There is nothing humorous about which to write!
Some believe that the “ice bucket challenge” is funny, and yes, watching Ethel Kennedy and several others of note get drenched is, momentarily, quite laughable. Then I think of the cause behind these viral “I must be seen doing it” videos, and I think back to reading Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom and suddenly the challenge doesn’t seem to be quite so funny. I also think of my friend “The Colonel,” as Professor Ed McGee was known when he was teaching at Babson, who was diagnosed in his early sixties and who opened the door for me to begin teaching creative problem solving, team building, and goal setting for a variety of groups because he was no longer able to do so. It makes me happy to see all of the money that has been raised for ALS research, but if you’ve ever watched someone deteriorate and die from the disease, there is no humor.
There is certainly no humor in the drought that has hit parts of the Southwest, nor is there anything funny in the horrible floods of the Midwest. Since the Napa Valley has just been hit by a 6.0 earthquake, I guess the grapes shaking off the vines may be humorous to some, the wine makers aren’t laughing…at least, it will ease the job of the pickers. Speaking of pickers, can anyone find something to chuckle about with these kids who were crossing the border in hoards? If you can, your mind is even more screwed up than my own…and that is really going some!
Robin Williams’ death was tragic, but even in death, his legacy gave us something to laugh about. Oh, we’ll never see him on stage or in film again, but it brought back some of his wonderful humor, if only for a brief moment. I have seen clips that I’ve never seen before…and I’ve laughed. I have a sister-in-law and a dear friend, both of whom are suffering from Parkinson’s. I’d rather remember Mr. Williams as he was in his crazy days. It’s not humorous, but when the media and the police first announced that Mr. Williams was a suicide and that he was found with a belt around his neck, the attitude of several reporters appeared to be, “That cowardly bastard.” It was quite amazing how quickly that attitude turned around when it was later announced that he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s.
There is nothing humorous about the arrest of a freshman in South Carolina or a 13-year old in Albuquerque, New Mexico being arrested for burping in a physical education class. As they say, “better to urp a burp and bear the shame than squelch a belch and die in pain!” There is a line here which students, teachers, and administrators have to learn not to cross. Criminalizing a student for burping or for carrying a writing assignment too far indicates a certain degree of paranoia that is far from funny. If a student is a perpetual trouble-maker, get the parents involved and don’t tolerate any bullshit from them about their child being perfect. We’re all aware that the news media will rarely, if ever, take the side of those who “have had enough.” We also know that teenagers can be little shits, but criminalizing them will only turn them into heroes among their classmates. Try embarrassing rather than arresting.
Is there humor in the world? Sure, there is, but it seems to be so far outweighed by the horrific, nasty, and downright terrible that one really has to search to find laughter. In order to laugh out loud, I find that I must watch Big Bang Theory re-runs or Two and a Half Men [before Charlie Sheehan went off the deep end].
Well, I guess it’s time for me to go watch my reruns. Tonight, I’ve picked a couple of really funny shows, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and Grimm…wow, those should be hilarious!