A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "No Soap Radio!" They both jump in the water.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Power of laughter

From the post below I found a clip of Ferguson talking about his recently gone father, which I thought was exceptional. He breaks from the normal late night joke routine, but often when a situation is too important to be funny is when some of the more talented humorists write their best stuff. When Dave Barry lost his own father, or after September 11, he followed those events with two heavy-hearted columns that were two of his best.

Which, in a way, makes perfect sense, because humor is a way of looking at life as being beautiful. There are few situations that can't be laughed at, and when they occur it still isn't time to grieve or mope.

Barry once said, "A sense of humor is a measurement of the extent to which we realize that we are trapped in a world almost totally devoid of reason. Laughter is how we express the anxiety we feel at this knowledge."

Even in those two somber columns Dave isn't mournful. The details he picks out, the corny politicians singing a patriotic anthem after the attacks or his father tossing aside his glasses to save young Dave in a pool, certainly evoke emotion, but they make you smile more than they make you sad. A different flavor of tears, I suppose.

I idolize Barry the way some of my friends idolize Edward R. Murrow. Murrow stood for truth and journalistic courage, and it goes without saying that we couldn't have a society without either. I look up to Murrow, too. But I still think a world without booger jokes is a world not worth living in.

Keeping your sense of humor is the most important thing in life. Well, top five. Taking yourself or anything too seriously is the worst thing you can do. Life is so simultaneously ridiculous and transient that you can't take an honest look at it and keep a straight face.

If you're not laughing, you're just not in on the joke. No soap radio.


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