Friday, March 25, 2016

Shandling, Cringeworthy, Not My Universe

Garry Shandling, father of all that is cringeworthy - The Washington Post:

Sometime in the '80s I pretty much quite watching TV other than Star Trek Next Generation, Football, and the occasional odd show. "Miami Vice" was one of the last shows I watched "most of".

I do recall Garry Shandling as a name, but I'm sure I never saw one of his shows. I've probably seen like "20" Seinfeld's, so I know what that is. Most of the names listed in the column -- never, and apparently I missed a whole genre of comedy.

Works of comedy are now often judged on their “cringeworthiness,” which is a shorthand way of describing an exact combination of hubris and humiliation, in situations that are once absurd and yet universal. Its ingredients include neurosis, self-absorption and the certitude that hell really is other people. It involves being a kind of loser, but never a clown.
I'm reminded of one of the few Seinfeld's I recall (other than "Festivus") about "spongeworthy". Once sex is reduced to an amoral "social activity" like going to a movie or sporting event, devoid of other meaning, then a prospective participant can be "rated" by an a priori metric -- in this case, relative to using up a contraceptive sponge.

That made me cringe -- but it didn't make me laugh. I'm not certain if that means I "got it" or did not get it.  As I said, I've missed a genre of "comedy"

... let’s just say it, in 2016 Lucy would have to accidentally defecate in her pants through some preventable fault of her own,because that’s universally cringeworthy and that’s what happens (all the time) in Judd Apatow’s world or Amy Schumer’s, or Kristen Wiig’s, Seth Rogen’s and all the rest. They all owe Garry Shandling. In particular, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Comeback,” “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Veep” — their debt to Shandling is notable.
I'm not sorry I missed it. It does help me understand how we got the Clintons, BO, Trump, etc, but I don't really see where that can be of any assistance. In a meaningless world, people will come up with things that take up their time between birth and death. The vast bulk will not "have the time" to take in a Good Friday service, but would rather be "occupied" by something from the paragraph above.

What surprises me more is that people are aware of all this and STILL don't understand why we have things like mass shootings, rising suicide, substance abuse, etc.

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do".

Christ died for ALL, and he asks us to love ALL! Somehow "cringeworthy" falls far short of the emotion of sadness, guilt, false hubris, utter inability to understand, embarrassment, despair, emptiness, ... that putting such a column and the fact of Good Friday together stirs in my soul.

'via Blog this'

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