There’s a recession. There’s AIDS, single-dom, questionably wack music, no scripted TV shows, a horrible political situation in America and no end in sight for the problems that afflict us everyday. Sure there’s prayer, but the soul-stirring ache of a good belly laugh is the best medicine to check out of livin’ la vida loca and go somewhere else for a little while. When it comes to self-help, laughter is the underrated step child to meditation, yoga, religion, and ideas like The Law of Attraction. Culture makes humor almost unintelligent though some of our most richest and present moments are based on laughs. Though funny can be a debatable topic, good laughs are essential to the health of our souls.
As a child, I remember laughing with my sister until one of us almost wet ourselves. Chuckles and giggles keep us forever young in our hearts. Cracking up also actually keeps us younger by relieving stress, and 100 laughs a day equals out to fifteen minutes on an exercise bike. In reality laughing strengthens the heart, increasing the heart rate and deep breathing while giving the good ol’ flabs and face a mini work-out. The endorphins released by the brain suppress stress hormones, and relieves adult problems like anxiety, anger, and tension. Laughter is like our internal middle finger from the outside stressors in life. It’s quite unbalanced to point out the necessities of a healthy food diet without even mentioning the benefits of a healthy appetite for humor. In life, the jokes often write themselves and even in spooky times we laugh to keep from crying.
The source of where the laughs come from separates the funny from the infamy. KKKramer was ironically blacklisted from the industry a few years after a crazy racist rant during a routine, and the Bed Intruder Song makes some cringe about making light of stereotypes. On the heels of shock jock Don Imus’s nappy headed hoe debacle and the forever branded Fuzzy Zoeller fried chicken and watermelon “jokes” directed at Tiger Woods, laughter has taken an unfair hit as a desensitizing by-product of racism, sexism, and many other existing isms in our world. These moments bring issues out of the shadows and gives everybody from the water cooler, to Al Sharpton, to the Pastor something to talk about. Awareness is increased and ignorance is brought to light. It’s said that what a person laughs at reflects their character, but humor is always subjective. Two people can look at the same thing and draw different feelings about what they have collectively seen. While some instances of rogue humor are undeniably nefarious, others fall in a gray area. Pop culture, music, movies, and diversity itself has given us unprecedented access to each other and grants us a universal familiarity with one another that is more of a uniter than a divider. We laugh at each other as we laugh at ourselves, and laughter gives us the ammo to shoot out prejudices within ourselves and each other. Mark Twain has said the human’s race most important weapon is laughter. Laughter challenges us to look at ourselves and fine tune anything from race relations to a shiteous wardrobe choice.
So, with all that said, we should laugh together. NSFW Links!!