Lost in Translation

It seems we have lost our sense of humour!

Everything is so important as if the world will break unless we all become so terribly serious and sort through the problems   perceived. Where have all the flowers gone?

Humour is part of human armoury. A dilution ingredient for the myriad of daily situations confronting us. So why are we afraid to utilize this gift?

I remember reading “The Outsider” many years ago. If my memory serves me correctly, a son had traversed the grieving period from the death of his father, without showing the expected reverence and pain which may be expected for such an event. He became estranged from his community as a result.

The need to fit in with community and/or gain respect, requires a certain degree of compromise. Humility and a sense of history go a long way towards this, but unless we remain ” On trend” all of the compromise in the world can’t help. 

Having had a family member pass away recently and with my own need to always look for the humour in something, I guess it was a risky path taken where most of the eulogy consisted of one-liners and regaling funny stories. Yes death is a serious business, but enormously funny in a strange way.

It may be that in the not too distant future, “The Outsider”could become a syndrome of our desire for political correctness. It may be illegal to crack a joke at a funeral or, at the very least, distasteful. Is this really the path to broadening human well being?

It will always be for the benefit of humanity, to respect and accept all. This goes without saying. So where does this leave laughing in the face of adversity ? Will it soon be inappropriate for me to look on the bright side? This is hyperbole of course, but there is a very real need to stand up for the things which have proven to help in times of difficulty.

I was fortunate enough to attend the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics. A great event, there was much fun and in typical Australian style, plenty of drawing the micky. At the time, terrorism was beginning to play a greater part in the day to day conversation. The usual banter prior to Olympics events was taking place : Will the Seekers sing Georgy Girl from the back of a truck? Will Mona ( Steve Monagetti -champion) carry the flag? But the one big question circulating was ” Will it be safe?”

As only Australia could and would do, there was a set up attack by some dodgy characters driving haphazardly about the arena on one of those four wheel motor bike things. The baddies proceeded to chase security people and knock over structures ( obviously cardboard) as they completed their rampage and disappeared down the tunnel. The crowd was stunned until suddenly laughter emerged as if by tsunami. A strange and wonderful experience.

Because the Olympics of 2000 occurred prior to 9/11, it was possible to laugh at such an event. Such a brazen and outrageous event. Something which may never happen again in my life time. Being in a large crowd and not quite understanding what was actually happening, was scary at the beginning. The tension was high and it seemed our fears for safety had been well grounded. To be taken from that point of insecurity and fear to the point of hilarity which resulted, was weird and exhilarating.

Whilst I don’t condone such crowd manipulation tactics as were used at the Olympics, it does point out how valuable laughter is when confronted by seriousness. Not only does laughter have a physical benefit and a psychological benefit, it has the ability of drawing people closer and breaking down barriers. Used appropriately ( or in-appropriately should it suit) laughter and generally confronting the world with humour as a partner, can maybe assist our fellow humanity to let go of some of the artificial worries constructed by news outlets and snake sales people.

The funeral held for my relative was respectful, humorous and tearful. Most of all, it was free from constraint. There was an openness about it which was not only satisfying but oddly – enveloping.

bristlehound 2016


One thought on “Lost in Translation

  1. I tend to glance at trends in passing, from the corner of my eye. Never cared much for trends, often to my detriment. I observed the English decline in humour lately, something that initially attracted me. Maybe it’s a media phenomenon.

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