My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk

There are three kinds of people in this world. I know you’ve heard that before. Everyone has their “three or two types of people,” or their four or five… But there are three, and the models for these types come neither from psychology nor ancient religion. They come from Columbia Studios and they are archetypally embodied in The Three Stooges.

The Stooges unwittingly – of course – left us a rich legacy of deft interpretations of the most primal human behavior patterns. Their short films, seen as a whole, form a tapestry in which the interactions of people as individuals, corporations, and nations are distilled into a microcosm, a pure essence of existential folly.

There are but a small percentage of Moes in any given population: perhaps five percent. There are even fewer Curlys. The vast bulk of humanity are Larrys (thought represented by male characters, the three also apply to women).

The Moe Personality
Moe is the active personality, and if not always dominant, always striving to be. Moe is the one who spurs the others into action. He devises plans to better their lot, but when his plans fail the other two suffer the consequences. But is Moe any less the fool because they follow his plans?

He is a natural manipulator, only partially because the others are waiting to be manipulated. He would want to manipulate them anyway, even if they weren’t so willing.

The Larry Personality
Larry is a born follower, a blank slate that only reacts (and slowly at that) to external stimuli. He never initiates action. He is Moe’s absolute tool, the truest “stooge”. When Moe’s abuse finally does make him angry he lashes out not at Moe, but at Curly. No matter how he suffers under Moe’s yoke he never really rebels. He argues, but gives up easily.

Were it not for the presence of his friends, Larry probably would live in peace – a dull, flat, mechanical person. Though clumsy, he is till the most employable of the three – for the other two are incapable following orders, although for different reasons.

The Curly Personality
Curly is the only likeable one, a truly rare human model. He is the holy man, the Divine Fool. He is as creative and active as Moe – but it is a spontaneous and joyous kind of creativity, no fool for the kind of plotting and scheming required by a Moe-dominated society. He is a free spirit, but correspondingly unable to function well in a world of Moes and Larrys. He, like Larry, is perpetually abused, but he intuitively understands what is happening to him and reacts far more angrily – if equally ineffectually. He is everyone’s favorite Stooge because he is the funniest; though his innate nobility and natural humility he constantly best Moe, but it is in an unconscious way and it is only apparent to the outside observer. Curly himself is hardly aware of his talents; his weakness is that he does not know his own strength and cannot trust his own luck.

In real life Culrys are usually branded by the Moes and Larrys around them as retarded, schizophrenic, maladjusted, OCD, or just plain stupid…. .whereas, in reality it is only Curly who understands the truth. Remaining cheerful through adversity, he wins battles not by fighting, but by “accidentally” unleashing “accidents” in which his enemies injure themselves.

Stooge Co-Existence
Alien to feelings of avarice or ambition, Curly is the opposite of Moe. Yet the two are drawn together by some inexplicable balancing force of nature. The Larry, are ever the in-betweeners, slug-like nonentities caught in the crossfire of cosmic dualities - yet remaining there by some herding instinct that makes being a casualty of the Moe vs. Curly battle preferable to life alone with other Larrys.

Only the existence of the blameless, bovine Larrys makes that of Moe or Curly possible. They are able to maintain their level of glandular brutality and senseless destruction only at the expense of an unquestioning, loyal worker drone whose income partially supports their excesses. Were he not there to diffuse Moe’s anger by becoming another recipient of his blows, Curly would have been killed long ago and Moe would have committed suicide out of loneliness.

The horror of it all is that the three types need each other to survive. Of all nature’s cycles of parasitic symbiosis, the one involving the three human types is the most nightmarish. It rages around us all the time spreading death and madness, yet when we see it on the screen we call it “comedy”.


AngrySon said...

I love your way of thinking-you-you philosopher. No, really your writing is insightful and beautiful.

Do you mind if I link to your page? Just leave me an email. Thanks.

Brian Hamilton said...

Sure, post away.