Science for Sociopaths

Two: I’m Not Funny

Funny is not one of my defining characteristics. Though I think that good humor is necessary and comedy is my preferred genre of film, the adjectives my friends use to describe me are more along the lines of “passionate,” “dedicated,” “sincere.” For as long as I can remember I’ve been concerned with being a “serious artist.” So it was immediately clear to me, when I realized that I don’t develop MOST of the little ditties and songs that pop into my head, why that is.

Most of the originals that escape my lips on the daily are ridiculous! About what I’m doing at the moment, or utter nonsense that I sing to entertain myself or to get a reaction from my companions. Recently I’ve been researching techniques for optimizing my “prolific mind.” The most common pieces of advice are to write EVERY DAY and to write EVERYTHING. Bearing this in mind, I’ve started paying more attention to these daily ditties and I’m at a crossroads.

When I sit down to flesh out one of these comical do-dads, I can’t do it! They’re catchy and amusing and frankly quite stupid. I get so embarrassed sitting down to write them (for whose sake, I can’t imagine), that I often talk myself out of it.

If you’re like me, you may already get it. Some of you may just be wondering why. And the answer is…strange values and deep-seated fear. On the one hand, a song is a song and if one person hears that song and it makes their life a little better, then it was worth writing. On the other hand, if it resonates with no one or nothing but my sleep deprived brain at a moment in time, then…eternal embarrassment! On the one hand, people love comedic songs. Even stupid, obnoxious comedic songs. There is likely to be an audience for it. On the other hand, will anyone take me seriously as an artist if I go there? My “serious songs”, my heart and soul songs, are my babies.

The pressure to narrowly define yourself for the sake of marketing is real. Enter the pseudonym. It is possible for me to develop multiple brands separate from each other as necessary to nurture varying artistic endeavors. I’ll consider it. The question I am left with, the question I want to leave you with, is this; Are we as a society so intent on labeling and categorizing that we find it difficult to embrace the typically complex and varied nature of each other and ourselves? Or is it just me?