It was good to see President Obama trading laughs and jokes with both sides of the Congressional aisle, as well as the press at the annual White House Correspondents' dinner this past weekend.
I like when guys with so much stress can actual poke fun at themselves and other people.
I could definitely use a laugh or two right about now.
And so could the entire world.
Normally, news about disastrous oil spills, civilly disruptive immigration laws and massive volcanic eruptions give me plenty of story ideas (hey, I'm a science fiction writer, okay?).
It's just that no one seems able to laugh. Millions of people, including thousands of griping American tourists, were stuck in Europe by a giant ash cloud (talk about an ash kicking). Of course, that wasn't nearly as bad as the black cloud hanging over Europe because Greece's finances are in arrears (I know the world needs laughter, but that's as close as I'll get with the "back door" jokes).
Even worse is the black "plague" of oil spreading out across the Gulf of Mexico. Livelihoods are about to go belly up, tourism is going to fade and five states are going to feel a huge pinch in revenue. On top of all this, gas prices are certain to go up, as will the price of a meal at the average seafood restaurant.
And what makes it all the more aggravating is that America is already doing itself in. Do we really need our allies -- "British" Petroleum and Toyota Japan -- helping us along to the grave?
The only "good" news is that we should finally stop hearing people talking about the benefits of off-shore drilling. Politics aside, that phrase had been done to death.
Anyway, all this makes me wonder when it's supposed to get better? Even Children of Men had a somewhat happy ending. Our little planet seems closer to 2012 only with much better acting and more believability.
When do we get to a Brave New World ?
I mean even this season's plot for 24 is rather nonplussed.
The rallies over the new Arizona immigration law are more exciting than Jack Bauer right now. Maybe immigration should have been the plotline. Think about it. Mexico warns it citizens to avoid Arizona (like they'll listen) for fear of being arrested. Obama and the U.S. warn Americans to avoid northern Mexico for fear of being shot by drug gangs (better to be killed at home by drug gangs). Arizona cops begin profiling (borrowing the NYPD's playbook from the 20th century). Tens of thousands of people protest, including a lot of illegals who probably should not be tempting cops right now.Tensions threaten to tear the U.S.-Mexico border apart and only Jack Bauer can stop them (with no help from Freddie Prinze Jr. because he'll spend most of his time trying to convince the cops that he is a citizen).
We need some laughs right now. Sometimes I just want to give the world the finger, but I can't because I've got a hole in it. Ingrown nail and enough...er, stuff to fill the cap of the hydrogen peroxide bottle. When I lanced it, I was laughing about as much as when I found out that Georgia has an ad valorem tax on the value of citizens' cars that gets added to registration fees (my bill was $206! -- in Texas, it was $68).
Please, give me some laughs. And not the late night white bread variety. Or the Comedy Central crap that most of us can't repeat in the office for fear of being sued for sexual or racial harassment. And none of the fake laughing I had to do during the 14-hour filming marathons for 187 Detroit with Mike Imperioli and James McDaniel, and Franklin & Bash with Mark Paul Gosselar and Malcolm McDowell. I think that was fatigue setting in when it was 30 degrees and dropping.
No, we need that self-deprecating humor that relieves tension and helps us laugh along with everyone else at the office, even the guys that drive us nuts.
We need to find the kind of levity we can all agree on. Like instead of making controversial immigration laws with 100 useful ideas and one really, really bad idea, we make one where kids pull their pants up. Or maybe we talk about ways of forcing Wal-Mart to bar women who think they have the bodies to wear tee shirts one size too small, making the rest of us have to look at their muffin tops.
Yeah, some really good, safe humor would work right about now.
Then, we can get on about our daily routines and maybe even get back to the writing we abandoned three weeks ago due to stress and seemingly endless distractions.
It's time for the "pun"-dits to speak.
And may they have better humor than me.