Sunday, October 16, 2005

Waiting for Guffman

by Bob Paul (whoops smiles)

"Waiting for Guffman" is a movie. This type of gentle humour appeals to me. This is by the same people who did "This is Spinal Tap".

The humour is similar to the blogs Lunchbucket Larry writes. If you read this Larry and you have a moment can you provide us with a link to your site. Sorry, I have not taken the time to really figure out how this site works. Now, I am off track. Where was I?

The thought process started with one of Larry's blogs. A band with some sort of reputation comes to Octoberfest and all of sudden Larry's band becomes the second fiddle sorta speak.

For whatever reason I was raised with a strong feeling that no one is better; not because of reputation, title, money or position. I am not better than anyone nor is anyone better than me. A common theme in Frank McCourt's childhood was that the King or Queen of England still has the same toilet needs as us mere mortals.

In the work of Spinal Tap there is a gentle mocking. It is not mean but it is insiteful. Other such works is "Best of Show" and "Blowing in the Wind".

People in position and power lose their way sometimes in self importance. In my career I have always approached self important people with humour. I once attended a meeting with eight architects. They were all dressed in black. Now a better man than I would have ignored that. But I am no better so I teased them all through our meeting by talking about architects in black. The next meeting with them, there were fewer people dressed in black.

I need to mock myself on a regular basis otherwise my ego commits fraud on the world. I see this in the writing of Leslie Bamford and John Bolden where they tend to tease themselves more so than the other characters they write about. They can take the most mundane situations and make them laugh out loud funny.

Marianne Paul's mockery is a different style. One is swept away by intricate detail of a split second then BAM the bizarre. The so called truth, fact or fiction seems to be her major target.

Netty Meyer uses nature to mock daily living and our worries, while Christine teases herself through reflections on a maritime childhood. Shirley on the otherhand deals with the mean form of mockery and exposes bullies.

I have yet to read enough of Matt Binn's work to know where his sense of humour will take him. However Matt is a comic in real life. He has a keen eye which will find itself in his writing.

Writing isn't serious but can take on serious subjects. I liken writing to sand paintings of Buddhist monks. They spend hours doing these beautiful intricate designs then sweep them away. I liken writing to building of a sandcastle. If I make writing too important then nothing is put onto the page. It remains blank. This is where Waiting Guffman comes in. If we look carefully our pomp and circumtasnces is a never ending source of entertainment and fun.


Larry Keiler said...

I have not seen Waiting for Guffman, but I have my very own DVD copy of Best in Show. That movie is absoutely hilarious.

For those who don't know, these movies are not scripted. That is, the dialog is not scripted, it's entirely improvised. The scenes are written, ie. what's supposed to happen in the scene, so that there is order to the script and a definite plot, but everything the actors say is improv. Pure genius.

By the way, Mr. forgot to sign your name to the post.

Larry Keiler said...

I forgot to add, Frank Zappa said once he never boasted about how good a guitar player he was because there was always somebody better than he was...and that guy was working in a car wash down the street.

M@ said...

The first thing one must do in these situations, I believe, is to nit-pick. Thus I'll point out that the latest Christopher Guest movie is in fact A Mighty Wind, not Blowing in the Wind.

And it's hilarious. Possibly the best of them all, except for Spinal Tap.

Incidentally, I support your view that writing shouldn't necessarily be about Important things. A fellow named Geoffrey wrote some rather amusing tales about the least important subjects one could imagine. They're still worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Hey Larry, hey M@, u know u guys have something in common besides writing and the presidency of the WWW-CAA...

One's punk & the other's black forest, but hell, that's just semantics.

Sheesh - funny typo above. Looks like you two have taken over the world wide web.

M@ said...

Ah, but there's a vital distinction: one of us is actually good at what we do, whereas the other gets by mainly on speed and attitude.

Hint: I get by mainly on speed and attitude.

Larry Keiler said...

I object to being characterized as Black Forest. I think of myself more as Battered Mushroom.

Anonymous said...

Now you've got my curiosity piqued, m@. I understand the "attitude" part of your message with respect to performing - I'd love to see your "punk" attitude in action - haven't yet. But what about the "speed". Do you zip around the stage or what? I'm assuming we ain't talking drugs when we say speed (or mushrooms Larry?)

Dove Tale Writers said...

Leslie said

I agree - self mocking is essential to keep from taking ourselves too seriously.

Can't remember if I've seen waiting for Guffman or not. That's what happens when you get this old, you can see movies over and over again because you can't remember ... LOL