Addicted To Negativity (And The Challenge Of Positive Comedy)

Life with humanity has come a long way since our ancient days, where slavery was more mainstream, and violence between clans and nations was more ubiquitous and transparent. However, there is still some ways to go before we are lifted out of our more dense negativity.

In one of my articles, I described a situation that is common place in the way we interact with each other, especially online. It is a type of addiction to negativity, that supposes itself positive. When people speak to each other, they are usually friendly, but when we desire to push ourselves further and dig deeper into the nature of our fundamental perspectives and beliefs, the conversation can quickly get out of hand.

One such continual addiction of ours, is known as Ad Hominem. This is the behavior of attacking someone’s character or personality instead of discussing the points they are making with their perspective. It is usually seen as just straight up insults that are intended to be funny, but also demeaning to that specific person.

This type of negativity can only create more division between us. This division can be seen as a type of ‘non-physical’ force that usually leads to physical violence. And once it is at the level of physical violence, it is a lot more difficult to absolve.

However, this is a major part of our culture. Violent video games, movies, music, television shows and everything else, all contributes to how we are programmed to perceive each other. Which usually involves witty insults or clever comebacks, that constantly pits the protagonist at someone else’s throat (whom are often deemed as objectively “evil”). The problem is that we are addicted to this type of negativity. While, we know it is not fun to be on the other end of this, we ignore that aspect to ride the waves of excitement when we are beating others with the stick.

I, too, still share this excitement all too often. I may listen to political commentators berate their opposition and find myself chuckling at various parts of their act. I suppose this is alright to do in private, but I would be bereft to find myself engaging in that behavior with others. Even if I am only laughing.

I attempt to be as integrative as possible with other people’s beliefs and viewpoints when I am in the real world. This is so I do not create anger in anyone, that isn’t at all necessary. However, it is the nature of humanity, at the moment, to easily become irritated; even when you express a viewpoint respectfully.

Yet, only in respectfully expressing a viewpoint can we come off our addiction. I believe since the advent of podcasts in our culture. We have had enough time to sit down and listen to conversations on a more sincere level. This sincerity will certainly grow over time, and more people will feel safe with expanding their perspective and tolerance with the whole of humanity.

This may sound rather boring. As though, I am speaking like someone who is a blank-slate with a huge sign in front of their yard that says “No fun allowed”. It is the case with comedians that they are paid to poke fun at people’s expense; using jokes that are death dealing, but often hilarious. Up until now, this has been fairly acceptable; but with recent events involving comedians being attacked for telling jokes, it has become a more delicate situation. Many people continue to berate and call for violence against certain groups on platforms that are suppose to have a “no hate speech policy”.

I, for one, wouldn’t want to kill anyone’s fun. But, if we are dealing with the two awful choices of either not having fun or having fun at the expense of harming the integrity of our fellow humans— then we need to find a third option.

That third option is simple creativity. Can we laugh without harming others? I believe it is definitely possible. Recently, I listened to about three or four minutes of an interview with two Youtubers. I didn’t expect to find anything of value in the conversation but, I was surprised to find that the portion of content I skipped to, was rather insightful.

During that small portion of the interview, I heard Joey speak about how it was very challenging to talk about anything anymore, because of how people took offense to everything. Arin responded, by saying they were actually ok with that challenge, because it pushes their comedy to a more sincere level. A level that was more harmonious to everyone’s needs.

At the time, I thought that response was rather naive. My article about censorship highlighted the dangers of assuming some speech had to be silenced for the greater good of our interests. After more consideration on the topic, I actually see Arin’s point of view as the more expanded perspective.

Indeed, censorship is negative. But, when we willingly decide to be more harmonious in our speech, there is nothing negative I can find in that. While, of course, it is just as important to understand that anyone’s haughty expression is just the state of their consciousness within that moment. Yet, when we find ourselves willing to integrate with other points of view through our conscious effort— we can do so without compromising our integrity, by still respectfully expressing what we know to be true for ourselves. I believe is the greater point here. It is all about respect, and not so much about silencing anyone.

As Robert Anton Wilson has said before, “Ego is a social fiction where one person at a time gets all the blame”. If we can move away from that type of conversation, we would be helping ourselves immensely. I do my best in this endeavor while online or offline. It is quite a challenge to be funny while simultaneously giving a more expanded viewpoint of reality, but that endeavor is necessary for me to do so. Since I see it as clearly a more accelerated way of integrating our views, healing the trauma of ridicule, and bridging the divide between us. In all of this, we will come to a more balanced and enlightened society. One where we are not laughing at each other, but with each other. Or at least a society without TikTok.

I jest.

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