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Whatever you do, DO NOT LAUGH AT THE FAT JEW WITH THE LISP. Especially when he makes fun of himself…well, the half-Jew. OK, I was raised Catholic, but dad was Jewish & you learn a lot about life when daddy jokes about the dead relative’s Hitler killed.

“Don’t empty the ashtray, son, you’re grandfather might be in there.”

True story. On March 25th the Roman’s used to celebrate a day of pranks & hoaxes that they called Hilliria. Hilaria I’m not sure how to spell it. One L or two? Who cares? The etymology, obviously stems from Hilarious, or the Latin root of it.

It’s spelled Hilaria, I looked it up, & over the years it had changed to “April Fools.” Well, first it changed to The Feast of Fools & then April Fools. The Feast of Fools is still popular in Spanish speaking nations. April Fools is popular everywhere else in the west & Hilaria has disappeared altogether.

Why? Feast of Fools makes it sound like the holiday is intentionally too big & evolves meals. Hilaria, on the other hand is a great name. It sounds like a Mel Brooks epic. Hilaria, staring Gene Wilder. Compared to a word like Hilaria, April Fools just sounds flat.

It should be a national holiday, or at least a bank holiday. As a nation we should be encouraging our citizenry to get out of the house, get out of the office, & get a sense of humor.

Especially now. We need a sense of humor about things, specifically politics, since, you know, we are ripping each other apart with partisanship. Right now, it seems to only be in the media, at bars, & trolls on the web, but I wonder how long it will take for this partisan divide to become loyalists and the IRA.

Sometimes it gets pretty brutal. I can occasionally hear people screaming over the phone at Missy at work because they don’t like the ACA & I know at least one person here gets deeply, religiously, offended if you even mention that there might be something called “climate change.”

Being able to laugh hysterically when your president states that he firmly believes that “Humans & Fish can coexist.” Is a good thing.

The same thing goes for the nonpolitical world. The head of NBC might admit that “corporately, we believe in orgasms.” It’s not the most professional thing to say, but its not worth making a big deal out of it either. The appropriate reaction would be to laugh, not to be offended. The man meant it in defense of a prime time program & as a joke.

Do you know what a joke is? It is something that, by its very nature, means you are not supposed to take it seriously.

So then why do so many Americans take jokes so seriously?

It’s about time we start taking jokes as jokes. But it seems that America, as a whole, has the view point that a joke is an insult to be deeply offended by.

Susan and Keri at work, my boss & her right-hand bitch, are the same way. I wouldn’t even throw out an elephant joke, not one nice, clean, elephant joke. They won’t laugh. Not even at the really good elephant jokes.

Why do Elephants where green felt hats? So you won’t see them when they walk across pool tables.

It’s like a sense of humor in the work place, on the media, anywhere is tantamount to fighting words. I loved Superbad, it’s too bad so many people think it was an offensive movie. I guess they didn’t get the joke.

The same thing with Blazing Saddles. Hilarious, but deeply offensive to people. Anything Kevin Smith does, deeply offensive, to the point where people protested one of his movies, even though they’d never actually seen it & it hadn’t even been released yet.

Opening night of Dogma saw huge protests from people that never even saw it. Kevin Smith himself protested it. Why?

Because it was a comedy about Catholicism & faith. I’m a Catholic, I laughed at it, & at the time I was gearing up to go to seminary school.

It really wasn’t offensive, but how dare you make a comedy about something I believe in, you know?

Have you ever seen an elephant walk across a pool table? No? Well I guess the felt hats work.

As a nation, we are too easily offended by too much. When did laughter become bad? I know it is not like that in other cultures. In the Sudan & a fair few other parts of Muslim Africa, its customary to slap your knee at a joke & laugh as loud as you can. It’s a show of appreciation. It’s also why we have the term knee-slapper, which now has come to mean that a joke wasn’t funny at all.

That joke about the elephants, it was a real knee slapper.

Even clean little jokes, inappropriate in the work place. Inappropriate in the media. Inappropriate about politics. inappropriate about sex. Inappropriate about tragedies. Inappropriate at the dinner table. Inappropriate. Inappropriate. Inappropriate.

Those t-shirts that I wanted to make, the ones with the picture of the mushroom cloud & the athlete holding a severed arm that read “I survived the Boston Marathon.” Inappropriate. But intentionally so, because we need to laugh at tragedies. It helps with the grief.

We need to learn to laugh at politics.

We need to learn to laugh at ourselves.

There are Libertarians out there that support how the ACA covers bipolar disorder & autism, but believe the ACA should be abolished because it is pure evil…& you know what, when you point out the irony, they are offended. They cling so hard to their beliefs that they can’t even laugh when it contradicts itself.

That’s frightening when that happens. I mean, I’m a communist, but I’m not about to deny that Stalin was an evil fucker. Hitler killed a good part of my family, but I’m not going to be so absolute in that hatred that I won’t say he had a greatest environmental policy of its time.

I mean people get on me for making fat jokes about myself. Did I mention I was making fun of myself? No one else? Not them. Me. They do the same thing when I make fun of my lisp. It’s not a cry for help people. I do it because I’m not going to get offended if you make fun of my lisp, but you will get offended if I make fun of you. I have to make fun of myself, because you take yourself far too seriously.

I make fun of my flaws because you are unable to laugh at yourself. Lately, you’ve been so serious, you won’t even laugh at me. I want to hug you & tell you, it’s OK to make a joke about our flaws. That’s what they are there for. Laugh at them & move on.

We are living in a messed up & tragic world & that’s a hard thing to cope with if, like Susan, a joke about an elephant with a felt hat will offend you because jokes are inappropriate. Or, if like my brother-in-law, you can’t laugh along with the stupid things that W said. Because you are so blindly, “patriotically,” following him that you find it is offensive that anyone would dare laugh when he says “The OBGYN’s should travel the world & spread their love.”

It’s a horrible fact of life. It’s a horrible life. Its a horrible economy. There are horrible wars & school shootings & all manner of nastiness & making a joke isn’t offensive, it cuts the tension so you can deal with it all.

Only we don’t deal with it here. Cutting the tension with a joke is called a “defense mechanism.” Do you know what they are defending against? Laughter.

Jack makes jokes. He must be nervous, its called a defense mechanism. They use the phrase to justify the fact that you said something funny. It seems like an attempt to defend themselves against humor by making it sound like a mental disorder that needs to be treated with electroshock therapy & medication.

We have manufactured an unfunny word for a joke. We have turned laughter into a bad thing. We have stigmatized our society against it.

And we wonder why kids are killing themselves over a school bully. We blame violent movies & video games for school shootings. No one mentions that we have manufactured a society where you will get written up at work for laughing. You’ll get a detention at school for it. We’re teaching ourselves that we need to be uptight to appear professional & serious & fit into society & everyone wonders why people snap.

Maybe we should take a day & force people to get out & laugh. Go do something useless & inane just because its funny. Learn not to take everything so seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself. Learn not to be offended by a joke.

It’s the healthy thing to do. Especially when the alternative is having a world so serious that our children kill themselves & each other because they were bullied at school.

We need to stop making comedy’s rated R, for potentially offensive humor. A dick & fart joke is only inappropriate because you choose to be offended by it, the same thing goes for violence, but we are, as a society, choosing to not be offended by that.

We are rejecting a good laugh to embrace violence. The problem here isn’t violent movies influencing our children. The problem is that we aren’t letting comedies influence them, or us really. Don’t try to be funny Tommy, you have to take everything seriously, otherwise you’ll be labeled & you won’t fit in.

No laughing for you.

Remember, by their very nature, you aren’t supposed to take them seriously. You know the phrase “you don’t know how to take a joke?” It means that you take jokes seriously. It means that you have missed the point. It means that you have experienced the joke & decided to take it in the exact opposite manner it was intended.

We need to grow up & start acting like children, before its too late.

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One thought on “Hilaria

  1. Thanks for a great post! Unfortunately I do know someone who is so devoid of humour it is pure torture being in her cynical intense serious sour company. Hell I really hope she gets a boil on her genitals, might go a long way to teaching her to lighten up a bit.

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