The Benefits Of Dark Comedy Part I

Posted on August 23, 2013 by

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germano dark comedy

How Being Dark Can Help You See The Light

Dark Comedy, in the opinion of your humble narrator, is quite easily the best and truest art form in the history of human art.  It’s a bold statement, but one I intend to prove; so if you disagree, pay attention and get learnt!

As defined by Wikipedia, Dark Comedy is:

Topics and events that are usually regarded as taboo, specifically those related to death, are treated in an unusually humorous or satirical manner while retaining their seriousness; the intent of black comedy, therefore, is often for the audience to experience both laughter and discomfort, sometimes simultaneously.

I like this definition because it contains what I consider the three main reasons that dark comedy kicks the crap out of every other art form.

Those reasons are as follows:

  1. Anti-escapism
  2. Truth & Beauty
  3. The only solution to life

Confused? Let me elaborate…

Escapism Is For The Birds

Many people regard art as aesthetically pleasing word/pictures/video etc. that allows one to escape the droll realities of the present.

I would say two things to those people: 1. Sorry your life blows; 2. Sucks to be you!

Anyone who lives in this day and age must realize that life is a tumultuous sequence of chaos and excitement. There are revolutions in Egypt and Libya, fights for civil liberties abroad and at home… and did you know there is a sport called crocodile bungee jumping? That’s right – bungee jumping into water full of crocodiles!

Life is full of intensity and excitement. If you’re using art to escape, you’re shortchanging yourself in more than one way.

Art, or rather good art, should not simply be a distraction from life, though that is one of the many benefits it provides.  Art, in its best form, should be a meditation on the deeper truths of life.

Good art employs allegory, symbolism, metonymy, and other literary techniques to highlight the aspects of life that are not readily seen or understood. Dark Comedy does this better than any other art form.

As defined above, Dark Comedy tackles topics that are usually regarded as taboo. Unlike the litany of Hollywood films that feature beautiful people going about their exotic and beautiful lives, Dark Comedy follows the gritty shit that defines most of our lives.

Other art forms allow one to live in a bubble. Romance allows us to believe we all have soulmates.  Action/Adventure films makes us think we can dodge bullets, and that we’re all protected by some good guy who will pull off a great victory in the end.  Reality T.V, the most blatant liar of all, lies to us about the very nature of reality itself.

Dark Comedy does none of this.  It instead forces us to live in the real world. A world where even the grotesque has value.

Most of us are not soldiers forced to dine every day with the horror of life, as Col. Kurtz is in The Heart Of Darkness. Nor are we Hollywood celebrities who can pay to have every discomfort removed from their life in order to live in perpetual ecstasy. We are stuck with both sides of the coin, and must learn to live with that.

How does one exist in a world where horror and beauty dance harmoniously around us? A world where men will fly a plane into a building to kill thousands of innocent people, and firefighters will rush to their doom in the hopes of saving those same lives. A world where Neo gives his life to save The Matrix and Zion.

By forcing us to ask and consider this question, Dark Comedy creates the most value for its audience, instead of blinding it with lies.