Closing bit from Norm Macdonald's latest special, currently on Netflix(with subtitles!).
Dogs can love and be loyal. What separates humans?
Sure, there's no problem enjoying this impeccable 5-minute comedy routine purely on the surface-level. After all, what is this world worth living for without humor? But as is the case for any genuine work of art, the level of appreciation is exponentially increased when its multi-layered meaning and hidden messages are known.
NM delivers by first acknowledging the absurdity and shallow nature of his own act, then setting out to demonstrate the same symptoms found in today's general populace; we immortalize the idea and virtues of love and unconditional love to be the ultimate grand truth of all truths and yet, they are totally vulnerable to annihilation via the mere observation skills and logic of a five-year-old..? (Once again, the out-of-context absurdity is fully acknowledged from the beginning and is in play. You can consider that a disclaimer of sorts.)
Aside from the pure comic genius, there are deeper implications here pointing to the fallacies of postmodernism and its style of thought/philosophy. The ending of the enlightenment(circa 19th C.) signals the end of the age-old tradition of reason in philosophy(and/or its dominance)*, which was finally shown its own limitations and thus was abandoned and replaced(at least in part and when convenient) with legitimization and interpretation of emotions, faith, etc., as part of the guiding principles, ultimately rendering the whole subject itself as absurd as this comedy routine. Only, it wasn't considered absurd back then and it isn't funny now since it's historically traceable that these series of events are in no small part responsible for what consequently led to WW1 & 2. NM didn't name the special what he did for no reason. (Read between the lines when he says, "I didn't like him before it was 'cool' not to like him".) Sure, there are simpler and more conventional ways of saying the same message, e.g., "grow up"(?) or "pay attention"(?). But where has that gotten us so far? At the very least, Norm provides plenty of laughter, and for the discerning few, another glorious window of opportunity to rethink things.
If anyone thinks I'm reading too much into the bit, or seeing things that are not there, I'd be happy to share some of the evidence to prove otherwise. In fact, much of the earlier portion of this very special is consisted of bits leading up to the ending, suggesting and hinting at the same theme.
*Correction: Although logic itself has a long history going back to ancient times in various cultures, it had not been the dominant part of philosophy in the west for too long (revived during the 18th C.) and is still considered "modern", as opposed to "postmodern"(from 19th C. strictly speaking; "after" modern).
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