“HUMOR’S MANKIND’S GREATEST BLESSING” – Mark Twain
News, news everywhere but no funny thoughts to think.
I’m a news junky – Three papers each morning, hours of radio and TV news plus Flipboard and Google news.
I’m reading with a purpose: Need stuff for the weekly blog post. I need new material when confronting the blank white paper. I wade through the Arts sections the LifeStyle sections and Editorial pages looking for most anything with humor, a touching humanity story. Anything will do.
I find Nothing!
Scrubbing through hundreds of pages I come up dry. What’s going on here? Am I looking and not seeing? Are writers finding that touchy-feely funny stories have no place in depressing, modern journalism? Or are the consumers of media simply going through a grim mood period? Are they unable to laugh at the human condition or even see the irony in it? Our identity politics and perspective based outlook must have become so dour that we don’t want comedy.
2018 is a period of hyperbole where apocalyptic scenarios are continuously trotted out for every daily news event.
You would think we are back in the Civil War or Viet Nam period or at least facing the end of civilization.
For me trying to produce humor each day, this is very bad for business. How do I write smiley face when the market is crying out for more doom and dour? If the zeitgeist is that hard-faced in our country, it provokes self-doubt in my own chirpy optimism. What if the Grim Guys are right that: “If you are not panicked a or apoplectic you just don’t know what’s going on.
“I begin to wonder if we humor writing guys get it? Maybe this time is different and the world really is going to hell as darkness covers the land.
But that’s unlikely because Humor is a choice. Seems to me we can selectively perceive things as funny or not.
During Viet Nam era, body bag count, anti-war protests, and May Lie Massacre filled the evening news. That was a poor time to sell humor. But that 1960’s historical perspective gives me cause for optimism. Eventually, the fighting ended. With peace came a collective sigh of relief and yearning for silly humor. Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King played a gender-charged tennis match which was nothing but humor and kitsch. Comedy had returned.
That tennis game could not have been played during the Viet Nam or even today.
The culture police couldn’t allow such a flagrant violation of Zeitgeist. This says to me that we go through cycles The time to chuckle will return.
None too soon. The therapeutic value of humor, the study of Gelotology and Laughter Yoga have made a proven contribution to peoples physical and mental health. Assuming we are not all going over the cliff, then I think I’ll ask Blue Cross Blue Shield to reimburse me for the therapeutic humor I offer.