Roxanne Tellier: I Like A Laugh

rox bob shawn laughingI like a laugh. I like it so much that some have been tempted to think me simple, a little off the standard Intelligence scale, or preemptively senile.  S’okay, I’m good. While you’re wondering if I’m laughing at you or with you, I’m enjoying the absurdities of life that play out around us every day.

“I have noticed,” said Abraham Lincoln, “that a man is usually about as happy as he has made up his mind to be.”

weird animalWith the exception of those who suffer chemical instabilities to the brain’s functions, we all basically choose how we’ll tackle life. Life can be approached with caution and fear of the unknown, or it can be seized with both hands and a good sense of humor.  Clearly, the creator of our universe had a keen appreciation of the ridiculous, as one can verify by simply looking at ourselves, and the flora and fauna around us.

People can become irrational and confused as they struggle through another day, or they may simply grow weary of constantly making the decisions necessary in order to get from sunup to sundown.  In matters of the heart, we are told to “trust our gut,” when in reality, that gut has been subjected to a witch’s brew of expectations, experiences, and prejudices that shape how we view new concepts. It takes years of living, and a balanced outlook, to make it through youth and into the supposed wisdom of age. Some of us never quite make the leap; sadly it seems that a lot of those unable to hold two contradictory thoughts simultaneously, become leaders in religious or political fields.

terror handAnd there is always a crowd who will follow the rantings of insecure, frightened people who’ve never quite gotten over the belief that there just might be a monster in the closet. Believing in the monster is so much easier than believing that we’re on our own, and ultimately responsible for how we conduct our short residency on Earth.

Taking responsibility for how we live our lives and caretake this fragile planet is terrifying and incomprehensible for many. Even as little ones, we try to blame other people or circumstances for why we have failed to measure up to our own or other people’s standards. If we’re unlucky enough to be raised in a family or society that encourages sloughing off our mistakes with an “explanation,” it’s gonna be a life filled with more fancy dancing around the truth than forward movement. It’s daunting to understand and fully grasp that we are all not actually created equal physically, mentally, or emotionally. Some exceptional humans have made an impact on the world, which is why we still speak of them today. Whether we like it or not, most of the current 7 billion souls on earth today will live and die without being much more than a statistic. http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

overpopulation-scalesWhich doesn’t mean that we should stop trying to improve and succeed in whatever endeavors we find stimulating and challenging. It just means that we need to take into account the gifts and traits we were born with, and – using all of the tools that an advanced society has gathered – try to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves. There is no shame in falling short of our goals, if we’ve given it our best. 7 billion other people, remember? Not everyone is going to hit the jackpot.

To quote Mark Twain, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” 

cavemanfireAs humans evolved, they took the information they had learned through trial, error and experiences, and based their decisions on what they believed to be true. “Fire. Hot!” meant that adult humans could state with authority to their little ones that fire was a force that could burn the hand.

But with limited information, those humans could also be rendered paralyzed with confusion when faced with new or rarer events beyond their knowledge, like a solar eclipse. If that eclipse had begun shortly after a hunter had shot an animal, those observing might assume that shooting say, a white deer, would bring darkness to the land. That’s called extrapolating, and it’s the way a lot of us still make decisions today.

Caveman-and-computerThere’s a lot of the frightened caveman lingering in the back of our lizard brain; rather than “feel the fear and do it anyway,” we’re more comfortable doing what we’ve done before. So here we are today … still marveling at things we don’t understand. Such a lot of wonders have been explained to us through science, but much remains unknown. So we make stuff up.

Like a coming apocalypse. Been doing that since around 634 BCE, when “there was a myth that 12 eagles had revealed to Romulus a mystical number representing the lifetime of Rome, and some early Romans hypothesized that each eagle represented 10 years.  Therefore, Romans feared that the city would be destroyed in the 120th year of its founding. “ (wiki)

In Connecticut in 1780, “the sky turning dark during the day was interpreted as a sign of the end times. The primary cause of the event is believed to have been a combination of smoke from forest fires, a thick fog, and cloud cover.”  (wiki)

1910 Halley's CometIn 1910, Camille Flammarion “predicted that the 1910 appearance of Halley’s Comet would impregnate that atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet, but not the planet itself. “Comet pills” were sold to protect against toxic gases. The comet indicated the Second Coming to many.” (wiki)

Heck, we all waited for the imminent destruction of technology at the turn of the current century! Or as Christian authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins claimed, “the Y2K bug would trigger global economic chaos, which the Antichrist would use to rise to power. As the date approached however they changed their minds.”  (wiki)

eagle-attacks-cameramanHard to believe we’ve really come such a long way, isn’t it? But here’s the thing; while we’re anticipating a global apocalypse of slobbering zombies, cantankerous rogue planetoids or mythical demons, we’re misplacing the energies that we could be using to improve the lives and circumstances of the real, living, breathing people sharing our planet. Because it’s easier to believe in catastrophical matters outside of our control, than to deal directly with the reality of a life spent struggling to make a living, care about others, or find some small way of making the world a better place.  There’s not much point in conserving planetary resources, if we’re all on the verge of having our intestines torn out by avenging eagles, is there? (eagle-attacks-cameraman.jpg)

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only saps today of its strength. – A.J. Cronin”

wreckageFrightened, bitter politicians roll the world’s economic dice; religious fanatics shoot little girls in the face for wanting an education; corporations – already weathy beyond concept – rape the planet’s resources and sully the very air and water necessary for life itself, while first world citizens pass judgment on a spoiled teenager so desperate for attention that she’ll ride a wrecking ball naked while licking a dirty hammer.  Could there be more evidence of a humourless, vengeful and ultimately self and planet destructive mentality amongst those that have substituted a belief in their own infallibility for common sense?

Humans are one of the only species that can laugh. Research has shown that laughter can actually improve health and help fight disease.

Spontaneous laughter is an automatic response that occurs when our brain recognizes the incongruity that lies at the heart of most humor. And most of all, the physical sense of relaxation that benefits our bodies after a good laugh actually inhibits the biological fight-or-flight response. When you laugh, you show trust in the intelligence and beliefs of those who laugh with you. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to hold both hatred and trust simultaneously, as the actions of extremists have shown.

Albert Einstein“There are only two ways to live life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” – Albert Einstein

I laugh because it is insanity to rage against the close-minded, the bigoted, and the public who choose to believe madmen for whom stirring up terror is not only a joy, but a way to amass more wealth. I laugh because those very same madmen cannot bear to be shown up for what they are – scared little people who demand to have their own way, despite evidence and legislation to the contrary. I laugh because in a world filled with inequality and uncertainty, there are people with grace, intelligence and wisdom who appreciate a well turned phrase as much as a shapely ankle, and who have generously shared their whimsical outlook with those of us who understand that a good laugh does more than relax the body, it casts a hopeful, brighter light on how we plod through a dreary day.

I laugh because, despite all of the horrors of our troubled world, somewhere there is a cat in a shark suit riding a Roomba, chasing a duck.

I like a laugh.

= RT =

Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. After years of doing things she didn’t want to do, she’s found herself working with a bunch of crazy people who are as batshit crazy and devoted to music as she is, and so she can be found every Monday at Cherry Cola’s, completely unable to think of anything funny to say, as the co-host of Bob Segarini’s The Bobcast. Come and mock her. She’s good with that. And she laughs. A lot. But not at you.

 

One Response to “Roxanne Tellier: I Like A Laugh”

  1. i couldn’t figure out what the dog was wearing until i realized: that roll behind his head makes a hammer head shark. who knew.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: