Oh my, if you haven’t seen this clip already, you must…
I watched it several times yesterday, cringing and giggling. Then when Leone (one of our sons) woke up and told me to watch this video with these kids, blah blah, I really knew it was spreading.
I’ve linked you to the BBC site there – and this is how they describe it:
Professor Robert Kelly was speaking to BBC News about the political crisis in South Korea when there was an unexpected interruption from his children who were keen to share the spotlight.
Watch it, have a think, then I’ll tell you why I think it’s a very important thing to be watching now.
When Leone showed Gaia this morning, she was yelping with laughter in a way that only Gaia can (and a lot of you will know what I’m talking about).
First off, this is the perfect comedy sketch. It’s set up well. It’s a serious news interview with a professor on serious BBC news. He looks serious with his dark and serious suit and tie. His hair is slicked. He looks polished. More like a civil servant, or a banker, certainly not some scruffy academic.
His study or office is meant to say ‘serious’ too – the shelves lined with books, the world map on the wall, and the neatly (likely purposefully) organized books and papers on the table.
And all that is ripped apart with the entry of the child in yellow. Then, hilariously, the baby in the stroller. Then thirdly the panicking adult. Oh my. Do you know the ‘rule of three’ in comedy? Once you know it, you can’t help but see it in comedy writing.
This is the rule of three. Spontaneous, on live TV.
And it gets better then when the adult drags the infants out of the room –
Oh, can it really get better than that?… The adult crawls back in to close the door.
And, like much of the best comedy, there is discomfort too. We’re uncomfortable for him, and he is in AGONY. But also, we’re wondering what he’s going to do with the child in yellow, when he puts his arm out and starts pushing them. And then the panicking adult drags the infants out, ouch.
But this also feels IMPORTANT for now, too. And you could read it in many ways… but here’s one way: This guy is talking about South Korea – and that region is one that a lot of us are worried about at the moment. It could be a flashpoint for escalating global tensions.
That is a very serious matter, and we’re being serious and concerned about it.
But into that serious discussion enter these innocent children. They clearly have no idea the chaos they are causing and the pain they are causing their dad. They are, after all, innocent. They are innocent and fun and their effect is to make us laugh.
So these video-bombing infants have given us (though not their dad) light relief in the midst of a discussion on one of the most serious matters on the planet – Korea (South and North).
And we do need that – in the midst of the worry and concern, we need the occasional bit of light relief. Thanks kids.
This is also about the juxtaposition of the purity of innocence and youth with the heaviness and seriousness of experience and adulthood. Ouch again. And I can also infer some disturbing omens in the way the kids are dragged out of that serious office. As the seriousness of global events escalates in so many ways – all over the world – it would be easy for a previous innocence, openness, a kind of youthful optimism to be dragged out of the door.
I am imagining a different version of that video (and it’s not so funny, but it’s more inspiring). When child-in-yellow enters and comes up to the desk, the man turns and acknowledges them, and jokes about the situation. Thus the child fully lightens the serious tone, and is incorporated into the situation so that the whole scene is lightened. We are thus reminded that, alongside the serious and adult, we should never forget the light, the innocent and the playful side of us all.
If you’re feeling serious again, then watch that video and just enjoy it. That’s the point. We need BOTH – an adult awareness of the seriousness of serious situations and a child-like joyful anarchic playful hilarity to lighten the mood at the same time.
It is warm and sunny, blue sky, crashing waves on the beach outside. So off we go for a long walk. That’s some more lightness for us. What’s yours today? What’s your lightness to sit alongside whatever seriousness exists in your life.