Monday, March 13, 2017

Laughing At Absurdity

I believe that the older we get, the more important it is not only to recognize and acknowledge the tragedies of life, be they social, economic, political or environmental, but also the many absurdities that abound within those realms. Call it dark humour, whistling past the graveyard, or just being politically incorrect, seeing the absurd is a coping mechanism that allows for the release of at least a modicum of the despair that envelops us in the twenty-first century.

I therefore have little sympathy with those who are easily offended. Consider the following political cartoon that appeared recently in the Toronto Star:

As the heading suggests, it is the cartoonist's take on the fact that many are vying to become the next leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, one that looks headed for the Opposition benches after next year's election, in no small part due to the spectacularly unpopular Kathleen Wynne, our current premier.

Yet the cartoon was too much for at least one Star reader, who penned his outrage in the following missive:

Re: Cartoon, March 8

The Star cartoon by Theo Moudakis depicting a plot to assassinate Premier Wynne is obscene and unforgivable. What was the intention here by the Star to its readers?

Showing her cabinet attempting to hide, with knives, suggesting to do away with the premier, is not what you should be preaching to your readers. Truly, there must be another answer on matters of opinion.

Dennis Dineno, Oakville
I've known people like Dennis throughout my life. They are often quite good people, but overly earnest in their pursuit of justice and rectitude. There is little in their lives to leaven the oppression that life regularly metes out. They can be a trial for those around them. Indeed, just reading his umbrage tasks me.

So, from the perspective granted by my years, my advice is to embrace the oddly funny moments life has to offer. To rebuke them prevents what little light there is to shine through and keep us from total darkness.


  1. It's been my experience, Lorne that -- rather than knocking us off balance -- laughter helps us maintain it. And the best kind of laughter is the kind that allows us to laugh at ourselves.

    1. Laughter truly is the best medicine, Owen.

  2. .. but there aint no cure for the summertime blues..
    For some reason that popped into my head..
    but I really should have dug deeper..
    probably to Mark Twain..
    or maybe PT Barnum..
    'can't please everyone, all of the time..'

    1. A dose of Eddie Cochran never hurt anyone, Salamander. Thanks.