The Monster In Our Closets: Review of a Performance by Dave Chappelle

I think Dave Chappelle is funny, but what i like about him most is the true emotional experience he brings onto the stage with him. He is so good at effectively transferring the emotions felt by himself into his audience’s mind. You just kind of feel him. Being able to express oneself like that is a true force for change in the world. In this video he mentions some stone hearted executives working for HBO. Even that executive must be able to go home at night after he’s earned his “meal” (as Chappelle would likely put it), take off his shoes, listen to this expression of Dave’s experience, and think, “man i really screwed that person for selfish reasons. Am I okay with the person I am today knowing what i did to this other person emotionally in the past? Am i showing proper gratitude to others around me for the fact that we coexist within such a prosperous state of peace?” If people can be made to self reflect they always will ask themselves some version of these questions. We become a better person the next day by gaining an experiential understanding of the consequences of our actions from the past. What i appreciate about Chappelle is that he isn’t particularly malicious or personal with his criticisms. He tends to come from a place of compassion for the victimizer, but still tells the story of the victim compellingly. the reason I think that is such a profound element of his expressions is that then the victimizer can learn and grow. A natural defense mechanism in humans is engaged when we feel like we are being fundamentally dismantled morally. I think even most people with no defined morals engage this mechanism because your body knows that for your own health and thriving it has to like itself no matter what the truth of the matter may be. Experiential expression breaks through that wall and allows a person to accept themselves moving forward even knowing what they did in the past was wrong. It gives you the foundational, emotional, expressional, ability to reiterate to yourself what your values are now because you know why you were wrong in the past. When that defense mechanism is engaged people just don’t self reflect. The conscience is overpowered and deactivated when adrenaline rushes the body. It fills you with a vengeance and emotional chemicals which utilize hatred of something else to block out thoughts of the hatred for ones own actions in the past. Chappelle understands that people are human and flawed but never makes an excuse for their actions. He is true to his own experience without personally hating the person who is treating him poorly. He goes out and shares this way of emotional healing with people without a vengeance. No eye for an eye. Just a polite public scolding to make people aware of problems so they can call them out when they occur and prevent the situation from happening again in the future. I think it makes the world genuinely a better place even if only by some small step. i think its the most respectable kind of human you can be. Internet-Love you Dave Chappelle.