disclaimer: This blog may be totally random -- this may, in fact, be the first and *only* entry in it -- containing, but not limited to, anything/everything/nothing about dreams...

A short while ago, I awoke from a strange dream that I think must have been brought on by a combination of posts here, along with another comment read elsewhere about "rumors on the Internet". Dreams, by their very nature, are extremely hard to narrate, but I will try to do so here (thus sparing E from being drafted to listen... now he can simply volunteer, just like the rest of you*, to enlist in my ramblings of crazy alternate realities)!!!

*Don't like it? Don't read it. ("Change the frickin' channel!!!")

So... now if I can remember what prompted me to start this stupid thing... Okay -- it was like a really weird indie film with Sean Penn in it. I morphed from being a black man to being a black woman (no, not transsexual -- just like you do in dreams...), and both men had killer instincts, while the woman was not really a strong mental/intellectual, or even emotional, presence. Her role seemed to be strictly as a potential sexual victim to the two men (myself as the black man & Sean Penn). There was something going on nearby, like a party in the woods or something. We were at a boggy/rocky place like a not-quite-dried-up riverbed... where the big gravel is like really weird mud, and there was the potential for big mudslides. The exchange was mostly between the men, and it was about knowing that one might be blamed for the other's misdeeds. This seemed to be the basis for a "friendship" of sorts (more like a truce, I guess), as the realization made both of them forgo whatever wrong they were going to do to the woman (also me). It sounds much more cut-and-dried than it really was... there was a certain poignance to it that I can't really convey, and it was about the men recognizing the "evil" in each other and feeling both sad and strangely bonded together for it.

Anyhow... the reason that I say I think it was the result of certain posts here is because of the Mel Gibson and Feminized Humor discussions, neither of which I have commented in because of the touchiness of the subjects/authors involved and the potential for unpleasant disagreement. Nobody likes to be in a "minority"... be it of race or opinion. And that's partly why I think I was black -- both male and female -- in my dream.

Well... this is turning out to be far less eloquent than I thought I could be, and I think I will have to go comment in the aforementioned discussions now. Suffice it to say that I think the major feeling that I came away from the dream with is that nothing seems to cross the boundaries of race/sex/gender/religion like suffering... *mutual* suffering, that is. In the dream it was an honor-among-thieves sort, but in real life it seems to me that the only thing that truly joins people of strongly opposing views is for them to have a common enemy to be united against. Perhaps this is the appeal to many of "equal opportunity" offenders such as Carlos Mencia & Dave Chappelle (both of whom I find funny... and occasionally obnoxious).

Seven Replies to "The Human Condition"

Jackie Mason | August 11, 2006
[hidden by author request]

Aaron Shurtleff | August 11, 2006
So, wait. You were both the black man and woman in the dream at the same time? That's messed up right there. *joke*

But I think I see what you mean, about bonding through suffering. The only problem is that kind of bonding is too temporary. For example, I think we really bonded as a country after 9/11. But, now, in the aftermath of Katrina, I think the boundaries between black and white are up again, which is a shame. And, yeah, there's a lot between 9/11/01 and Hurricane Katrina, but I, personally, felt that rift forming around that time (especially after Kanye West let us know, in a totally appropriate venue, that George W. Bush hates black people).

Does that mean W. hates you twice? *shudder*

Amy Austin | August 11, 2006
I agree... on all counts (including being both people)! (Wait, did you say "appropriate" venue??? Doesn't change that I loved it...)

You are right, though -- it *is* a fleeting bond... and the post-disaster scenario is exactly what I am talking about here -- you hit the nail right on the head! So, in a way, I feel like this is the purpose served by the comics -- like Chappelle & Mencia -- who keep harping on these things as the core of their humor... *however*... like John said in the discussion, I also think that "looking for the racism" does much to keep it alive. Are these comics diffusing the racism, or are they "looking for it" and thus helping to keep it alive??? I guess I feel like giving them the benefit of the doubt and saying that they are diffusing it and that's what their job is about. (Although, Chappelle's hasty exit from his show over selling out does make me wonder... it's like a simultaneous disgust/admiration, honestly.)

I was going to include this comment in my original blog post, too, but I didn't want to sound crass. I'll risk it anyway, though, since you brought up the kind of trauma bonding I was speaking of through 9/11 & Katrina... Since WWII, you don't seeing the Jews persecuting the gays (and/or vice versa), do you? (And both do rule Hollywood... ;-D)

Scott Hardie | August 13, 2006
There's nothing wrong, or even abnormal, with liking Carlos Mencia and Dave Chappelle. They're wildly successful. I feel like I'm in the minority with my fellow snobs for turning up my nose at them (and really, it's just at Mencia). I hope our mere difference of opinion doesn't continue to make you feel inadequate or minor. :-(

Amy Austin | August 14, 2006
No, no, no... it's just that it's always a little uncomfortable to be the first person to bring up a dissenting opinion to an audience of more than one! And for me, the determining factor in doing so is... hahaha... my "passion". Meaning, how much do I believe in my argument -- is it a strongly, deeply held belief, or is it really just me playing "devil's advocate"??? Not that there's any more merit in one than the other... or that I'm more likely in one case or the other to comment -- just that it's part of my risk/hazard assessment when entering into a potential debate... as in, "Is this really *worth* arguing?" ;-)

And just an FYI... I do not find humor in every single thing that Mencia, or even Chappelle for that matter, says/does. I have moments of, "Wait a minute..." Similarly, there are a lot of comics out there with whom I feel like you have to sit through a lot of mediocity/nonsense in order to get to savor their gems. (For me, that includes Chris Rock, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin -- just to name a few.) But there are very few out there who I just find altogether unfunny and/or offensive without redemption. (Although Diceman does come to mind... can't remember if he's actually ever made me laugh!) I guess I just realize that comedy is actually a tougher job than people give credit for (see first sentence), and I'm really pretty forgiving/hard to offend!

Kris Weberg | August 19, 2006
Lisa Lampanelli really took Dice apart during her performance at the Arftie Lange roast, by the way. I think my favorite line was, "Who knew nursery rhymes had a shelf life?"

Amy Austin | August 23, 2006
Artie Lange? Oh, yeah... you mean George Takei's little "cuddly muffin"! ;-p

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