Comedy Is Hard
06 November 2014
Tonight I went to the penultimate lecture on Aristophanes by the professor with whom I took what I'm realizing was a more-influential-than-I-thought-at-the-time translation course while in my third year of college. As of the first lecture, I have been either rereading all of the extant plays of Aristophanes while riding BART to the office of the internet company I've been working at since January or reading the Greek passages from Acharnians, Knights and other plays included on the lecture handouts.
As of tonight's lecture (entitled "Act Democratic"), I need to write about Aristophanes. His Greek is rich, redolent with vernacular expressions and everyday words. His language gives you a concrete sense of the sensus quotidianos of the world he walked in. His plays burst with every sort of kaka.
And as the show business adage referred to by the professor who introduced the lecture goes, dying is easy, comedy is hard.
In the framework of an academic lecture on ancient Greek drama, this could be interpreted as it's a lot easier to define what the genre of tragedy is than that unwieldy beast, 'Old Comedy.'
From the perspective of this autismland life, the phrase can be understood as, as hard as catastrophe in the form of a child having a major behavior storm is and as not-fun as it is to be veterans of the ER, day to day living (including the day after you've been at the ER, and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after and the day after when you don't have therapists, aides, teachers, behavior consultants, EMTs, police officers, nurses, doctors, etc. at hand to help and you're all on your own again) is hard.
Which is why comedy, I've long thought, is better than tragedy with its dirges and no-hope-out-of-awfulness at capturing what life with Charlie is about, something very real and full of shared, communal joy and -- you got it -- laughs.