Friday, April 12, 2019

The Serious And The Unserious Cannot Converse

     You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself. It’s a requirement for civility in any age. It’s a requirement for survival in an absurd age such as ours.

     How doth our milieu mock thee, base reality? Let me count the ways…naah, strike that. I’m not sure I have enough lifespan left. But there are certainly enough to keep the satire sites and publications fat and happy. Here’s a recent piece from the Babylon Bee:

     GLENDALE, CA—A man was rushed to the hospital yesterday after encountering a slightly different viewpoint than his own Wednesday. Shortly before 12:30 p.m., Glendale PD officers responded to a 911 call at the Java Lounge Coffee House in the 900 block of North Emerson Road. They found a person who had collapsed in shock and went to the station for help. Witnesses say the man was having a casual conversation about politics with another patron when the minutely opposing viewpoint was expressed.

     "They were both Democrats, Bernie supporters," said Janice Hughson, a barista at the Java Lounge. "Then the guy he was talking to said he had some issues with abortion and thinks there should at least be a few limitations put on the practice. That's when the man seized up and began foaming at the mouth. It was terrible."

     Four other bystanders were also emotionally injured by the moderately divergent opinion but were not hospitalized.

     The man is being kept stable on ideology support at St. Francis medical center, surrounded by friends and family who agree with him 100% on every single issue.

     The man who suggested the slightly differing opinion fled the scene. Anyone with information is asked to alert the authorities.

     Funny? Hilarious! But note how infinitesimally it departs from contemporary American reality. It reminds me of college slanging matches between mathematics majors: “Oh yeah? Well, my differential is smaller than your differential!” (Yeah, I know: “What?” Be glad you weren’t there. I was.)

     But here’s the real punchline: There are “Americans” who don’t think the above is funny. Indeed, there are probably some in your neighborhood. I could name a few in mine. (No, I don’t seek them out. I have enough aggravation.)

     Humor, according to Nessus, a Pierson’s Puppeteer, is associated with an interrupted defense mechanism. Nessus was trying to explain to Louis Wu, a somewhat unusual human, and Speaker-To-Animals, a Kzin, why Puppeteers have no sense of humor:

     "We do not joke," said Nessus. "My species has no sense of humor."
     "Strange. I would have thought that humor was an aspect of intelligence."
     "No. Humor is associated with an interrupted defense mechanism."
     "All the same —"
     "Speaker, no sapient being ever interrupts a defense mechanism."

     The Pierson’s Puppeteers are herbivores and natural cowards. Hangs together nicely, doesn’t it?

     I make jokes, puns, obscure ridiculous references and allusions. I always have. But it’s getting harder – not because my penchant for such things is fading, but because far too many people, approaching a majority lately, refuse to get the joke.

     I have a couple of homosexual acquaintances with whom I get along tolerably well. Time was, homosexuals could joke about their own condition. That time has passed. Today, no one is allowed to joke about homosexuality or what it entails. When a colleague told me the following:

Colleague: You know how you can tell if a guy is a homosexual?
FWP: No, how?
Colleague: His dick tastes like shit.

     I laughed – and immediately cautioned him about “audience selection.” In a work environment that sort of jest can get you canned…even blackballed at other potential employers. People simply refuse to accept the notion that something about homosexuality could be the legitimate bait for a joke.

     Here’s another:

FWP: How many lesbians does it take to change a light bulb?
Unwitting victim: I don’t know, how many?
FWP: Two: One to change the bulb, and one to rave about how much better it was than with a man.

     I caught a lot of flak for that one.

     This one is making the rounds:

FWP: Hey, there’s a new complainant in the Gropin’ Joe Biden scandal!
CSO: Who?
FWP: Michelle Obama!
CSO: No, really?
FWP: Yeah! She claims he grabbed her penis!

     Beware, Gentle Reader. Obama worshippers will not allow such blasphemy. They’ll be on you like flies on feces, and there are a lot more of them roaming around loose than you can possibly imagine.

     Humor is close to being disallowed as a form of interpersonal exchange. It’s bad already. It looks to get worse. And that, like dirty public washrooms, bodes ill for our civilization.

     I don’t plan to cease cracking jokes, puns, et cetera, regardless of the reception they get. But I do plan to go more heavily armed from now on. People are being assaulted for innocent japes and jests. Lawsuits are being filed over “offensive jokes.” The old feminist joke:

FWP: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
CSO: That’s not funny!

     …is coming ever nearer to being the de facto law of the land.

     Reistance is demanded of us. But do we have it in us?

     I cannot say. All I can do is keep on keepin’ on…and watch for the humor in quotidian existence. Because – drumroll, please – only genuinely serious people make humor. The unserious are too self-absorbed. They look, perhaps, but they do not see. Some of them refuse to see. Either way, they miss the delicious ironies, the multifarious absurdities, surprises, and contradictions that make the human carnival a marvelous, eternally laughable thing to behold.

     The serious and the unserious cannot even converse constructively. Humor? Forget it, Jake; that bus drives past the unserious without even slowing.

     But the serious among us, we who understand the need for humor, will keep on crackin’ ‘em. We must. It’s genetically mandated. And we’ll give as good as we get, if not better, from the unserious who aim to shut us down with their frowns and grim catecheses. But we really must be careful about audience selection. After all, the humor-challenged are people too. Besides, you wouldn’t want a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act aimed at you, would you?

     I must see what I can do to assuage their pain. Perhaps a joke:

Hire The Handicapped!
(They’re Fun To Watch!)


Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

I am glad you were inspired!!!!!


I hate to admit it... but there are times when I've fantasized about doing that kind of thing (Family Guy video) to SJWs.

Incidentally, at our political breakfast next fall I'm tempted to wear either my MAGA or my Gadsden flag kippa.

Amy Bowersox said...

Q: How many transgender people does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Just one. But you have to sit in the dark for a year to prove you're serious about wanting to change the bulb, and you have to have referrals from two electricians, at least one of whom must have a Ph.D.