We Need More Humor!

Where is our sense of humor?

This week, Don Imus has been making news again about his supposed racial remarks. All because he asked if the football player, Pac Man Jones (who has been arrested multiple times) is black. When told “Yes,” he said, “Well, there you go.” Forget the fact that he was making a comment that there is racial profiling going on in our great country. Forget the fact that the producer of his show and two co-hosts are black, forget the fact that Imus is hyper-sensitive about making racial comments in the first place. No, the PC Police were out in force on this the moment the words left his mouth.

Now, Imus may appear arrogant. (I have never met the man, so I wouldn’t know if he is.) He may be insensitive. (Again, I have never met him, so I wouldn’t know.) But he has made fun of just about everyone, including himself, so often that this became his most marketable quality. Now, that is gone. Where we used to be able to laugh at his show, we are now forced to cringe. The humor is draining away like a puddle in the sun. Pretty soon, there will be none left.

We used to be able to laugh at ourselves. We used to be able to create humor out of anything. Now, we are so hypersensitive about hurting someone’s feelings that we are losing one of the most endearing parts of our culture, our ability to laugh. We can’t even laugh at ourselves without being criticized. Yes, we have become a nation of whiners. We whine about everything. Watch the news or read the papers and you will see people complaining. Who is left to talk about the good things?

How often do we see good things on the news? Do your own informal poll and see what kind of numbers you come up with. Misery sells and we are trying to get more miserable by the day.

The Political Correctness movement has moved far beyond humor. It has gone so main-stream, that I have seen a white candidate’s criticism of a minority opponent’s views being called “racist.” Someone’s views can’t be challenged without it being considered an attack on the person. This is insane.

I am part Native American. When I grew up I was part Indian. I have trouble with this new identity, and I feel pressured to use the proper terms, for fear of offending someone who has no native blood. This is nuts.

Somehow, some way, we are going to have to learn to laugh again. We need to laugh at ourselves and at others. Not as criticism, but for fun. Because laughter is good. It brings joy and it reduces stress. By erasing the laughter from our lives we are traveling down a very sad, lonely road. I fear for a nation that has lost its ability to laugh. Because when we start to see everything, even humor, as racist, mean spirited or hateful, we lose one of our most valuable qualities, the ability to laugh.

When we lose the ability to laugh, we lose the ability to cope. We will no longer be able to deal with the stresses in our lives. The bad (nightly) news will seep under our skin and kill us from within.

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