I often address serious situations, but I try to do it with humor when I can, which I’ll concede often appears more akin to sardonic wit—still, it is a version of humor. Some people ask me how I can laugh at anything currently happening in Seattle and to its police department. We have the city’s social justice reeducation/indoctrination day camps, DOJ’s implementation of a consent decree based upon false accusations and fabricated evidence, and the “nudge” toward radical political correctness by calls to avoid such viciously racist and bigoted words as, “brown bag” and “citizen. Oh! And how can anyone forget about Seattle police officers tasked with handing out bags of Doritos to potheads who are breaking the law right under their noses? Hmm, perhaps I should start handing out beer nuts to street folks drinking alcohol in public. Now that I think about it, this is all pretty funny without any—sardonic or otherwise—input from me.
Benjamin Franklin was well known for infusing humor into his writing and about very serious subjects such as, oh… British oppression, for example. “Hey, did I tell you the one about how King George wants to hang me?” But seriously, folks: At the signing at the Declaration of Independence, which I think we can all agree was a serious, if not solemn, occasion. Franklin quipped, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Now, that’s funny!
Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D., who writes a blog called, “Humor Matters,” says, “Humor is one of the healthiest and most powerful methods to help provide perspective on life’s difficult experiences, and it is frequently shared during periods of crisis.”
This brings me to three points regarding the issue: One, using humor in a serious situation can make that situation appear manageable and can improve morale among the suffering masses. Two, people should not take humor as showing disrespect for a serious issue; they should take the levity as an opportunity to vent stress. Three, and finally, as positive as humor can be in serious situations, it can also be hazardous, so one must be careful. One good rule: Say it in your head before it comes out of your mouth. If it does come out of your mouth before having been sufficiently and prudently filtered through your head… well, I can’t help you there.