Finding Empowerment In Laughter

by A.G. House, April 5th, 2013

People will be fired from their jobs today. People will get divorced today. People will abuse their kids today. Innocent people will be arrested today. People will become terminally ill today. People will starve today. People will die today. Mankind will suffer today. Are you depressed yet?

New businesses will be started today. People will fall in love today. New babies will be born today. Friends will help each other today. A new spark of artistic creation will be added to humanity’s gallery today. A brilliant young mind will begin developing critical thinking skills today. Some people will have the best day of their life today. Are you inspired yet?

I’ve had to learn to laugh, because it’s all too serious. The fine line of balancing the desire to live life with the light-hearted joy of innocence and knowing how to respectfully communicate to others when you want to be taken seriously is an art which makes all kinds of sense to me, but I admit I often find the balance elusive as well. Nauseating are the politicians on tv who look like mannequin-stuffed shirts with a permanent stick in their ass and not a hair that’s ever been out of place on their head who go on and on about how all the laws they’re passing are so detrimental.

On the other hand, otherwise brilliant and hilarious comedic talents such as Chris Rock say some of the dumbest things which ensure many will never take their political views very serious:

Learning to disregard preconceived notions in favor of an open mind which can focus on what it is that it’s trying to understand might help us find a humor that equips us to cope with the all too serious realities of some life experiences. In my experience, it seems very often that those who have dealt with tragedy and go on to eventually find a way to laugh again are people of courage. Political satire is a humor that may not only be the forefront of human freedom and worthy of vigilant defense, but a humor that can help us not get too carried away with the negative feelings some of us may have about the human suffering caused by the state in property theft, violations of basic rights, and ongoing warfare. In fact, maybe there’s something to be said for the personal empowerment which comes with using the humor of political satire to emasculate the power and authority of the daunting state. A possible existing example of this is the popularity of such a commonly expressed sentiment as, “politicians are all a bunch of clowns.” The statement is both ridiculous, but also probably appeals to similar common sentiment enough that variations of the joke live on in human dialogue. We know that politicians are crooked sum-bitches who should never be trusted, but we trust them with some of our most important decisions. Maybe political satire helps all of us deal with the basic truth that all governments are inherently snafu’d, but we’re not collectively sure how to get along without them yet.

Why shouldn’t we use political satire? It works so great for some people to cope with other frustrations and problems of life. I remember someone once told me that it had been a year since his messy divorce when he was watching a movie, heard someone laughing, and realized it was himself laughing for the first time he could remember since his marriage ended. In dealing with the depression and anxiety associated with post traumatic stress disorder, others of us may have experienced something similar. The basic idea here is that laughter can be liberating on many levels, so why not embrace it?

As an atheist who is frustrated by blind religious support for freedom-killing legislation in the form of wrong-headed and destructive campaigns like the U.S. government’s war on drugs and overseas military occupations, I find it a very serious problem that religious devotion would be harnessed to support aggression by the state against non-violent people for things such as smoking a plant. But to my fellow atheists I would hope that we would have the critical thinking skills to ignore whatever feelings one may or may not have about the Christian bible, and still be able to appreciate the positive sentiment expressed in the following verse:

A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine.” – Proverbs 17:22

As long as we live, we will have problems. Bills must be paid. Other people will frustrate us. Fairness and justice will often be illusory. Hard times and betrayals are almost certain. Serious situations will arise. This only goes to show that maybe people really have to make a conscious effort to incorporate laughter into our lives. It can be fun not only to find new musings to tickle our funny-bones, but to rediscover some of the forgotten times we used to laugh. Whatever else you might do today, consider making time for the sweet taste of life found in laughter.

Never underestimate the power of laughter. Laughter can lift a heavy heart, and make receptive a previously closed mind. Laughter can spell good times for people pursuing our individual routes toward happiness, and bad times for tyrants who cling so desperately to the support of a solemnly reverent public. And god forbid someone actually laugh at a superstitious egomaniac masquerading in a suit as a mouthpiece of the almighty creator with sullenly sober pontifications which strike the skeptical mind as ridiculous. Here’s to laughing at the religious statist bullies, and laughing with all my friends…

I lift my bong to those who use their freedom of speech to spread the indispensable gift of laughter. Cheers!

20130330-190341.jpgAbout the Author: A.G. House is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and former licensed minister of the United Pentecostal Church International who has become an atheist, anti-war activist, and gotten involved in many other issues which he believes affect the individual liberties of the people who’s Constitutional Rights he took an oath to defend. He currently resides in the heart of Tennessee with his companion dog ‘Liberty’ where he is recovering from PTSD and enjoys the therapeutic hobbies of writing, playing drums, and other forms of artistic expression.


One thought on “Finding Empowerment In Laughter

  1. Pingback: Chaos 2013: Year in Review | Chaos Section

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