We live in a world where everyone thinks that they’re funnier than they really are. Myself included. Now, unless you’re Louis C.K., this can be a hard thing to gauge. I’ve come to believe that most laughter in life, no matter how boisterous, is faked. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. Much of the time, people are laughing to help sustain or bolster a comrades ego. We’re compassionate and enjoy making others feel good about themselves. On the other hand, we want people to think we’re better than we truthfully are, so we smile and cackle even if what we’re really doing is silently judging another as vapid or mundane.
A few years ago, I worked near the digital manager’s section at a once sprawling Canadian media empire. While I understand the need to suck up to one’s boss, the amount of outlandish hysterics coming from those glassed-off offices would have been enough to warrant many 72-hour check-ins to CAMH had it not been apparent that all people were doing was trying to climb the corporate ladder, one mouthful of kissed-ass at a time. That, or they were wasted; which might explain why the organization didn’t quite make it.
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
- C.S. Lewis
While we may not all believe in the God of no particular particle, the concept of Sin is still deeply embedded in our psyches. It’s impossible to exist without holding on to some concept of having a soul (save for true sociopaths), so we feel like we should strive to be good. It’s here where the wires seem to tangle in regards to what constitutes “good humour”. Put simply, everyone has varying tastes. That being said, pretending to like someone isn’t exactly saintly. So, when we laugh for the expressed purpose of personal gain, are we being supportive or greedy? If fake-laughing is Greed (a Sin), how can anyone claim to be pious?… Are we all damned to The Burning Hell?!
Recently, my roommate made the news when he got lost in the woods for 24 hours. He was rescued by helicopter. One of the first comments shared by my other roommate, who himself made headlines not 4 months prior when he was hit by a streetcar, was “You’re next.” While this was actually kind of funny, it was not. This was not a conclusion I would have come to naturally. Now, I sit here wondering what headline my unholy existence will bring about…
Man trips, falls off bridge, uses hobo as landing pad
“Writer” manages to overdose on Tropicana
Drunk man licks exposed light bulb – brain dead
Surely the latter would be entirely on me, but I don’t believe in knocking on wood (I did it just in case). Both roommates were told by relatives that they should go to church and thank God they made it. I guess I could do that. Repent ahead of time; hoping that admitting I’m human and don’t always follow the rules/fake it somehow appeases God’s need to punish me. Unfortunately, I can only adhere to one religion at a time, and know of no Pastafarian chapters in the area.
My life has seen me touch on most, if not all of the Seven Deadly Sins. Until now, I’ve always taken it as experience, apologized where appropriate/remembered and moved on. Rarely has my behaviour queued up the instinct to apologize to G-O-D. But after a great weekend, where I could count my Sin with the fingers of one hand, why am I being prompted to pray? More importantly, why do I care? Isn’t caring about caring enough? I hope so, because this is probably as close to a steeple as I’m getting with this confession…
Dear Internet, can you hear me?
Please forgive my trespasses, for I have Sinned. I did it not with the intention of disrespect to your many moral principles, but in the name of truth and contentment. I realize that my licentiousness can bare consequence, but believe the direct impact to be of appropriate karmic-girth to illicit personal growth. You see, I’ve always found the most exciting things in life to be those that bring about a slight-to-moderate feeling of discomfort: Love, lust, jealously, drinking, J-walking, ordering-in when there’s food in the fridge, video games, spending more money than I have, television, happenstantial late-night public urination, vanity, wearing socks with sandals, ironically amassing a collection of god-pamphlets, being honest…
I hope that as a forgiving Internet/God, you will understand that I was just following my gut and backing down from the argument when my brain said I was going the wrong way. But don’t worry, the horizon of my life is clear. With age, I have noticed that past experiences diminish the will to throw caution to the wind, and I am certainly getting older.
I repent. Please don’t put me in the news for something terrible. I swear I’ll only laugh at things that are truly funny.
Amen and 3 Hail Mary’s.