Act One hit me really hard listening to this episode of TAL. Although there was humor involved, there’s a deeper sense of pain taking place in his life. However although I empathize with his sadness, I can’t help but feel relieved for him at the same time. There are so many people out there, of all ages, genders, races, and orientations that feel trapped. At least he had humor as an outlet that he was able to, at least in the moment, escape his reality and enter a surreal world of laughter. Although it may seem superficial and a temporary fix, it’s important for people like him to have alternate ways of relieving their true hardships and struggles. We live in a world where social norms define our everyday lives. But if we take a step back from this contrived society we live in, one has to ask…What exactly is normal? It’s completely relative and can change on a daily basis. More importantly, who decides what behaviors and ways of expressing ourselves is ‘normal’ and who gave them the authority to make such decisions for the population desperately attempting to follow and conform to such norms. Living in a society like this, puts an overwhelming and inescapable amount of pressure on individuals to learn and accept behaviors that are ‘normal’ despite whether or not they implicitly agree with their explicit expressions. If someone is called out and deemed ‘different’ (whatever that means), they are corrupting and degrading their sense of self worth and esteem. This is incredibly dangerous, as the psychological effects can be detrimental to the overal well being of that individual. Our nation prides itself of our morals, values, and integrity…when in reality we are our own worst enemy. It is the people arround us and the people we interact with on a daily basis that are potentially contributing to our own self destruction, by instilling standards of which if we do not measure up, we are rejected and no longer accepted. Being social creatures, acceptance and human interaction is necessary for us to psychologically function competently. I sort of just went off on a tangent…point is, laughter and humor is contagious. If he has found a way to incorporate comedy into his self-schema, and ultimately can feel better about himself by being accepted by society as a ‘funny person’ then I think he is in a better place than many of the other ‘rejects’ out there, struggling with internal issues of not being accepted, with no where to turn. Who will help them, and give them an outlet for expression?