Comedy and hope is vital for humanity.

When I was a child I saw an old film on television. The film was made in black and white. I forgot the name of the film but  I remember its central message. The film  was about a film director who wanted to make a film about the injustice that the poor suffer. He decided to meet the poor people himself without telling them  what his job was. He wanted to learn what it was like to be a poor person. But the poor thought him an  important lesson. They already know about their struggles. They don’t need to be told about what it is like to be a poor person. A film  about poverty and the poor might inform the rich  but would it achieve anything positive? At  the end  of this film  the director made a comedy. There was a scene at the end of the film when poor  people are at a cinema watching this comedy and laughing out loud.

This film had an  influence on me. Comedy is  important in  the lives of human beings. Comedy reveals  the absurdities that life throws up. It makes us feel happy and feeling happy is important. It also  gives us a feeling of hope. Without hope humans will give up and die. It  is  the feeling of hope that nations fight against the odds to defeat their oppressors. It was hope  and a determination to defeat fascism that saw the allies win World War II. It  is hope that social reforms will succeed that gave  confidence to the campaign for the rights for women to vote in elections. Hope  is a vital element in the progress of human society.

Satire is a  form of comedy. In democracies satire is a harmless form of fun. Famous people might feel honoured, indifferent or offended at satire. Satire might  reveal the  truth of society that news can’t or wouldn’t reveal. But satire  might not  understand what the  politicians are up to.

But try satire in a dictatorship and you will find that satire would get banned. Those people who are engaged in satire move into exile, or they are imprisoned or they are killed.  The truth seems to be that dictators don’t like satire or real comedy. They prefer  if people are afraid. They  prefer if the people don’t laugh at the absurdity of life. Dictatorships prefer to rule  over grim fearful desolate states.

Comedy isn’t mere comedy. It  is the expression of the human being who seeks to bring the fearful forces down to size. It  is the expression of a person who believes that the obstacles of life can and will be resolved.  It is the expression of someone who is happy because they recognize that ultimately the negative in life will  be defeated.

John

 

 

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Author: irishfabian

I am a member of the Irish Labour Party in Cork East.

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