Saturday, February 14, 2004

Funny You Should Say That

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I judge a sense of humor and wit to be a defining character trait. There are very few things that I can’t find humor in, and as long as it is done with a modicum of taste and sensibility, there are very few things I won’t make fun of. Fairly or not, I judge people by their abilities to do the same. I just don’t trust people who can’t laugh; not just at my jokes, but at anything, and woe betide you if you try to tell me to serious up. (For an interesting discussion of what’s funny and what’s not, read this post by Pen-Elayne on January 27.)

The same holds true here in the blog world. Just a casual stroll through all of my blog lists, both TLC and the rest, will show you that all of my friends have a well-developed sense of humor. Some more than others, perhaps, and some are more strident and acerbic than others, but all of them have a dose of humor that puts their writing in perspective. And there are two sites that I’ve added recently – Jesus’ General and Ayn Clouter’s Blog – that have brought parody and satire to a level of the old Harvard Lampoon which, in its day, was some of the most finely-honed humor writing in America. I have looked through quite a few right-wing blogs (I took a hot shower afterwards) and did not come across any sites that could parody the left – or even attempt to. If they’re out there, I didn’t see them. Most if not all had the usual pompous arrogance that comes with a false sense of security and irritable smugness. (We of the left are insecure by nature and therefore don’t need to hide it.) Their humor was either cruel or crude, and never self-deprecating, which is the true test – if you can’t make fun of yourself, you sure as hell can’t make fun of someone else. To be fair, there are some left-wingers out there that are just as humorless. It comes down to this: if you take yourself too seriously, no one else will.

The next nine months are going to be an amazing period in this nation’s history, and while I may lack the political wonkishness or skill in point-by-point debate with the opposition, I will never stop looking for the funny side. Life’s too short not to yuck it up.