I was watching Bob Mankoff, from the New Yorker, as he publicly dissected humor. He sifts through about a thousand comics each week to decide which 17 “idea drawings” will appear in the famous New York publication.
As Bob explains, a zoo with a tiger cage that has no tiger is a bad zoo, though it’s certainly “politically correct”. But who wants a politically correct zoo? Like the zoo, humor can’t work with empty tiger cages. The best smiles have teeth and you can’t laugh without both the teeth and the smile. Once you offend no one, you bore everyone. If you entertain most people, you’ll offend most of the rest.
When Rush Limbaugh said something controversial, his sponsors pulled their ads—but it was the sponsors, not Rush, who lost money. Marketing “experts” didn’t seem to get it: Controversy was always the secret to Limbaugh’s success. People don’t pay to see tiger cages without tigers.
With humor, 75% reader satisfaction is the best Bob hopes for. That’s a bit higher than baseball, where hitting the ball 50% of the time is pure perfection. I’m still waiting for academics to connect the jobless graduate rate to their scoring and grading. If schools actually helped people learn, they would gear their curriculum so that 60% would be the line of success rather than the line of failure. One must fail a lot before one can learn. American society has become so obsessed with “success” that they undervalued the “failures” that got them there.
Toward the end of his talk, Bob said something that got me thinking. He commented that, “…in general, people who enjoy more nonsense, enjoy more abstract art, and tend to Liberal, less Conservative, that type of stuff…” He’s correct. But why is that so? Why don’t more Conservatives enjoy more abstract art?
The answer might be connected to gravity…
There are certain rules that govern our universe. Gravity is one of them. If you’re up on any trends in science, you may have heard about the “plasma cosmology” as opposed to the gravity-driven Big Bang. While the establishment never likes to hear the truth, some things don’t change. Even in a plasma-based universe, “what goes up must come down.”
There are other laws in our universe… A man reaps what he sows. If you forgive, you’ll be forgiven. Irish burn their corn fields when invaded. Native Americans wouldn’t work for slave masters; but Native Africans sold their own tribesmen into slavery. Women and men don’t understand each other. Dogs love people, no matter how poorly we treat them. Some jerk always wants to exterminate Israel. People tend to be patriotic toward whatever culture they grew up in—whether nations or religions. Every successful person got lucky and every failure got unlucky—some deserve it, some don’t—but the most successful people “create” their own luck by not giving up—and the biggest failures “created” their own bad luck. Few losers think that the winner deserved to win; but every winner has a different opinion of why he won. And there are many more laws that govern our existence, among them, that Humans are inclined toward Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Right now, the United States are having some big debates about the “laws” that governed their origin. Some people think that the Constitution reflected “timeless wisdom” and this fueled overall national prosperity. Others think the nation “got lucky” and the Constitution should be changed or abolished.
…and that comes back to what Bob said, that Liberals are more inclined to enjoy abstract art.
Conservatives seem to me as a contradiction. Nothing is as creative and abstract as a prospering economy. Einstein said that, “imagination is more important than knowledge.” Why don’t Conservatives—who value principles of opportunity—value the creativity that allows invention and progress? And why do Liberals—who value the useful role of abstract imagination—speak out against a Constitution that gives them free speech? Why are so many Darwinists in favor of homosexuality and abortion, when homosexuality and abortion are anything but Darwinian? Why don’t Conservative Christians successfully train their kids to be Conservative and Christian? Why do Christians, including pastors themselves, continue to pour time and money and emotional affection into a system of “pastor-led Churchianity”, which is demonstrated nowhere in the Bibles that they hail, and has made no difference whatsoever in terms of divorce, depression, suicide, hypocrisy, bigotry, and an endless laundry list of other grievances?
There are many things that don’t make sense.
Why do so many people contradict themselves, from all sides of every debate?
This isn’t the first time these questions have crossed my mind. And my mind is probably not the first mind that these questions have crossed.
Conservatives and Liberals alike seem to be engaging in their own “big bang” of self-destruction. When a stock trader on Wall Street self-destructs, they call it “blowing up”.
Could there be a connection between Conservative, Christian parents with homosexual children and the fact that Conservatives don’t enjoy abstract art as much as Liberals do? I’m not merely referring to the out-dated superstition that, “art is gay,” and the predictable reaction of artistic Christians, “Then God must have made me gay because I like art!” I’m talking about a problem with modern Conservatives in general…
Bob got my head spinning. And, now, I’m starting to think that, while the Constitution and the Bible reflect different forms of timeless wisdom, most Conservatives and most Christians don’t respect the Bible or the Constitution for their brilliance. Most parents don’t teach their children much about the Constitution at all—to which Ronald Reagan said in his last national address, “…call them out on it.” Conservative Christians respect the Bible because their parents told them to, even though their parents didn’t tell them why. All evidence hath shewn, homosexual Christians became homosexual because their parents told them not to, but nobody in the family knew why.
Conservative Christians seem to fear risk as much as an MBA. To them, 50% is failure instead of success. So, unlike a bird who falls 90% of the way to the ground when he flies the nest, both Christians and academicians punish their young at 50%—before anyone has a chance to actually learn. And the company leader, who succeeds the company founder, can’t help the company succeed.
Conservatism is wise, but few people know why… probably because Conservatives don’t care to understand why they do what they do, just as they don’t care to understand art.
Too many parents don’t care to understand their children unless their children understand them first. But sons weren’t created so that they could understand their fathers. God created fathers so that they could understand their sons—macho and brilliant alike—and help their sons understand their nation, the Bible, how to tie shoes, how to be healthy, how to draw pictures, and a whole lot of other things.
Doing the right think for the wrong reason—or for no reason at all—isn’t reasonable. So, artists abandon dogma, thinking that they abandon so-called “reason”. The result: America today… divided, angry, fatherless…
I’m a proud, artistic, Bible believing Conservative. I don’t like organized religion; but I love God. I don’t like Democrats or Republicrats; but I love people. I think outside the box in a plasma universe and I’m not into “big bangs”, though I love playing with plasma… or “playing with fire” as they call it in Big Rapids. I see the artistic connection between a jellyfish and a galaxy; and I also see their scientific connection: cellular plasma, ionic plasma. Imagination is the basis of science. The Creator God had wisdom behind the laws He created for His artistic “plasmaverse”.
Maybe there’s something we all can see in that.
I have no guess how you’ll take this article. Maybe you’re among the 75% who enjoyed my abstract, logical spiral. Or, maybe you’re among the 25% who think it’s just a bad joke from a twisted mind.