Reality Adjustments

Serious + Satire + Enchanted: Our Sweet Spot, Our Perfect "Joke"

Nov 08, 2018

Norm Macdonald once said "The perfect joke would be where the setup and punchline were identical."  This goal of humor is to strip all cleverness from the joke and try and make it as blunt as possible.

In the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, David Byrne worked with director Jonathan Demme to show the setup of the concert.  The viewer watches the stage being built piece by piece as the concert progresses.  The concert itself becomes a growing crescendo that gets more intricate.  Atypically, the viewer gets to see before the smoke and mirrors.

Drawing inspiration from these two legends, we reveal our process now.  Here’s our goal.  The sweet spot we seek as we write content for

Serious + Satire + Enchanted

To further define the terms:

Serious: Straight up topics.  No metaphors.  Direct and insightful.  Covering import topics of our generation, such as racism, human rights, global destruction, nationalism, gender, and the like.

Satire: Use of humor, irony, wit, and ridicule to expose stupidity and contradiction.  Not necessarily a joke here, although there may be a punchline.

Enchanted: This is our magic term.  We allow for a breath of inspiration.  To find a poem in madness.  Embrace contradiction.  Post-structuralism.  A spark.  A clown.  The fantastical.  The ah ha that comes from within and without.

I believe The Tilted Glass is unique here.  No one else has this particular three spot as a goal but us.

It's not like we came to these terms immediately.  We had to discover our voice in the process.  This voice took time to clarify and develop.  As of this writing, we are about 11 months into "Project Tilted Glass."

That is also why our content is published as an anonymous empire, using the fake name of Robert Corp as editor in chief.  Anonymity lets us step out of the way of ourselves and experiment.  But really (at least for right now) all the staff is just one person, one artist, who at some point in the future will stick a head out completely and put a real name on it.

Sometimes we create content in just two of the three circles.  Sometimes in just one.  We might just share a concern, an inspiration, or a silly moment.  Or sometimes we touch all three and get into that tilted zone where The Dark Crystal meets The Wizard of Oz meets Dr. Strangelove.

We strive for other things of course, like quality design, a certain balance of high-meets-low art, pressing buttons, and countless other things.

We want our content to elicit a kind of involuntary guttural reaction.  One that comes from the body, not merely the intellect.  The body itself ought to quiver upon receiving the content, not just the mind having a chuckle and going oh I get it ha ha.

Hitting the three circle sweet spot doesn't mean it's going to be our most popular content.  (Popular usually involves famous and/or sexy people).  But in some way, in our capacity as artists and commentators, hitting that sweet spot can feel the most satisfying. 

Here's a few of where we come close to getting it:

I don't think a perfect three spot overlap is even possible.  It's the elusive White Whale and the Rocket 00000.  There is always the opportunity to overlap more precisely.  Go sweeter.  Hit the exact spot where both position and momentum are known, absolute 0, where Heisenberg will lose his shit and say hey that's not possible: You're just a meme from the 3rd dimension.

So that's the process.  That's our goal.  Now that we spelled it out, you can see the setup.  We can be held and hold ourselves accountable.

I believe our readers will appreciate the setup as well as the illusion.  It's been rewarding to watch this grow, to participate in a broader community, to have a daily practice, and to witness others who make art and content on your own terms and develop a mastery of hitting your own circle center just right as you define it.  With y'all 💯.

Robert Corp
The Tilted Glass

The Tilted Glass