Tag: Rousseau

Amazing Johnathan Goes Underground

The Amazing Johnathan is more than just Amazing. He is like a worker ant, industrious and underground.

The Amazing Johnathan can cause us to laugh even when we are determined not to.  He has a direct line to the special set of ganglia in what some charitably call our brain.  When we watch him perform, we become like a monkey on crack — or more like a monkey on crack than normal.

But we have a refined taste and our predilections may not match yours.  That makes yours wrong.

Admit it, guzzling Windex and lye is genius!

No less an influential thinker than Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“J.J.” to us) identified this very phenomenon in the late 1700’s.  In his  Letter to d’Alembert  he argues against the establishment of theater in Geneva because plays touch the audience directly and allow for the manipulation of the emotions.  In fact, said Rousseau, comedies are worse than tragedies.  In tragedy, there may be some connection with the characters on stage, and perhaps it will evoke empathy.  But in a comedy, the audience laughs because of a special connection with the characters and the situations they face.

So, what have we established?  The Amazing Johnathan is worthy of his title and has a special power to control the higher-functioning comedy aficionados among us.  J.J. Rousseau knew this type of theatrical genius could cause problems.   And like a worker ant, The Amazing Johnathan is both industrious and subterranean.

The Amazing Johnathan built a theater beneath the surface of Las Vegas, Nevada.  But it is not just any subterranean theater.  It is a subterranean drive-in theater with cars, and a snack-bar, and a giant screen, and those little speakers you hang on your car door. 

The Amazing Johnathan told The Cleveland Examiner, “I needed a cool environment to display my classic car collection. There are twenty-one cars in all and I thought a Drive-In movie set would look great. Then I decided to make it functional so my friends and I could watch late night movies. I also made it look like the Gratiot Drive-In, the theater I worked at in Roseville, MI.” 

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