I find the idea of comedy clubs a bit of an anomaly.
A group of people gather together in a special place to encourage and experience one particular emotion – laughter. As far as I know, we don’t do this for any other emotion. People don’t get together to encourage and experience an emotion like crying for example (that is, if you ignore certain football grounds).
Why did we decide laughter was the only emotion worth promoting? Or is it that we simply haven’t explored the idea of doing the same thing with some of the other emotions?
Actually I think we have experimented with the idea on a small scale with the Rave phenomenon from several years ago. At its root was simple primitive tribal dance celebrations with modern technology (and modern narcotics) added. I never went to a Rave but the conclusion had to be drawn that people must have found these events beneficial in some way, otherwise, why would so many people attend? It couldn’t be just the herding instinct. Strangely, the mainstream media portrayed it as some kind of satanic cult – what were they so afraid of?
Maybe it would be a good thing if we did encourage the mutual encouraging and experiencingÂ of individual emotions, not just laughter but grief, nostalgia, anger. Maybe we would become better people for it. By expressing our emotions openly, we could become more human and compassionate. I believe statistics demonstrate that the relaxing of pornography laws in Scandinavia resulted in the reduction of sex crimes (o-oh, I sense a counter statistic coming on from the guardians of decency). At least the logic makes sense; if you suppress pressure in one particular spot, the energy manifests itself unpredictably somewhere else. Far better then to release the pressure in a controlled and known environment.
So here is my suggestion for making the world a better place. Rage clubs.
For all those people who have ever been exposed to the mainstream media and experienced impotent rage upon hearing and seeing the stories of greedy and powerful bullies perpetrating unpunished crimes, here would be the perfect palliative.
This is how they would work. People first gather together in a large open space (a barn or warehouse type area – incidentally, no alcohol would be allowed), then several passionate speakers incite the crowd with stories of injustice and exploitation inter-cut with biased news reports (there could even be a standard canon of examples; Bhopal, Gaza, The Crusades, Big tobacco. For ‘light hearted rage’ the subjects could be narrowed down to, poor user interface or badly designed electronic equipment or non existent customer service). The speakers would then lead the crowd into demonstrating their wrath and frustration with screams, tears and rending of shirts (bought specifically for the event from charity shops). A percussion ensemble or rock band will create a throbbing soundtrack of primitive trance like rhythms building in volume. The crowd will simultaneously produce various implements of noise making capability and commence to create a cacophony of sound so powerful it would even make Lemmy from Motorhead stop his ears.
Areas will be set aside where crockery seconds can be hurled furiously at a brick wall. Effigies of slippery political criminals will be stuck on poles and aggrieved victims given fifteen minutes with a baseball bat to put their point across to them (this is contentious I know, but it is meant to be purely symbolic. The signal sent out will be that such behaviour will only be tolerated at the Rage Club but at the same time it will also be a reminder to the authorities and multinationals: “we people know of our power, so don’t screw with us and ignore us at your peril.”)
Ultimately, an energy of pure rage will be created and each individual will experience a catharsis which will lead to exhaustion, reflection and a reasoned course of action to methodically change those things which enrage them.
I made the last bit up. I’ve no idea what would happen after the climax of destruction and rending of clothes but it might be interesting to find out.