Heading: Animals Give Us Status Enough
I tried hard for a few years to make it as a stand-up comic. My best night really was at The Comic Strip in Fort Lauderdale and it was because I had everyone in the room laughing.
Stand-up is hard because you do feel like a failure if you don’t get the whole room laughing, every single one.
To do that I believe you do have to be truthful and it is why great comedians have not been Presidents. The actors you see as Governors, or Presidents, or Congressmen are not comedians, and part of their job is to pretend they are somebody else.
Whenever I read the Bible or the I Ching or books that attempt to be as perfect as they are, or may be if I knew how to use them better, I look for the humor in them for I believe a good joke is a gift from God as much as a sunset over the ocean, or mists on the mountain, or a kiss from a woman you love, or any of those sorts of things.
Whenever I think of my father I cannot help but remember the words he said that stung me most. He said, "I’ve always hated your sense of humor, it always means something."
I said, "Well that’s alright, you don’t have one."
Strength Wisdom Beauty and Humor are what to me are the foundation of great stories. War and Peace has to be as long as it is because otherwise there would be something unbearable about it. The ugly girl has to become beautiful and Pierre has to be lucky.
Faulkner’s humor was incredible and odd in places that balanced his stories out. "I would have been alright if they hadn’t found that arm." or "He was too young to know that the facts are not necessarily the truth." or "There he is, dead as beef." -Or the story of the man who was in love with a cow and was not happy about eating her, and was not satisfied with a carved wooden cow.
In The Wild Palms one doctor accidentally kills the love of his life giving her an abortion, and a convict saves a woman and takes care of her throughout the events and disruptions of the 1927 flood so well while his sentence expires and his only reward is to be imprisoned for escaping.
I feel that The Wild Palms has to be read as one novel in recognition of Faulkners success as a poet for he said that it went together in his mind because he wrote one part till he was so depressed he had to write the other part.
Now that I am older and wiser and wonder what I really want to say even before I say it sometimes, and know that I do not simply have time to leave a cannon such as Faulkner or McMurtry and have contemplated what sort of jokes or funny stories I might tell Standing Up, I have determined that I ought to do an act composed of animal stories, since animals do some funny things.
– And, I can get away with thinking that I am better than a good number of animals that do naturally things that I am restrained by sensiblity or law from doing.
The hatreds that mankind uses to rationalize mass murder of each other under the name of War, happen because one group, set of individuals, feels they are better than another for one reason or another.
Humans are animals, and do require status same as animals, but they ought to be generally satisfied with being humans instead of animals, as status enough.
For example, say I decide to make a law for the cats, and tell the cats that they will be excecuted for killing rabbits, or mice, or birds.
Imagine that I get all the cats to sit in the room and I tell them, "If you kill birds, or rabbits, or mice, you will face execution, so stop it!"
They are cats, they cannot be anything other than cats, and whatever I say their nature will not be changed and do not understand me that well to even know that I have made a law about the murder of rabbits and some other animals that they typically kill.
In respect to humans it is possible that they would understand me when I tell them that I have decided that they will be subject to execution or prison if they kill my friends or family.
In fact humans are smart enough to actually realize without notice that whatever they do to another human being may well come round to haunt them, and be done to them.
Therefore I say unto you, if you need to make fun of other animals, and you are a human, make fun, and gain your status, as smarter, from the zoo.