Friday, May 8, 2015

on The Nightmare of Milky Joe

The Nightmare of Milky Joe is my favourite episode of The Mighty Boosh (Season 2, Episode 6). It's also the episode that has made me think the most. If you haven't seen it yet, go and watch it now because this post contains spoilers. 

Harold Howard Moon and Vince Noir are the epitome of the classic Double Act, expressing two very different world views and approaches to life. They are similar in every way but their outlook on life and it makes all the difference. Vince (played by Noel Fielding) has the populist viewpoint; a fickle follower of fashion who is ready to make friends with everyone. Howard (played by Julian Barratt) is an outsider; focusing on how different he is from everyone else. Vince is obscenely confident while Howard’s self worth is reliant on others' opinions. Vince will take credit for anything and look good doing it, while Howard tries to avoid blame, looking guilty all the while.

In The Nightmare of Milky Joe the pair are marooned on a desert island, so the idea that they construct they own realities is compounded by the fact that all the other characters on the island are imaginary (arguably). While Vince sees opportunities (like selling bamboo trousers to pandas and coconut three-ways), Howard sees the world closing in on him as the imaginary police give chase after he flips out and kills his abusive imaginary girlfriend.

The pair are like are like Yin and Yang. Their conflict is usually over what approach they should take with a problem. I used to be like Howard - shifty, awkward, unsure - but over the years many things (not least of all this episode of The Mighty Boosh) have made me realise that Vince Noir has got it right. I do my best to follow Vince’s lead and cultivate an appreciation of the simple things in life (not Kings of Leon though). I have found that when I make an effort to find the good in things, more things start looking good to me. 

In Taoism there is a balance in the world: No good or bad, things merely are. This way you can turn constraints into structure, problems into solutions and try to see things as they are before figuring out how to make it better. 

It’s good to see things from both sides, Howard’s concern for self-preservation and Vince’s belief in possibilities, but these days I choose not to let the emotion of anxiety prevail.

No comments:

Post a Comment