Why is it that nobody seems to have a sense of humor these days?
Barack Obama’s line about a “Nancy Reagan seance” at his press conference last month wasn’t all that funny, but folks on the right were so outraged by it you would have thought the president-elect had actually punched the former first lady.
And when I hear people on the left complaining about Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter, sometimes the complaint comes with bad wishes — heart attacks, untimely deaths, etc.
Now I’m no fan of Limbaugh. I think he’s the modern-day equivalent of Father Coughlan in the ’30s, but if the news came that he had suffered a heart attack and died, I doubt I’d rejoice.
But if he fell into the rhino cage at the zoo while stoned on Oxycontin …
Now that’s entertainment.
Imagine the great “film at 11” video if a nearsighted rhino looked at the corpulent Mr. L and saw a potential mate.
Just imagine the headlines:
“Limbaugh sodomized by amorous rhino; baby rhinos expected next year”
Or what if we were to learn that Ann Coulter had always dreamed of starring on Broadway as a female impersonator?
Or that Sean Hannity was leaving radio to star as Spanky in a modern movie based on the “Our Gang” comedies of the 1930s?
See, we don’t always have to hope for bad things to happen to people, although I suppose it’s tough to find too much good in Rush being “with rhino.”
It doesn’t even have to be political. What if all the conspiracy theorists — 9/11, JFK, David Icke lizards — were all beamed up to some Mother Ship and taken away?
Anything we can’t laugh about, we have trouble with. Spousal abuse is a terrible thing, but when my friend told me a joke about it, I couldn’t help but laugh in spite of myself.
“Why are four million women abused by their husbands every year?
“Because … they … just … won’t … listen.”
Some of you will hate me for printing that joke, but I’m trying to make a point here. Laughing at something — or someone — helps whittle it down to a size where it can be understood or dealt with.
Doctors say laughing is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves, and I agree.
So laugh at Rush. Laugh at Sean or Ann.
But laugh at yourself too, maybe just for taking things too seriously.
You’ll feel better afterward.