I’d like you to see a message of hope and laughter.
It’s just after six-thirty on Monday August 2nd, and I am minutes from heading to the gym for the morning torture.
Okay okay, I LIKE working out but my knees are barking at me, because I barked them very hard on an aerial silks mat three weeks ago. I’ll get back to that in a sec.
This morning I saw this purposefully click-baity title (purposeful, as in funny) by Kathy Copeland Padden and had to read it. I am so glad I did:
I saw this seconds after blocking someone who dumped stinking diarrhea all over an article I had done. Two sentences in and we’re done here, Sparky. BLOCK.
I am sorry that young man has absolutely no coping skills, no resilience, no fucking sense of humor. Kathy does.
Look, I spend my fair share of time reading smart people who point out the world’s ills and what might be done about them (Jessica Wildfire for one) and lots of folks whose smart, lyrical, thoughtful writing adds value to my day, makes me think whether I want to or not- I do, but it makes my head hurt-and people whose heartfelt and difficult-to-read material about racism hurts my heart (Rebecca Stevens A. et. al.).
Part of being in the world as a responsible person means reading things that are difficult but true, asking hard questions, listening to what others have to say and continually opening my world to others’ experiences and realities.
AND I need a laugh break every so often.
I follow very few people, but here’s why: when I recently cleared out the thousands of folks I was following, that opened up the river so that more varied, new, different and often incredibly wonderful voices have landed on my shores.
Two reasons for this. First, I love to read material that is often very different from what I regularly see. Second, that constant variety allows me to curate articles and compile links in my stuff for folks who have full-time jobs, and who do not have the time to scrape Medium for great content. That is indeed part of my job, and it’s one thing I love to do for my readers: show them really good material, at least what I consider good shit. My stuff might be decent every so often but there is plenty out there much better than mine.
Third, Kathy is also a humor writer. Along with folks like David Martin and Roz Warren, who are closer to my age, I want to populate my eye candy with funny stuff, and I am VERY happy to have summa dat be from people much younger than I am.
The other commenter this morning was utterly lacking in any kind of perspective, any kind of ability to see the absurd, which is THE single super power you and I can wield in a world gone seriously nutballs crazy.
It’s entirely possible, as Kathy pointed out that she had done (and which made me pee) that logging in to CNN was part of his problem. I did that, ruined my whole fucking morning and by god I took the tile off my computer. To which she wrote back:
For my Medium dollar, and the community we build here, if we are to serve one another, one element of this community needs (my opinion) to create a safety net, or trampoline if you will, of humor. The Daves and Kathys and all those folks over at MuddyUm and The Haven have created a place where you can I can bounce back. Humor at stupid shit like my snap-in dentures, humor at stupid shit like mindless politics, humor at everything that threatens us.
OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE, writes Kathy.
Yep. I am not sure whose Koolaid any of us is drinking that says we should be immortal but it ain’t us.
I can sit and suck down CNN headlines or I can head out and do stupid shit like aerial silks, which left me with a pair of hyperextended knees. That is just funny. One leaves me gasping for air. The other leaves me gasping for air because I’m laughing too hard. What would you choose?
The question I repeat in so many of my articles is what you and I are going to do with the time we are given. We can shut down the shitflow of terror and hate and overblown conspiracy theories, or we can attend to what Kathy points out:
People need a reason to fight, and that reason is hope. People need hope. If you must peddle fear, at least give hope equal time. A whole planet of humans is raising their children, falling in and out of love, fighting with their neighbors, Adopting kitties, clipping their toenails, living life. What’s the point of doing all that just to live in a perpetual state of fear porn-induced existential dread? (author bolded)
I can’t speak for you. But for the few folks whose regular work I want in my inbox (and I read a shitton of folks, too), I want perspective, humor, joy, laughter, and the ultimate reinforcement that yeah, there are issues. However, there is also great, unbridled, ridiculous joy. We need the latter to cope with the former.
So check her out. See what you think. I’m with her. The biggest weapon we have against the onslaught of bad news- which sells- is good news, which saves lives. There is plenty, plenty PLENTY of it. And humor, which is the package we can wrap our shit sandwiches in. We still have to eat the shit sandwiches of life but they sure go down better with a draft of laughter.
And with that I am limping to the gym.