Begin again Finnegan. A new blog forum for the new year. February still counts as new, right?
This past week brought two similar items devoted to the same topic to my attention. The topic was criticism, its effect on small children/future comedy writers and the karma of critical behavior.
This from Merrill Markoe in her book, Calm, Cool, and Contentious:
“My research, if you can call it that, shows that the lion’s share of compulsively funny people had a problematic relationship with a narcissistically inclined mother. The desire to rearrange grim facts into a joke seems to develop in direct proportion to the hysteria-filled humorlessness of the environment in which the Crazy Mom in question conducted her family’s daily affairs.”
“It’s almost as though laughing at something horrible set the clock back to a moment when everyone still had a normal level of optimism, logic, and mutual respect…”
“Comedy is, after all, about an imbalance of power. Therefore, creatively inclined children raised on the wrong side of a continuous power struggle end up developing an ability to see the world as a setup in need of a punch line.”
“For the creatively inclined, growing up under the thumb of a good old-fashioned insensitive, dismissive, difficult, or in some cases wholly unbalanced mommy can be a lot like growing up permanently enrolled in a graduate seminar in comedy. As she presents her child with an overwhelming set of unsolvable problems, while also promising and withholding her support, a Crazy Mommy instinctively inflicts ust the right amount of emotional damage needed to provide her twitching offspring with the fortitude they will need to face down the drunken patrons of bars and nightclubs.”
“And there’s so much more! By doing her job correctly, every Crazy Mommy also provides her pulverized offspring with an essential starter pack of unfortunate situations on which they can base their first original jokes.”
Then this from Yoga Journal’s wisdom segment by Sally Kempton:
“Although karmic theory suggest that your present is affected by the thoughts and actions of your past, your future has everything to do with what you do now. In fact, the yogic sage Vasistha summarized the deepest truth about karma by saying, “There is no power on earth greater than right action in the present moemnt.” this is the third principle of karma–and the most important: You always have a choice about how you think or behave. Even if things aren’t working out the way you’d like at the moment, the law of karma says that the positive effort you make now will inevitably come to fruition….your past actions may create some obstacles for you, but your present actions can help you overcome them…every moment is both a result of your past and a seed of the future.”
“Changing your karma includes changing the way…