I have such an unusual fascination with being different.  (At least, I think that it is unusual)  I want to feel like I am truly unique.  But, I still have a considerable desire for other people’s approval.  I want others to connect with me in some way and say: “Yeah, him and I are the same in that way.”  How can both of these be true at the same time?  Is there one that I truly want and the other is fighting me?  Or do I need both sameness and differentness to achieve some sort of “balance”?

Comedy and Humor

That seems to be what makes stand up comedy work. Somebody says something, and we say: “Yes, that is true! I see it the same way!”  And we bond to them.  We connect with them.  This (I’m learning) is why I always used humor as a defense mechanism in school growing up.  Some kid would call me a name, or make fun of my clothes, somehow to point out how I was “different”, and I would look for some way to get attention from others so that I could feel “the same” again.

Think about it. This is why we have “inside jokes”…and why they piss off the people who aren’t “inside”.  We are connected with someone in some specific way.  We share the same ________ (house, class, team, tribe, etc.), and it is only funny to those who share it with us.  We enjoy it because we are the same.  Others loathe it or avoid it because they are not the same, in respect to whatever is being joked about.

So, why be different?  Why do we have Carrottop, Seinfeld, Chappelle, AND Ellen?  That’s what I’m trying to figure out!  Is variety a virtue unto itself?  Help me out here.