Saturday, February 15, 2014

Charlie Kelly versus World Order

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly 

First, let's stipulate that everyone is unusual. The spectrum runs from highly functional people with a few quirks to stark raving madmen and madwomen. Then, there's Charlie Kelly. He has completely sidestepped the spectrum.

Objects have meanings bestowed on them owing to consensus of experience. A hammer is for affixing a nail. A window is for staring out of. A pizza is for being round. So on and so forth. But in Charlie's head, all objects are free-floating, a-historical phenomena.

As with objects also with behavioral conventions. Every social construct is, for Charlie, a region of stupefaction and always already beside the point. His impatience with the usual, the agreed-upon-by-society expresses itself as an almost physical spazzification.

Try to imagine Charlie Kelly running for elected office, becoming an entrepreneur, writing depressive poetry. It's not possible. Outsider artists interred in insane asylums would consider Charlie one step beyond. This fracture of normality precludes his participation in ordinary non-verbal codes. Inflections, nuances, winks, and nods don't mean for Charlie what they mean for the rest of us. This is not solipsism on his part. This is about him moving around as best he can inside our collective solipsism.

Charlie is preternaturally tuned in to a frequency of "I wasn't consulted beforehand about being born, therefore...rabbit." This is non sequitur as the manic law frothing beneath all philosophies of Being and Time.

Charlie Kelly is the embodiment of something on the tip of the tongue. He's the living reverse of the Freudian Uncanny -- with Charlie, things have no chance of ever coalescing into the familiar. Charlie is permanently un-housed.

Watching Charlie Kelly on the TV series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is to encounter primal spirit set loose in the world. He's a stray mercurial juggler of semantics performing unlawfully inside our thick categories.

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