Nowsletter #1

Honestly, I am pretty content right now, but today’s world demands a different kind of content.

As such, I’ve decided to write a little newsletter to update you on gigs, tours & TV spots, while also sharing some humorous musings on the world through the lens of a comedian who used to be an accountant but probably should have been a monk.

So here it is, my very first missive.

Google defines a missive as a letter, often humorous, especially a long or official one. And then provides the example “yet another missive from the Foreign Office”.

What are these especially long yet humorous letters coming from the Foreign Office? One can only begin to wonder. Anyway, for now, here’s a missive of my own for you to enjoy.

Thoughts for the week

 

I’ve been obsessed with this Jay Shetty thing.

For those who don’t know, Jay Shetty is some guy who, from nowhere, blew up to be one of the biggest pop pseudo psychology peddlers in the world. If you haven’t heard of him, congratulations on making it so far without once googling ‘Life Coach’.

He is one of those New York Times bestseller types. Like Steph Curry, he has that elusive brown skin hazel eye combo. And like Steph Curry, he married a woman with the same brown skin hazel eye combo. Gotta maintain those reptilian bloodlines. He has had Oprah on his podcast and his wisdom has been sought by Hollywood A-Listers. He actually might be manifesting. You know those people who are doing so well, they just about convince the skeptic in you to give The Secret a rewatch?

Anyway, there was a Guardian article recently pointing out a number of inconsistencies in the Jay Shetty story. One of their journalists goes along to a Jay Shetty seminar, thinks “this all seems a bit bogus”, and then dedicates the next portion of his life to uncovering a sham. The article then goes viral. Turns out Jay Shetty isn’t the only guy in town manifesting.

Apparently Jay Shetty was telling everyone he once saw a monk give a spiritual talk at college and immediately gave everything up to himself become a monk at an ashram in India. Some people who knew him at the time are dubious, and have gone on the record to point out it’s far more likely all these Hindu ideas were actually inserted into Jay Shetty’s head while he was, you know, growing up Hindu.

I don’t care much about Jay Shetty, or whether he’s legitimate or not, I am more interested in how wisdom from ancient Eastern philosophies gets regurgitated and commodified just like everything else in our contemporary world. What’s fascinating to me is why Jay Shetty felt the need to concoct some fanciful origin story rather than admit his Hindu roots. What does it say about audiences in the internet age that it’s not really about the message so much as the messenger? There’s probably a billion Hindus, but what makes this guy special is he was originally brainwashed to think like everyone else in Watford, so his spiritual awakening proves there’s hope for all of us.

Anyway, it’s an interesting read and has confirmed for me one long held suspicion. We would one hundred percent crucify Jesus today. By no means am I saying Jay Shetty is a modern day messiah, just pointing out that Jay Shetty’s timeline is most inconsistent between the ages of 19 – 30. Weirdly similar to the Bible’s missing Jesus years. Maybe that’s how Jesus aroused suspicion the first time around… “Oh so you were in India all those years were you? I’ve got an anonymous source here who says you spent most of 19AD working for your Dad building tables.”

Hinduism suggests there’s a monk inside all of us, it’s just a matter of time until the right ideas are heard, meditated upon and then ultimately transcended. For clarity, a matter of time might mean lifetimes. I definitely think there’s a monk inside me. I should really go to an ashram to find out but I’m afraid I like sex too much. Like honestly, meditation involves so much noticing sensations in the body, I don’t think I’d last a week. Noticing. sensations. in. the. body. All day long. One hundred percent I’d get horny. And for monks that’s frowned upon.

When you boil it all down – noticing sensations in the body – that’s pretty much what sex is. That’s especially what sex with me is like – me thrusting while asking “are you noticing these sensations?”

Of course I’d get horny. In fact, it’s happened to me before… I once went into a real deep meditation. And when I came out of it, I was… aroused. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. There I was, sat completely still, centred on the breath, the world totally dissolved away. And then after a while slowly, in my awareness, the world reimagined itself. First a far off car, next the feeling of the earth rigid underfoot. Then a slight tickle, perhaps an ant crawling its way up my inner right thigh… and when I opened my eyes, there it was… a stiffy.

Maybe that’s why so many monks meditate alone in caves. Otherwise the only thing saving them from an indecent exposure wrap would be a loose fitting saffron robe. I wasn’t alone in a cave. I was sitting by the creek, a few hundred meters from my house. As a man, a creek is a terrible place to have a stiffy. There’s very few occasions when a stiffy should be out in public, and almost none of those involve men and creeks. Who’s going to believe me when I say “I swear I was communing with God but the body had other ideas”?

Comedy Festival Show

 

It’s that time of year again – Melbourne is about to be descended upon by a swarm of comedians both local and international. This year I’m splitting the bill with the hilarious Matt Stewart. We had a really great time in Adelaide, and I’m very excited about the material we’ve both been working on. It’s gonna be fun and loose, and in many ways, I believe, an ideal way to enjoy an hour at the Comedy Festival.

TICKETS

 

If you are free to come on April 6th or 7th these should be really fun shows and there’s a special promo code just for you!. Just use promo code DRYLAUGHING at checkout.

We called the show Drier Drier because Matt’s comedy is quite dry and because I have eczema.

We did a photo shoot and most of the photos will never see the light of day. As a special treat to say thank you for reading this far, here is one of those photos.

Suren Jayemanne_April 2024

Other Festival Recommendations

 

Here’s a list of some other comedians I can heartily recommend:

Bronwyn Kuss – my favourite local act right now! Get in before she gets big

Lizzy Hoo – it’s too late to say get in before she gets big, so, get in before she gets bigger

Aaron Chen – a close personal friend

Sam Campbell – Australia’s funniest (maybe ever?) person

Anirban Dasgupta – an Indian comic who’s stand up clips on Instagram are just about the last thing keeping me on Instagram

Also worth checking out:

Prue Blake, Lloyd Langford, Fern Brady, Bonnie Tangey.

Sign off

 

Thanks for reading yet another missive from the Foreign Office.  If you want to keep informed, sign up for future missives.

Here are some places you can see me, in case you missed them on air!

SBS Celebrity Letters and Numbers

ABC Question Everything

Oh, and also, Disney’s Thor Love & Thunder. Bonus points for sending through a screen shot to prove you could find me. One day I’ll write a missive about the experience.

Hope to see you at a Comedy Festival near you soon!