He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21: )
After lunching at the Algonquin Hotel, Robert Benchley (who was not averse to appreciating the fruit of the vine when the occasion called for it) walked through the lobby, out the front door, and said to the uniformed man on the sidewalk, “My good man, would you please get me a taxi?”
The man immediately took offense and replied indignantly, “I’m not a doorman! I happen to be a rear admiral in the United States Navy.”
Benchley then instantly quipped: “All right then, get me a battleship.”
While standing in the front door, two young kids, all decked out in mom and dad’s hugely oversized fine shoes and clothes, the young girl politely and primly informs the hostess, “We can’t stay long, my husband just wet his pants.”
This is the kind of humor I grew to appreciate while increasing in stature. My family was blessed by the humor my own dad possessed. There was a time while waiting in the car we could watch through the store front windows, and see him saying something that had the cashier and others in line laughing out loud. I heard my mother say, “He can always make people laugh no matter what he’s doing.” I sensed, even in my young-boy naivety, that this must have been one of the things that attracted her to him. They were quite a couple in their heyday, which was in the forties and fifties. Humor was different then. There was lot more of it going around than now, I’ve come to believe—and I’m not alone in this opinion.
The Left have no sense of humor. They’re not funny. Psychopaths and tyrants lack the capacity to make us laugh.
A sense of humor was then, for as long as I can remember, a valued social commodity; a highly prized asset if one hoped to make it very far up the social ladder. There was a lot of laughter in my family because we all enjoyed a good sense of humor, although we may have stayed near the bottom rung a bit too long.
So, imagine my surprise when I discovered, just recently, Elon Musk (pictured) had made a very insightful remark during an interview with Kyle Mann, Editor-in-Chief, and others at the Babylon Bee. Mann asked him, “What do you like to watch in terms of comedy and entertainment?” The he added, “You tweeted one time about how wokeness is destroying comedy…”
“The essence of a lot of comedy is a revealed truth, like a hidden truth that people understand, intuitively or explicitly,” Musk responded. “And there’s that sort of moment of reveal, you know, a kernel of truth, of often unacknowledged truth. And in that unacknowledged truth is the humor.”
“So if you’re premised on a lie, you can no longer be funny, because there’s no revealed truth,” he added. And this is, you know, why a lot of people on the Left have no sense of humor. They’re not funny.” And, if there’s so many no-fly zones, you know, that you have to, you have to avoid all the time then… there’s nothing left to make fun about.”
Laughter is the sudden reflexive burst of emotion when stress or tension is relieved unexpectedly.
“Neurologists say laughter in humans comes in two main flavors. The Duchenne laugh (named after a French neurologist from the 1800s) happens spontaneously when we get tickled or when we think something’s funny. Many parts of the brain are activated with this emotional release.”
My wife think she knows when the dog is smiling. I’m doubtful. To me it just looks like her mouth opens when she gets her tummy rubbed. (I mean the dog of course)
“This sort of laughter is considered a release from tensions built up from unmet expectations. We think someone might do us harm, but they tickle us instead. You can’t tickle yourself because you know what to expect. We think something will be one way and it turns out to be so different that it’s funny.” Maybe I’ll tell the dog the Benchley joke the next time I scratch her belly, and see if it makes any difference. As for the Left, I’m sure it’s not going to cut it just rubbing their tummy.
But the word humor has a much more, eh hem, interesting etymology.
Humor is taken from the latin word, Umor, for fluid or wetness. Very early medical science developed the Humoral Theory, based on the work of the ancient Greek physician Galen, which holds that good health relies on a balance of the four fundamental fluids of the human body: blood, choler (yellow bile), phlegm, and black bile. When these fluids are all in perfect harmony, a person would be considered to be in “good humor,” which evolved to the sense of “humor” as a word for “mood” (e.g., “I am in an ill-humor/good humor.”), which then came to refer to both “humoring” someone’s mood or whim, and then became something that could alter your mood by making you laugh—such as a joke or a comedy play. (Shakespeare anyone?) Seriously, who knew that being funny could be so disgusting?
The journey from the “humorism theory” to enjoying a good laugh does have relevance for our agitated culture. Maintaining the ability to laugh is a very important part of the health of western civilization. Why not even more for that of a Christian nation? Musk’s observation is prescient for a couple of reasons. Most of us may communicate by playing upon the truth—not with it of course—as the basis for a good joke for our happiness, our joy, and our laughter. We laugh reacting to a surprise when the truth is in us, because we rely on it. Another takeaway is how those who don’t know the truth will necessarily rely on some ideology, an untruth—real lies—to maintain their grip on any alternative to the truth, which for them is too painful to bear. In Nazi Germany, people employed the “whisper joke” to cope with the horror of their lives.
Jesus called Satan the father of all lies. It’s unimaginable Satan laughing for joy, don’t you think?
There are dark days ahead of us. The enemies of God and of HIs people are determined to rob us of our joy. Satan will use many devices to accomplish this: insecurity, sin, competition, isolation, and certainly being critical are among them. The demoniacs of this age use the allure of temporal ideologies and falsehoods like transgenderism, critical and social justice—indeed all the cultural hegemonies, to rob us of our joy. Watch what happens when anyone laughs at what they say…
- “But the Lord just laughs, for He sees their day of judgment coming.” (Psalm 37:13: )