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Joz Norris

  • Tape 133: Absurdism Is A Language

Hello! Hope you’re all doing well. Just a quick Tape this week, as I’ve actually been moonlighting, writing for a DIFFERENT publication! Sacrilege! Betrayal! How could I do such a thing?

The good folks at Psyche Magazine, which commissions writers to explore the intersection between their own fields and psychology and mental health, approached me at the start of the year asking me to write something about the overlap between mental health and absurdism, and you can read the finished piece here – I hope you enjoy it!

FYI, I think the article is quite optimistic and hopeful in nature, and I didn’t realise they were going to give it the extremely metal title “ABSURDIST COMEDY IS UNIQUELY BRILLIANT AT CONVEYING HUMAN PAIN,” but hey, I don’t write the headlines. Huge thanks to them for asking me to write it, and I hope you enjoy the ideas it explores!

Lol, sounds a right laugh, thanks Joz

That article is long by itself, so I’m not going to add much more in this week’s Tape, other than to simply ask – how are YOU doing?

A long-time reader wrote to me this week with an update on their creative projects and pointed out that I don’t ask my readers for updates as much as I once did. I hadn’t really realised that I’d stopped doing that, to be honest, although when I think back it seems to be a byproduct of my moving the newsletter to Substack. I noticed that the numbers started going up, but when I asked specific questions I very rarely got replies any more, so I guess I gradually stopped asking to save myself any embarrassment. I just assumed that perhaps Substack has a wider readership, but is something people read more casually and with less of a sense of building a personal correspondence with someone.

The numbers are now quite a bit bigger than they were when I started this newsletter so I don’t know if I can guarantee a personal response to everyone any more, but I do miss the slightly more collaborative, conversational element of this newsletter, so if you do have any thoughts in response to this week’s article, or updates on your own creative endeavours that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them, especially if you’re a long-time reader I’ve not heard from in a while! I hope you’re all doing really well.

A Cool New Thing In Comedy – One of my all-time favourite comedians, the inimitable Sean Morley, is back in the UK this week doing one of his only shows of the year, his anarchic groupthink gameshow The Glang Showat the King’s Head Theatre. If you’ve never seen it, you won’t want to miss it.

What’s Made Me Laugh The Most – John-Luke Roberts and I brainstormed some ideas for some sketches we might make this week, and there’s one about a Hoover which really tickled me. Hopefully we’ll make it, and hopefully it’ll be almost as funny as we think it is.

Book Of The Week – Currently reading The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell, which my brother bought me for Christmas. It’s about the daughter of a noble Italian family in the sixteenth century who is married off to some dodgy dude when she’s 13. Terrible parenting!

Album Of The Week – Breakaway by Art Garfunkel. This has been on my list ever since I saw The Worst Person In The World and fell in love with the song “The Waters Of March,” but I’ve only just got round to actually listening to the album because I just thought “Well, it’s an Art Garfunkel solo album, I basically know what I’m gonna get.” Well, more fool me because it’s lovely.

Film Of The Week – The Zone Of Interest. A tough watch, obviously. It’s hard to watch it in the same way as you watch most films. I ended up watching it more as though it were a piece of video art. It’s about the commandant of Auschwitz and his wife just going about their daily life in the house next door to the camp. It’s hellish.

That’s all for this week! As ever, let me know your thoughts, and if you enjoy the newsletter enough to send it to a friend or encourage others to subscribe, please feel free! Take care of yourselves until next time, and all the best,

Joz xx

PS I’m never going to actually charge for this newsletter or put it behind a paywall, but I do write it for free and the comedy and media industries are in a perilous state right now, especially for freelancers. If you value the Therapy Tapes and enjoy what they give to you, and want to support my work and enable me to keep writing and creating, you can make a one-off donation to my Ko-Fi account, and it’s very gratefully appreciated.

PPS Dog House had its first festival screening this week! Here it is on the big screen in the House of the Lord:

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A weekly creative newsletter. The Tapes function as an interactive notebook/sketchpad exploring comedy, art, creativity, making stuff, etc.. More Info.