Monday, April 7, 2014

Give Another Hand for Humor!

                                                       [For Donovan's U Tube see below]

Humor has its drawbacks. (The comedians at ‘Hecklers’ basement bar in Victoria would make much filth of my opening remark!) The master of ceremonies persisted in the lewd, crude and the rude. And despite ladies present, his imagery was that of the uninhibited, the exhibitioner, the perverse shocker, the assault on the senses. Yet he had more hands clapping than I could count. And I realized (ladies and gentlemen), that on this Saturday night, at 21:00 hours, with drinks, women, men, and the spotlight on the small stage given to the exposition of comedy, that I was in for an intemperate and titillating test of integration. (Repetitive, I know.)

Yet the Master of Ceremonies soon enough advanced the action. And while he was speaking it struck me that though genre specific, though differentiated, potentially divisive, dislocating and downright dirty, it is in each and every moment that we are tested for readiness to be aware, absorptive, assimilative, compassionate, and inclusive. What part of Integrative is not? What part of Whole is not? What part of Everything is not? Preference is all. And so prudishness and perversity lie together abed in the sea of allusion, illusion, and inference. We are but mankind adrift; flotsam and jetsam in The Universal Energy.

In the early 90’s, while defending my choice to direct Romeo and Juliet, I devised the following rubric for art: The thumb is thick and versatile, a symbol of the Sexual/Sensual basis of life. The forefinger is the Action/Adventure; it points and leads and instigates. The middle finger is the Romance/Sentiment; it clutches and clings and signifies. The ring-finger is the Knowledge/Esoteric symbol. (On my own hand it is longer than my index finger, connoting more thought than action?) The pinky is Spiritual/Wisdom; it has the least leadership in hand (the last we usually think of). And in the palm are the lines of smiles and frowns; the downs and ups of our emotions. (Made you look, ha!) Great literature is like that; it combines these elements. Shakespeare’s plays find their classical appeal in their ability to reach all levels of the populace; so too the Mona Lisa; so too for any effort at ontological insight that is not anemic; so too for epistemological attempts at evolving the psyche. Integration, consciously evoked, intellectually apprehended, emotively galvanized, meta-cognitively realized, or not, seeps into the interstices between the myriad fingers fiddle-fuddling amongst the five-finger discounts practiced by the miss-directions of mankind, or not, and raises the bar. Or not. Thing is, one may also draw the rubric as a Five Point Star!

Donovan Deschner raised the bar. A star in the guest spot as the visiting comedian, Donovan brought the audience to insights of our ego-mania, insights of our being judgmental, insights of own inertia, insights of our attachment, insights of our predilections for positions of power, insights of our inability easily to transcend the paradigm. His was no set based on epistemological anemia, it was an enema designed to purge the up-tight, the morally pretentious, the ontologically challenged. And as his guest, as his former teacher, I remained fundamentally proud to know him. So what if swearing is not de-rigueur? Fornication under command of the king has been ongoing for centuries, unfortunately! Ha! (Or am I too abstruse?) Irony is, Donovan was Father Capulet!

We eschew and judge and condemn at our peril. Life is full and resplendent and funny and goes on whether we approve or not. Preference is not meant to be preclusive; it is meant to regulate the amount of times we engage in a specific activity; monitor the choice of purposefully encountering a specific proximity. And laughter, that great gift of real release, is the sound of the soul cracking out of its pent up shell, ready for NOW!

 Donovan's YouTube:

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