discipline for writers. There's also potential something there.

I genuinely want to spend part of the coming month writing a comic novel, but joining up I soon discovered that really wanting to write a comic novel can prove an unpopular and difficult idea. I am very grateful for all those folks who offered insight and opinion in that regard, below is part of my take on why writers tend to dilute novels and very rarely distill them into a purely comedic novel.

Yet it's potentially inspiring and fun but horrible and hard and ridiculously difficult to sustain and despairingly dumb when it dies and elating and frustrating in unequal measures when it flies, not only because comedy and the comedic somehow says publicly I want people to like me and find me and my writing funny, genuine, entertaining, slap on the back buddy brilliant, your stuff is like sooooo funny I'd buy the next one on Pratchett like pre-order. Its tough wanting to write comedy not just because it's some muted form of psychological defense mechanism developed over years scraping a living / learning on this miserable greedy weedy wee planet, not only because many of us have spent part of our life subconsciously examining the elements, components, structures and theories of successful comedy, and thus ensuring we socially conform if confronted with funny situations, It's odd and difficult not just because we can exaggerate in fifty million ways about what it is that makes stuff 'funny' to some people in the first place and totally unfunny to others in second place or in any sort of place if their's is being repossessed right now.

It's tough but rewarding not only because nonsense is often the least offensive vehicle to hold and transport actual sense and truth and attack the status quo, or that the history of clowns and court jester's is as valid and worthy as that of economic advisers, military commanders even spiritual leaders, or that to be prepared to be a comedy writer or comedy maker you MUST be prepared to lie, to cheat and trick your reader/viewer, even become a fool of sorts, that 'simple funny' is actually a very complicated process to which the vast majority of the planet is immediately capable of responding positively - while merely a minority are capable of instigating, sustaining or making those laughs and humor and the actually funny jokes live and, like a long line of incredibly convoluted unfunny dialog ...... going to the end of your tolerance level .. yet .....incredibly keeping your attention ...... last.

Even he who is regarded as that gifted 'wisecracker' or she as crackerette perhaps and we all know at least one, would have trouble with 70K words worth of wisecracking, you'd need to be slightly cracked to want to do that in the first place and he who laughs last, is he who didn't get the joke and he who says or writes 'he who' all the time sounds a bit like an ass backwards.

I think the objective of deciding to write comedy is making a decision to enjoy the process of writing that bit more than the straight forward or more mainstream genres - to be braver, to be more prepared than most to embrace failure, then on the other hand, there's four fingers and a thumb - I am always prepared to be this wrong in the pursuit of something that might somehow turn out right.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Web 2.0 non runner.

I'm so busy right now, I'm taking my own advice to do nothing at all electronic for one afternoon, just because I can ! For a couple of hours I'm not answering the phone, email, txts, mobile or even the door (ok it's wood but the bell has electronics). I'm checking out of the twitter stream, the superhighway, the loop, boards, forums, moodles, etc etc, powering down so I can actually plan and write up some stuff on paper for a change.

All the 'e' stuff is really great and the latest web 2.0 stuff does excite, broaden the horizons, add value, etc, but there is a strange competitiveness to it all, my blog's bigger than your blog sorta stuff, awards for this, recognition for that, all of which kinda perplexes me in so mnay ways, anyway, I decided to award my self the afternoon off by quickly creating the above award for me and my electronic presence.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

DUMB DIGITAL - Offended ?

I recently set up a twitter account - it's not a week old yet and I'm genuinely surprised that I have already received many followers. I embedded this Whoopi Goldberg Video here for reasons which may become obvious.

As with so much social media, I was required to offer the usual username, password, info, and a one line bio. Fine. We all have to do that, later we often go back and tweak that info. Well I do.

My one line twitter bio initially said, 'dumb digital paddy'. In parts of the UK, 'Paddy' is a label that would be easily given, in some instances as a term of endearment from boisterous 'Brits' or scallywag 'scousers', a jovial cultural classification from Good hearted Geordies, etc, I'm sure that slang interpretation of the term 'Paddy' has entered the British lexicon.

A mate read my blog but said he wouldn't f**king subscribe to my f**king twitter, he wouldn't get an account or follow me simply because I was demeaning the Irish Identity by calling myself, a 'dumb digital paddy'. " Irony is not your favorite subject ?" clevercelt asks, erm nope, he prefers his 'PADDY' as a racist slogan of condescension, even though his name actually is Paddy and he too is Irish.

I changed my bio, because I'm sure there are other sensitive paddy's out there that wear their own form of ractist glassess and thus colour their opinions accordingly, I have no desire to offend anyone, so I changed my 1 line bio to Dumb Digital Mick.

Now in the USA & elsewhere, they don't refer to Irish People as 'Paddy's' they call them 'Micks' but since my name is Michael and I have been called Mick by my close friends for over 40 years, then Paddy can go ' F... F... Find himself' (-: