Last night I convinced a few of my friends to come with me to a comedy performance done by Aamer Rahman. In the past four years I have become increasingly more interested in satirical jokes that get the audience thinking and engaging with culture. I am a firm believer in the power of education, next to prayer it is something that has the power to completely change the world.
Now going to a predominately white school I was certain of how political and race related satire would go down, but I was most surprised by the lack of discretion and politeness that some of the audience showed when leaving the theater. Things like “I really hated it” and “It was just to much” were the things that I was hearing before the Mr. Rahman had even gotten the chance to walk off the stage. It’s interesting because it speaks to a type of privilege. I mean if they don’t like it and they want to talk about it with their friends, why must they do it before they have even left the auditorium, I mean how is it going to hurt you, the gossiper? Can thinking negatively out loud hurt your reputation? I think in this case it can’t as a white person in a predominantly white school(forget that, city) you will always find backing for not liking some art that cuts too deep. I say either you say it to his face or go home and talk it through with your family and friends, not in public. Now, for me on the other hand, I was in heaven not just with the jokes but with the idea that Aamer Rahman’s humor was getting under the skin of American Christian kids. It was a joy to see someone humorously asking them to think about the underbelly of politics, race and art. I am easily inspired by a good story and quick to feel connected to art, but I rarely feel convicted enough to write about it.
But today is a new day and I found that listening to this comedy show gave me a new passion for art and artists. I think that this world is being drawn in by it and that is where the gaze is, and where the change makers should be.(Now things are about to become a lot more Christian jargon-y, so if you hate that kind of stuff don’t force yourself to keep reading or to post a nasty comment below). My Daddy once said “God is a thinking God,” those words have always stuck with me but as I get older they begin to expand. I don’t think that God is just a thinking God, I think he is also a teacher and an artist. If you look at the bible it is a book of stories that are meant to educate and provoke thinking. I consider most fields of study and work to be important in the development of this world but I also think that they all must be connected. Film cannot be divorced from psychology or history from art. If you think about the way the world has been designed it is a cyclical, community oriented world. We need people to come together with their different talents and perspectives of the world to understand ourselves, our religions and to move towards a purpose that is not just: Live. Have fun. Die.
Why are you writing this? I see you thinking it. I’m writing this because I think everyone should see Aamer Rahman at least once in their life and because I think that Art and communicators deserve more respect for the work that they do. I think that whether you are a math teacher or a ballerina that you are telling a story and inside you there is a wealth of creativity that should not be ignored. I’m also saying this because I think we need each other in order to feel human and push closer to purpose.
Get inspired, get creative and get connected, but most importantly we need to understand that without communication of any kind nothing, and I mean nothing, would be possible.