When David Met Tony
Mon Mar 16, 2020 17:30

As a reference, please see David Foster Wallace’s “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.”

What does laughter reveal? Some people believe it to be nothing less than an admission of the inexplicable, the uncanny, that which cannot be reconciled in our daily lives.

When David Met Tony examines the relationship of cause and effect by focusing on the distasteful consequences of micro-celebrity, the sadomasochism of fame-seeking, and the alternating master-slave dynamic between David and Tony, the two primary subjects of the documentary.

It is a simple comedic short film that masks profound questions, concealing them behind the glibness and apparently nonsensical banter of its unsuspecting subjects. Beneath its banality there lies a commentary on the sinister nature of reality that is on full display through a satirical lens in all its alien granularity.

David Cooper is a brilliant performance artist who distances himself from his own life by placing himself in the hermetically sealed bubble of his art. The character he portrays on his show ‘This Is Going Well, I Think,' resembles a naif, a prat, a fool and embodies the classic tropes of the clown, or jester who presides over a royal court that is governed by anarchy rather than order. Ostensibly, David operates a talk show whose aim is to interview guests each week, but rather than aiming at revealing truth, David instead revels in the confusion, chaos and verbal terrorism of his guests and his listeners. The only way to enjoy the show is to apprehend that this is his sole intention and therefore its merit lies in satisfying this aim through its purging of linear logic. As an artist, David is so completely invested in remaining in character that he may in fact have forgotten or erased the distinction between himself and his character. This will be investigated over the course of the documentary.

Tony has become a frequent caller of TIGWIT and despite the casual sexism, racism, and sarcasm that is embodied by his myopic personality he provides a welcome counterpoint to the anarchy that David’s performed narcissism and faux attention deficit disorder (ADD) imposes on the structure or lack thereof of the show. Tony’s weekly calls inadvertently provide a semantic Schelling point in the logical void of the show whose boundaries are much like the cosmos, to distant to detect, or more aptly, a game designed only to bedevil its participants. Tony and David are strangers outside of the matrix of the show, yet, they are the yin and yang of this virtual universe. Through their mutual humiliation and defilement, they reveal a deep similarity in their respective personalities, or rather, their ‘on-air’ personalities, which is nothing less than the primordial drive to conquer their surroundings and to drown out (literally, through their vocalizations) any other verbal enemy combatant that poses a threat to the domination of their listener's attention.

A deep psychological profile of Tony is currently being engaged in by the author and its results are still being computed. Here is a brief overview: Tony is from England, the land of Shakespeare and like Shakespeare, his ‘on-air’ personality is a larger-than life. He portrays a classic villain, like Iago from Othello, right down to his maniacal bone-chilling laugh. I will argue that Tony’s villainous personality, his Villain persona is but a flip of a coin to David’s Joker persona. The Villain is simply a Joker who recognizes or admits the malicious intent of his obfuscations. Perhaps a Joker may eventually become a Villain. However, the conflict between Tony and David also underlines another dynamic, which is the Villain’s need to reprimand the Joker for his unwillingness to admit the false aim of delighting the audience, in other words his refusal to embrace the bad. This would explain Tony’s frequent espousals of wanting to kill David, which is childlike, oedipal and homoerotic in its fixation, sexual innuendo, and stubbornness.

When David Met Tony contextualizes this sociopathology within a straightforward narrative. Through a first-person and third-person expository framework we will recapitulate the timeline of David and Tony’s friendship on the show. It will then examine the inexorable consequences that arise from the acquisition of micro-celebrity, the upping of the ante, the tarnishing of self-respect and the eventual obliteration of integrity which has ultimately led to the documentation of this meeting, this clash of personalities. The character traits on display in this film are both cautionary narrative, a folktale of folly, and a scientific laboratory whose visual equivalent might lie in the mutant folds of a Francis Bacon painting.The audience will either feel self-righteously superior to David and Tony or recoil in terror, but either way, the film provides a useful case study of wasted human potential.

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  • Desktop Publishing Redjeans, Sun Mar 15 11:19
    • When David Met Tony Redjeans, Mon Mar 16 17:30
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