my crush, with punchliner
recombien de wittensexxy?
do the looking glass: hollywood
do the looking glass: tuscon
do the looking glass: boston
do the looking glass: hollywood
bite me
you, too, can reach my goals
recomposite1: mother kreemex
recomposite2: household rambler
recomposite3: bold gold
recomposite4: bodyvision
Comedy. I'm not sure when I first began to think about what comedy is, what it signifies, or how the hell it works. Maybe sometime during the early days of elementary school, when I found myself wondering why the hell other kids never laughed at my geeky jokes. Or in 7th grade, when I started watching SNL religiously. Either way, it was certainly on my mind during the class-clowning daze of high school: always me (plaid shirts stapled together, a meat tenderizer hooked through my belt-loop) goofing for attention in the halls, making light of anyone and any situation at any cost. I took pride in being the funny kid, nabbing comic roles in school plays, cracking jokes in the middle of class.

By mid-college, I understood the structure of humor, the effect of an element of surprise, comedy's close ties to tragedy. What remained, though, was a nagging curiosity about something I sensed but could never quite put my finger on: the apparently antagonistic relationship between comedy and sexuality.
Booty. During the summer after high school, I cut a few hours out of my workweek at the The Lobster Hut, and joined a small group of friends to put on a play in a small theater on Main Street in our hometown. I jumped at the chance for the comedic role of Looseleaf Harper. My friend and current roommate Andrew directed Happy Birthday, Wanda June, the only play that Vonnegut wrote (which might a good thing). Mildred Ryan is the name of several characters in the play who delivers a monologue of sorts from heaven. Mildred's extended speech ends with a line that always stuck in my memory. "But, then, everything's sexual," she says, "except alcohol."

It stuck in my memory, but I came to the conclusion sometime during my freshman year of college that Mildred is wrong. There's nothing sexual about comedy. There's nothing sexy about funny. I wasn't exactly sure what this meant, or why it might be important. Well, that's not entirely true. What I knew for sure during high school and college was this: everywhere I went, I was cracking people up, but I was not getting any chicks. And I came to feel, somehow, that these two facts were unequivocally related.
Authority. I had it mostly right, sorta. During the past year or two, I've stumbled on three unrelated quotes that, together, seem to tackle and answer this vague yet harrowing witsexy riddle. It wasn't until I came across the third quote just a couple of months ago that I started to peice things together.

You can't be funny and sexy in the same moment. You can switch really quickly from one to the other, but you can't have both at the same time.
      --Will Smith, on VH1's Behind the Music.

"That word. 'Sexy.' What does it mean?"
Robin looked at her, his eyes like slits. He struggled to kick the mattress again, but Miranda pressed against him. He fell back on the bed, his back straight as a board. He cupped his hands around his mouth, and then he whispered, "It means loving someone you don't know."
      --from Sexy, by Jhumpa Lahiri

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.    --Victor Borge
Absurdity. I wish it would all fit together just right. Sexy means "loving someone you don't know". I like that. Because there is a distance implied by Sexy, a disparity, a differential between subject and object. A mystery. Sexy is the process of judging and desiring. Sexy is kinetic for the desirer, but not much for the desired.

And comedy is static, drawing you nowhere. But it's the best kind of static, too, bringing that stasis to both the subject and the object, to each member of the audience. Comedy hangs out in the open, in the present. Laughter forces people to share; it is the shortest distance toward identification with another person in an empathic way. Way? Way. Hilarious moments are Together Moments. Look, dude: to be found funny or sexy, you need an audience to do the finding. And no audience can be simultaneously distanced and embraced. Empathy and desire will not easily occupy the same space.

But they will come close. You can find a good sense of humor to be a sexy quality in someone. You can laugh at beautiful people's jokes. You can find a joke sexy the way good design is sexy--sleek and balanced, well-assembled, like a sexy sportscar. But I don't think that the moment when you catch the punch line, when you finally understand where a buildup is leading, when the humor hits, when you laugh at someone falling on their ass or delight in the unexpected use of a clever word... that moment can never be a sexual moment.
Funny people can sexy. Comedy is clever, and intelligence is sexy. But spend to much time in a punchline place, and sexy you'll not be, since it's hard to objectify the familiar. Funny funny funny. Or schizo delicious.

Once, in a drawing class during my junior year of college, I learned something completely unexpected. Every student in the class gathered around one platform in the middle of the floor, to draw from a nude model for the period. And I discovered then that it is impossible look at a woman's body artistically and sexually at the same time. I couldn't do it. I didn't try too hard, but as I sketched and scribbled and shaded, I took note of that. Art isn't kinetic. Art puts the viewer and creator into a stasis. The artistic is drawing on life, true to life, but the sexual is... demanding from life, perhaps. I'm not sure.

But funny, sexy art? an image of not wanting to make up your mind, together, and beauty comes closer to the stasis of comedy that to the kinetic of sexy, comedy (like tragedy) is art hanging and happening and resonating in the air for all to draw on, empathize through together and if it has to be between the want of sexy and the steady true stasis of comedy, I choose to want to keep laughing, beauty. Da da da.
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so put that in your pipe and smoke it.