Archive for November 2006
My friend Myla told me a couple weeks back about an Iraqi comedian, Saad Khalifa, trying to find some satire in the mess over there. His show, “Hurry Up He’s Dead” is about the last Iraqi standing in the year 2017.
Comedians that can still satirize as their community is up in flames are saints; god bless them. The Daily Show approaches that saintliness a couple times a year, maybe, when things are particularly absurd and spooky and bizarre- Cheney shooting his friend in the chest being the most memorable example. When the real world is so completely nuts, and every jane, joe and muhammed is fully aware of it, the people who can exorcise it, wrangle it and truly articulate it are doing a holy service. When Satire is all that makes sense.
These Cheney incidents are just a taste of what that must be like. It’s the clowns who have lived through the Serbia-Bosnia hostilities, or these guys in Iraq who deserve a special place in heaven.
When Myla told me that this comedian had been shot in Iraq, my heart sank. Research proved it was not Khalifa, but a co-star of his on another show, “Caricature.” The executed comedian’s name was Waad Hassan.
Whatever; it’s one artist bringing levity to a grave situation too many.
I wrote this to my friend: I have no problem feeling more hurt over the deaths of my tribesmen (comedians, artists, whatever.) The world needs them. The sorrows of losing average men, women and children is profound too, but as human beings we have to contexualize, and compartmentalize the world. I can understand the death of this man; it’s more difficult for me to make the leap to “average Iraqi”. This hurts more.
Mourn this saint and pray for the safety of his remaining compatriots in satire and sanity: