It’s hard to be funny when things aren’t much fun anymore.
It has been a rough couple of years. It has been hard to find a bright light in the gloom of a pandemic and the general insanity engulfing the world. Humor is even in shorter supply. Unless you count snark, which is readily available on the social media of your choice.
Finding silly Tik-Tok videos, or other amusements, I guess we are trying to laugh it all off, a little humor going a long way to assuage our collective anxiety.
But what is funny anymore? For me, I prefer a pie to my own face than a punch to someone else, no matter how much we all may think it is deserved.
So we pile on, good and bad, hoping for some escape. Some of it will always ring hollow, like all jokes at someone’s expense. So what is funny? Is it slapstick, which is sometimes accused of punching the wrong people, literally? More cerebral? Self-deprecating?
I find making fun of myself (with my incredible shrinking ass) funny. Better to be the butt (so to speak) of my own jokes than to be someone else’s. To be honest, I have always been a little uncomfortable with punching down… (record scratch)
Since I started writing this post last week, Russia declared war on Ukraine. Things are even less funny and it feels even direr (Grammarly says that’s a word. Doesn’t sound right to me). My position is all war is bad, and my heart is there for those suffering. I recall a M.A.S.H. episode where Hawkeye spoke of war:
Hawkeye: War isn’t hell. War is war, hell is hell. And of the two of them, war is worse.
Father Mulcahy: How do you figure that, Hawkeye?
Hawkeye: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to hell?
Father Mulcahy: Sinners, I believe.
Hawkeye: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in hell. But war is chock full of them. Little kids, cripples. old ladies. In fact, except for a few of the brass (ED: and Presidents, PMs, and politicians), almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.
Even a great comedy took time out from being funny, because it’s often hard to find anything amusing when people are dying from disease, starvation, and war.
At the same time, finding escape isn’t a bad thing. A moment to take your mind off the awfulness of the world. So, what is funny? Anything that makes you laugh is all I can tell you.
What I think I am trying to say is; Worry about your fellow humans, do what you can to be a helper, and find something to soothe yourself when you can, including humor.
I will close this before we all get too depressed with a dad joke. Whether it’s funny is entirely subjective like all humor (which is where I was going with this post). But it calms me, at least when I get a good groan.
Why do seagulls fly over the ocean? Because if they flew over the bay, we’d call them bagels.