I went to a talk tonight. It covered Donald Trump becoming president, Climate Change and Climate Change deniers. It covered the post truth world, anti-vaxxers, and healthcare. It covered white male privilege, racism, and education.
And I laughed. I laughed until I almost forgot how to breathe (again. you’d be surprised how many times I’ve forgotten how to breathe over the years).
It took so many of the things that are wrong with the world, highlighted, examined, and derisively dismissed them.
It was a masterclass in story telling. In science, humanity, and compassion. In how to keep going. How to reach each other. How to listen. How to make sense of the nonsensical. And how to talk to the insensible.
It was incisive, but never cruel (although anti-vaxxers might disagree, but anything anti-vaxxers disagree with is worth paying attention to).
It was, incidentally, a lesson in not being late to a comedy show – I think Phill might agree with that, if he can ever bear to show his face in public again.
I love comedy, but I can’t bear the cruel sort. A friend had a bit of a facebook rant today about April Fools’ Day, and I have to agree. We don’t need more tricks. More lies. More fake news. More traps for the unwary. More “hah! I fooled you, aren’t I funny? and aren’t you gullible!”
We need more laughter, but Wil Anderson made it very clear tonight that comedy doesn’t have to be cruel. It doesn’t have to be mean spirited or vicious. Comedy is at its best when it’s clever, and well read, and thoughtful. When art holds a mirror up to life and laughs at it – when we see life as it is and know its absurdity – that’s real magic. And Wil Anderson is one hell of a magician.