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You're Too Damn Serious

It's bad for your relationships. (And your liver.)

By The Rogue ScribePublished 4 months ago 9 min read
Mona Ashley

I'm a firm believer that you absolutely must cultivate a good sense of humor in order to survive the human condition.

That is not even up for debate.

This is why on 6 out of 7 days, you can find me at the local grocery store with a gigantic smile hidden beneath my flawless beard. I secretly giggle my way past all those morons who refuse to show their receipts at the door; fully aware of my inner happiness.

Now, I'm not the funniest guy on earth, but I can make myself (and my wife) laugh every 5 minutes about things that most people would stress over. This includes things that personally affect me like bills, sickness, and that one time I crashed my car at 65 mph on the highway.

Hell, do you think I created Ashley The Clown just to turn everything in the world into some sort of crispy fried meme?

Well, yeah.

But also because the world is dangerously bereft of color and humor. It's only righteous of me to reintroduce a bit of it back in the best worst way possible.

Sure, like anything in life, too much of a good thing is never good. There's always a time and a place for everything - including joy and laughter.

My personal policy is somewhat safe. I don't laugh or joke where reverence or honor is due or when people are seriously injured - unless they're laughing with me. That's a free pass and I'll take those anytime I can, thank you very much.

But all seriousness aside, what's the point of looking at the world through this lens? What should we take seriously and when? Is laughter really the best medicine?

Well, let's talk about it.

The Concept of "The Joker"

By Marouane on Unsplash

If you're anything like me, here's some advice: cut it out.

Okay but really, if you're anything like me then you love studying concepts. One of my favorites is the concept of the Joker - or the Fool - which I learned when I was investigating Alan Watts' philosophical lectures some years back.

Given the topic, I feel it necessary to mention that I don't take everything this man has said as gospel. Just FYI, we're examining the wisdom behind the concept.

I would encourage you to read and/or listen to the entire lecture as it has some very interesting bits.

Source: Organism Earth

I remember, as a boy in London, going off into Hyde Park Corner and listening to people orate against anything they wanted to orate against. They could criticize and vilify, even, the most sacred institutions, and the police would stand by and pay no attention. Sort of lean against the lamppost and let it all go on. And that’s because the people, as a whole, in those days, had a tremendous sense of security. They knew they were right, and therefore there was no point stopping anybody from criticizing them. But when you’re not sure you’re right, you have to stifle criticism completely. And the worst kind of criticism is the person who pokes fun. Non-participation of the monk isn’t so bad. But the person who somehow suggests that society occasionally is something that needs to be giggled at—see, this is the whole position. The joker doesn’t outrightly deride things. He’s not a slapstick comedian. He gives people the giggles about things that they thought were terribly sacred. And that is extremely demoralizing.

Let's break this down a bit.

In my last book, one of the main points of discussion is Consequence. In context, when you explore your Passions, you have to be aware of their Consequences.

This serves as a reminder that you can't laugh at everything and everyone all the time without expecting to get punched in the mouth if you get out of line.

"It's just a prank, bro" is by far the most effective way to get body slammed and I wouldn't recommend it as a lifestyle.

Fear not, jokesters. I still side with you. (At least for now.)

On one end, we all have dreams and aspirations that we hold dear to our hearts. We lay foundations for ourselves and our loved ones that we defend tooth and nail.

By observing societal patterns and following the Unspoken Rules of the Sigma Male Warfare Handbook, I can confirm that if people took their beliefs 100% seriously without an ounce of flexibility (which is the direction we seem to be headed toward) then a large portion of the earth's population would be massacred overnight.

P.S. I made up the Sigma bit. Don't flame me for it.

Frankly, it's a miracle that we haven't already murdered one another and set our cities ablaze by now. Everyone's so "stressed" over trivial things that humor is taking a back seat.

Things people once found funny are now considered "triggering". You can't even go to a comedy special without a heckler shouting what a comedian can and can't joke about. Even trying to kindly point out the irrationality of participating in things you dislike is also "offensive"... So we stay "respectfully quiet".

We "agree to disagree".

There's truth in jest, and yes, it's supposed to sting a little bit. But that can get you canceled in today's world.

This is strange to me because you would think that people are hungry for the spicy truth. The kind of truth that when presented in jest, it's usually somewhat easier to digest. #bars

But no. Can't do that anymore. Got it.

That's probably also why I've seen more "influencers" and major brands wage war on vowels online. They censor words like s**c*d*, r*pe, and d**th. Apparently, people don't k*ll themselves now, they "unalive" themselves.

I mean, that's kind of funny I guess.

Not people unaliving themselves, that's not funny. Butchering the word is.

Hey, if we keep this pattern up, we'll be speaking in asterisks and emojis by 2025. Film and music will never be the same because words would have been robbed of their impact.

Nothing rustles my johnnies more than incomplete sentences.

Especially in the criminal justice system. #topramencomedy

This is disem-vowel-ment!

As if hiding some letters will change how people process the meaning of the intended word in their heads.

I don't know, does it? Can anyone vouch for this?

You can't seriously tell me it does anything, right? Isn't that the same as closing your eyes because you think it'll change the way your food tastes?

Is that even legal? I don't think it should be. Watch, I'm willing to bet there is someone out there right now who is closing their eyes and pretending one food to be another.

Word of advice: if you know anyone that takes carrots, shaves them into thin slices and calls them bacon, that's a red flag and you're probably next. Don't let them steal your food's chosen pronouns.

The Humor Formula

By Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

"B-but Rogue Scribe, we have to be respectful!"

Humor isn't complicated.

In my opinion, for something to be funny there has to be some level of trust and clear intent. The joke has to be good too, obviously.

Let's take trust and intent. Example: your closest friends will know what they can joke about with you because you already trust one another and you don't have ill intentions toward one another, right?


You wouldn't do the same with a complete stranger. Trust and intent are earned and learned. #brrrs

Unless the setting calls for it!

For example: if you willingly go to an improv show, even though you don't know ANYONE in there, by default you have to trust the performers will be funny and that they don't intend on personally attacking you.

But hey, if the shoe fits...

That brings me to the ultimate point: so what if the shoe fits?! Maybe there IS something wrong with you. Maybe you're so f*cking weird that it would be criminal to not laugh at you a bit. (To an extent, of course. Boundaries, bullies!)

Soooo what?

The irony of all this is that you can't really claim to take yourself seriously unless you're fully aware of ALL of the silly little things that make up your personal "life experience".

You can never have one without the other.

This is how I know that people who are all goo and no sprinkles or all sprinkles and no goo simply do not understand who they are or who they're pretending to be.

When you have a solid understanding of life and people, and you are genuinely interested in knowing how the gears spin from different angles, you'll find flaws eventually.

Face it. You're flawed.

It's inevitable.

When you dive into that rabbit hole, you're going to find a carrot and it's going to taste funny at some point. Especially if you eat it from the back.

So... I guess all I'm saying is: laugh a little more.

Because what's the alternative?

The only alternative is to take all of the strange things we say and do as the broken, damaged people we are and defend these values to the death. Damn it, I mean defending them to the cessation of life. I mean unaliving... You know what I mean.

But what kind of world would we have if we couldn't laugh at each other a bit?

What kind of lives would we have if we had to walk on eggshells all day worried that some wack job might truly be so entrenched in their "seriousness" that they willingly hurt you for jokingly pointing out one of their flaws?

That's virtually every road rage incident nowadays.

Think about it: Person sucks at driving. You honk at them. Surprise! Clown gets out of the car and shoots you.

Because "honking" in clown language is honking offensive and now you're dead. All for what?

Is that the kind of world you want? A world where armed clowns get to drive around and shoot people because THEY suck at driving?

Exactly. Welcome to Houston, TX.

Laugh a little. Don't take things so seriously, your liver will thank you.

Plus, you have better things to worry about. Like pretending that mushrooms taste like steak or arguing with strangers in the comment section of videos because you want to be right about one thing in your life.

(Hint: you're not.)

But hey, have at it. In the meantime, I'll honk at you next time.

Don't block me.

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About the Creator

The Rogue Scribe

Writer. Narrator. Author of 'The Art of Patience, Gratitude & Courage'.

I share fresh, fantastical, and sobering stories that either celebrate or challenge this wild world. Go rogue with me, and subscribe to support my wordsmithing.

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  • Nilanni Love4 months ago

    Loved your article, I do think we should laugh a little more. Now , I still believe that there is a fine line between jokingly laughing at someone and starting to act like a bully. It’s always good to think twice before you speak…you will still get to laugh here and there without the need of hurting others. And I also agree that going through videos now days , having to guess what the first word full of asterisks actually means is getting annoying. Either have them say it in a different way again or just don’t post it at all. The end.

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