How ironic that an individual like Putin, breast-fed on KGB strategy for decades is being thwarted militarily by a comic. A comic. Even an anonymous open-mic’er for decades like myself is not shocked in the least. Here’s why:
“Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” So pithy a summation, I swear it could have come from Lincoln himself. A stand-up bares observations of their soul in an attempt to squeeze laughter out of other humans. The connection is immediate. So is the shame. A seasoned comic reads the room (or world stage in this instance) and adjusts their set list accordingly. Zelenskyy didn’t want a ride out of Kiyev when offered but wittily quipped that what he needed was ammo. Don’t think for a second he did not know exactly where that brilliant line would land the second he launched it.
It takes guts to be a comic. A staggering 75% of adults listed public speaking as their greatest fear. This trepidation even caused Warren Buffett to drop speech in college. Zelenskyy had no doubt weathered the awkward performances on the way to his critical acclaim in “Servant of The People,” the Ukrainian show which iit would seem predicted the future. He “stood with himself” the practice of still believing in yourself even when you fail without giving up. This bravery in leadership is no fluke.
It takes special vision to be a comic. It requires the brilliance to notice and ability to cleverly articulate those observations of common experiences. Bo Burnham’s “White Woman’s Instagram” is a brilliant example of women like myself and the propensity toward predictable posts:
“Some random quote from Lord of the Rings
Incorrectly attributed to Martin Luther King.
A goat cheese salad (goat cheese salad)
A backlit hammock (backlit hammock)
A simple glass of wine
Incredibly derivative political street art
A dreamcatcher bought from Urban Outfitters
A vintage neon sign”
The song is hysterical because it is true. What the masses might glance over, a comic eye like Burnham SEES then fashions observations into an irresistible message he calculates will connect with the world. Zelenskyy did not ask for this horrific affront. The consequences are actual life and death of actual people, not just a career or a gig. But he has seen with brilliant eye the power of the moment and articulated through social media some tremendous truths.
My prayers are fervently with Ukraine and my money is absolutely on the comic.
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