Sometimes, you can’t muster the energy to grapple with life’s biggest questions: Is there a God? Does God care about human suffering? Do human beings have free will? Should one feel guilty about buying a White Chocolate Mocha from Starbuck?
Sometimes, the cacophony of your own problems and challenges drowns out the cries of the oppressed in other parts of your country and world.
Sometimes, you don’t want to worry about your carbon footprint, extinct species of birds in Hawaii, slash-and-burn practices in the Amazonian rain forest, unethical clothing manufacturers, or rising gas prices.
Sometimes, you want a burger with pepperjack cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms, an onion ring, and barbecue sauce. You don’t want to know where the beef came from or what the cow was fed. In fact, you’re pretty sure that its diet of grains grown in artificial fertilizer and huge doses of antibiotics contain enough toxins to make you grow gills and a tail, but you don’t care. In fact, you’re going to order dessert: a milkshake containing enough hormones to cause a ten-year-old boy to sprout breast buds. You slurped up the last drop.
Sometimes, you feel like you were born in the wrong era and don’t have the right brain or emotional disposition to live in a world constructed from reality television, plastic surgery, fast food, and several trillion lines of html and rolls of duct tape.
Sometimes, you need to laugh. You need to believe what Mark Twain said: “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” You need the words of political satirist Will Durst to justify your fifteen minutes of web surfing at work: “Comedy is defiance. It’s a snort of contempt in the face of fear and anxiety. And it’s the laughter that allows hope to creep back on the inhale.”
Here are nine routes to laughter:
Please spread the love.