Mel Hynes (takhisis) wrote,
Mel Hynes

One of my Laughing Places

Okay, a short bit of intro, for those few of you who don't properly know me.

The "Laughing Place" was first introduced in Disney's old racist classic "Song of the South".

Disney made this out to be a carefree, and sin-free version of the opium den, essentially. A place in the wilderness that was so beautiful and pure that one could not help but laugh in joy and ones cares were utterly washed away. Why wouldn't someone seek such a place, myth or not?

However it was made most famous (although not nearly as menacing for those who didn't grow up with the original), by Stephen King, with Annie Wilkes of Misery. Which, now that I think about it, didn't actually make an appearance in the movie? Possibly because it was such a powerful metaphor with such a limited scope. It basically was a superhero gut-punch to people in a 30-year window, and then was lost on everyone else.

"Sometimes I do laugh when I go there. But mostly I just scream."

So for a very select slice of Western fiction-loving society, "The Laughing Place" has a very specific, almost cult-like meaning. It's a thing, a book or song or video or picture or icon or SOMETHING, that brings us peace. It makes us grin, or giggle, or just sigh and feel like the world is worth not blowing up for another day. It's a piece of utterly refined beauty that we hold in reserve to pull us back from the edge of madness, when the world is too horrible a construction to contemplate. It's a thing, usually a comic or a commercial or an ice cream flavor, existing superficially and utterly oblivious to the fact that it is actually what keeps the world from the next great serial killer. Or poisoner. Or Amway salesman. Just saying... these scraps of pure happiness are what keep many of us from obsession.

This is the role of The Laughing Place.

(No, I am not about to snap and blow up orphanages or try to sell you hairbrushes or insurance. But this is one of my main sanity-savers.)

With that in mind, I am sharing one of mine. Until I was a sophomore in college I actually wanted to get into advertising, because I was lost in the purity of the angles and schemas and replications and... basically the special effects of the industry. Once I found out the rest I soured and walked away.

But by that time I'd learned that 98% of all movie trailers are voiced-over by five men. Yeah, FIVE. For ALL of them. In the last THIRTY YEARS. It's an astounding thing if you think about it.

But it was hard to prove because you had to splice things together to compare, and most people really didn't give a damn to begin with, so how can you prove it?

Then, a few years back, as a trailer for a Hollywood Industry Awards ceremony... they got them all together. And not just together, but as a TRAILER. So every line they speak gets to be in the vein of What They Do(tm). It is a glorious goddamn thing by itself, and the fact that it is a crystal encapsulation of what I've been arguing for years just adds to its pristine beauty.

So here's one of my Happy Places, a thing I look at when I am most depressed that will always cheer me up, a tiny joy-spark in the universe: "Five Guys in a Limo", AKA every voice that has thrilled you in movie trailers since birth.

You're welcome.

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