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John Cleese on Creativity

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So...how many AD authors does it take to change a light bulb?

John Cleese is creativity personified, although it seems he would not claim that mantle. Humor is one of the most difficult ways of expressing creativity but is one of the few ways of receiving immediate acknowledgement if the joke succeeds. Those of us who write will labor a lengthy time and have no sure means of judging if the creativity is a success until readers respond. Tell a joke in a crowd and the response is immediate.

In all the years I viewed Mr. Cleese and his fellow fools of the Python set it was never obvious which of them deserved the most credit for their success. In their case it seemed that creativity was a group activity and the result of some magical chemistry cooked up in dark rooms ala Harry Potter. But time has revealed that most of the Pythons were actors playing out the absurd roles they presented to the extreme...and we laughed. I believe John Cleese was the wizard behind the curtain.

In the past several decades I have seen him in programs regarding world travel and culture, something he must have chosen because you can see the pleasure he took in examining the people and places. I am just glad he is still out there making us smile.

Oh, and the light bulb joke? AD authors would keep the old bulb and change the fixture in hopes that the bulb would produce a sequel. :laugh:

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I always thought it was John Cleese behind the curtain. too, but after the video I think he may have well been the bulb that illuminated their collective inspiration.

If you carefully watch Fawlty Towers, I think it is possible to fathom the creative 'open' silliness that gave rise to the 'closed' jokes in the sketch. It's more than adlibbing. In an almost circular way, it's the consciousness of spontaneous imagination that rivals the cosmic accidents we call, life.

That may well be a clue as to why Zen utilises humour to aid realising satori. It's like the joke John tells dealing with time. Once you 'get' it, you understand the seriousness of the joke. It's the essence of the Laughing Buddha.

But to assume that it means that life itself is a joke, is to mistake the finger pointing the way, for the path.

Oh dear, I do go on don't I? :lol:

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But to assume that it means that life itself is a joke, is to mistake the finger pointing the way, for the path.

Des, just look around: life is a joke! Life is best when we all laugh together. Trouble is, too many people don't realize that and try to take it too seriously.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I think John Cleese covers the difference between serious and solemnity very thoroughly. The pomposity of the solemn endeavour, always seems at odds with the seriousness of truly tragic circumstances, simply because the truly tragic is rarely funny...for at least 24 hours, anyway.

There is a difference between people treating life (usually someone else's life) as a subject for a joke in the sense of ridicule, and seeing and sharing the truly humorous side of being alive.

Also, though I agree that life is best when we all laugh together, we must still make the effort to know when the laughter could be hurtful to someone.

Empathy and humour are not incompatible, but compassion does have to be cultivated.

Life by its very nature, can be ludicrous which, can make us laugh, and it can make us sad.

The example of life being a joke is not a laughing matter for those who are caught up in a search of life's meaning,..at least until they understand how much the truth depends on our realising that life is funny, and that it is the irony of the search for meaning; in the hope that the finger pointing at the mooning is not mistaken for either the moon or the meaning. :biggrin:

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So what you're saying Des is: "Always look on the bright side of life....(insert whistling here).

I guess that you're correct...I hadn't thought of it like that, but that is exactly what I was trying to say....(insert more whistling here).

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