Pungent Comedy

For the sake of appearances, the common man will burn himself. There are little fears, like crawling ants, which give him no rest when he is live on the social stage. He must play his role and do it well for the audience to believe the show and accept his mortal existence for yet another day. So callous can they be, with the threat of throwing tomatoes and other humiliating projectiles, should he fail to amuse and entertain the crowd. These pedestrians all find themselves on the same boat, performing their roles in the hopes of making the part, and dreading the consequences of being branded the outcast. And so all are to blame and all are innocent, as one would expect in a perfect quagmire such as this.

It is a wonder how conditions came to be in this way, where pretensions appear to rule during most of the day and night, and authenticity, more often than not, prevailing only in the rare quiet moments. At the root of it all seems to be an addiction to thrills, pleasures and comforts, which in this time have become rather rampant in both variety and intensity. From this state arise a great avoidance from the serenity of vulnerability, the softness of genuine and calm behaviour, and the rest of these ancient virtues which are now faced with reactions of boredom. The general mould of men and women seem to have developed an aversion from authenticity, for it is this which lacks the necessary panache and feverish appeal which modern culture now prefers.

Good luck to those men who strive to live in both worlds, for, as they say, it is easy for a man to be a monk when left in a monastery. It is quite another thing to live in this world and have the strength to retain one’s sobriety and sanity when the stage is thrust upon us. There is a winding of some springs in the back of our minds, hearts and bodies which, without our knowing or conceiving of its source, ticks and gears our roles into immediate action. It is like living on the page of a book, free to do as one wishes when the authors words do not concern or include you. Yet when the passage imparts your name, you are spellbound to play a role quite awfully familiar and totally out of one’s control to stop, deny, or reject, as if submerged by a sudden wave of very salty water.

It is curious to look through the annals of the past and the recorded struggles of our ancestors. Our patterns are nothing new, ageless as they are against the tide of all human history. Yet there is indeed the impression that the intensity and acuteness of  pretensions and vanities is increasing as society multiples by number and develops by elaboration. In these days quite a few more people, quite undeserved and without any noteworthy accomplishments to boot, convey their self-image as if they had inherited acclaim from some other world. For they walk, talk and spew out gestures of vanity and pride by the same dose one would expect from some celebrity or royalty. It is as if our times serve as the epitome, where the play of the stage turns into utter caricature.

And with all this said, the good things in life still exist and thrive in special places. For it appears to also be a law that with any current which moves in one direction, an equal force pushes up against it by an effort which intends to maintain and restore balance. To a wave of degenerate and deteriorating effect, there shall be one of ascending regeneration and repair. It is by fondness of this law that we have to honour ourselves by keeping one’s outlook positive and optimistic, despite the roaring thunder which runs rampant outside. It is, after all, a pungent comedy that can teach and illustrate lessons as much in one year, during these days of great echoes, that could in other more civilized times be only reaped in a great many.

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