The Military Lifestyleon November 23, 2011 at 8:47 pm
Y’know, being in the military, regardless of your national origin, is more than just a job, or even an adventure (as they like to say in the US Navy). It’s a lifestyle. One that many people have a difficult time leaving behind because it gives so much specific structure to their lives that we in civilian life take for granted. You always have orders and a place you need to be (or else…) in the armed services.
I was thinking about this because a lot of people over the years have asked why characters in military drama seem so dysfunctional. A friend of mine once had a theory about that where he said that the military teaches you how to march, it teaches you how to kill, and they may even teach you a trade. But what they don’t teach you is how to think independently or how to behave as a civilian adult. And why should they? It’s not the job of the military to do that. Our parents and our educational system, theoretically, should have done that already, right?
I guess this article is a little more random than I thought, because that above bit really isn’t why I am writing this piece. What it’s really about is that I noticed that I seem to have difficulty writing comedy sometimes because it occurred to me that in order to be truly funny, you need to be just a little bit… “broken”. Take Robin Williams, for example. Nicest guy in the world. But the man has faced some genuine darkness in his life. And it seems that he was at his height of funny when he was messed up. Not to say he can’t do comedy anymore, but ever since he got his life together, you see him more in thrillers and weepy “dramedys”, and he seems just as at home in those films as he did in the f-ing crazy comedies he used to do.
I don’t have that dysfunction in my life. I have a good family that took care of me. I never got into drugs and crime. I don’t have a criminal record like Tim Allen. I was never as angry as Dennis Leary. I guess Jim Carrey straightened out his life, too, because he stopped being funny a long time ago. Now, Adam Sandler? Don’t get me started there. Was he ever funny to begin with? Ah, well. I still love “Ode to My Car”.
I guess it is just weird, because as much as I love comedy, I feel my strongest work is my serious stuff, like Starship Moonhawk. Admittedly, I went off it for a while. But I am back now. And who knows, maybe I have all this wrong. It is a random-stream-of-thought journal, after all. But if my musings and ideas here spark some ideas in the readers, good, bad or otherwise, then I guess I have done my job as a writer. To those I might offend with my writings, I am sorry. To those who enjoy it, thank you for sticking around. For everyone else, well… we’ll just let the future determine where your feelings lie.
Besides, maybe some of you think I am a comedic genius. And if that’s the case, I’ve far exceeded my own expectations, then.
I guess that’s a good thing.