Issue 346 — January 9, 2017
Whenever I am able to laugh in the middle of a problem, it always makes me feel like I can get through the ordeal someway, somehow. Isn’t that the way it is for you?
Laughter is simply a poor person’s psychiatric therapy, and it may even be more therapeutic in many cases than the high-dollar stuff. Hey, in another life (i.e., many years ago), I worked for the Texas Department of Mental Heath as the Director of one of their centers. And I was a full-time preacher for over ten years. So I have seen people in a world of hurt in many contexts. And spirits were always lifted when we were able to laugh together.
It was the legendary English author Charles Dickens (A CHRISTMAS CAROL) who wrote, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” And the late actress Audrey Hepburn said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
I don’t know if Vladimir Putin, the despotic ruler of Russia, ever laughs. But here is what Russian writer and philosopher Fyodor Dostoyevsky had to say on the subject: “If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”
Then there is this rather practical point of view from an apparent religious guru, Swami Satchidonanda, in his book THE YOGA SUTRAS: “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?”
So in this issue I have focused on cartoons and essays that give you a chance to exercise your smiler — i.e., the muscles that cooperate to produce a big ol’ smile when you laugh about something.
So sit back and relax. Take this opportunity to laugh on the inside, and then — what the heck — let it fly. Laugh out loud and enjoy it.
Let’s get started.
In Observation of Tolerance
by Jiggs McDonald
(Mr. McDonald, a broadcaster in the National Hockey League’s Hall of Fame, made these statements before an audience in Toronto, Canada. Sent to me by a friend in Bakersfield, Calif., a town with a high threshold for tolerance. After all, they let Buck Owens & His Buckeroos live there for decades.)
I am truly perplexed that so many of my friends are against another mosque being built in Toronto. I think it should be the goal of every Canadian to be tolerant regardless of their religious beliefs. Thus the mosque should be allowed, in an effort to promote tolerance.
That is why I also propose that two nightclubs be opened next door to the mosque; thereby promoting tolerance from within the mosque. We could call one of the clubs, which would be gay, “The Turban Cowboy,” and the other, a topless bar, would be called “You Mecca Me Hot.”
Next door should be a butcher shop that specializes in pork, and adjacent to that an open-pit barbecue pork restaurant, called “Iraq of Ribs.”
Across the street there could be a lingerie store called “Victoria Keeps Nothing Secret,” with sexy mannequins in the window modeling the goods”, and on the other side a liquor store called “Morehammered.”
All of this would encourage Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand of us.
[Someone else added this footnote: Yes we should promote tolerance, and you can do your part by passing this on. And if you are not laughing or smiling at this point . . . , it is either past your bedtime, . . . or its midnight at the oasis and time to put your camel to bed.]
Vice-President Pence & President Donald Trump
doing a celebratory dance at their inauguration.
[Aw, relax. I’m a Republican . . . with a sense of humor.]
See there, now don’t you feel better? I sure do hope so.
RESOURCES FOR YOU:
Briar, Jeffrey. The Laughter Yoga Book: Laugh Yourself to Better Health.
F., ED. God Grant Me the Laughter: A Treasury of Twelve Step Humor.
Goodheart, Annette. Laughter Therapy: How to Laugh About Everything in Your Life That Isn’t Really Funny. King, Brian. The Laughing Cure: Emotional and Physical Healing: A Comedian Reveals Why Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine.
Laughter the Best Medicine: A Laugh-Out-Loud Collection of our Funniest Jokes, Quotes, Stories & Cartoons(Reader’s Digest): Editors of Reader’s Digest
Lloyd, Jessica. Laugh Your Way to Enlightenment: The Art of Spiritual Laughter
Martin, James. Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life.
McCloud, Ace. Laughter Therapy: Discover How to Use Laughter and Humor for Healing, Stress Relief, Improved Health and Increased Emotional Wellbeing.
Peter, Laurence. The Laughter Prescription.
Pierce, Chonda. Laughing in the Dark: A Comedian’s Journey through Depression.
Trueblood, Elton. The Humor of Christ.