Tuesday, March 25, 2008

UFOs, the Trickster and Humor

The Trickster is an inherent part of Fortean phenomena, including UFOs. That’s why, as I’ve said many times, things like the so-called UFO circus, the Raelians, ironies and synchronicities, surreal juxtapositions, the stonewalling by the infrastructure in regards to UFOs, the maddeningly elusive quality surrounding the indisputable authenticity of photographs, samples, castings, and recordings,hoaxers and pranksters, and the petty in-fighting will always be with us.

Which brings us to humor. Humor, like all things, has a range of styles. Some humor is barely humorous. There’s lame thick headed boorish humor, fart joke humor, cruel humor (laughing at people getting hurt, especially in the genitals) witty humor, cutting biting sarcastic humor, vaudeville humor, sex humor, all kinds of humor. Some humor isn’t funny. Some is hysterical.

Everything contains elements of humor. The Trickster knows this. Sometimes Trickster’s humor is playful and a bit of a tweak to us to remind us of things. Usually it’s to lighten up and not take ourselves too seriously all the time. Other times its humor is downright dangerous. But trying to think of the Trickster as without humor is ridiculous; the Trickster is all about humor.

The mistake some people make is in thinking that, because one laughs and sees the humor in things, the importance of that thing is trivialized. Depending on the type of humor this could be true. All those stupid jokes about “anal probes” - - enough already!

Encounters of the strange, whether it’s with aliens, UFOs, ghosts, Bigfoot, or Mothman often are very scary. There’s nothing funny about them.

Nor is the research itself a light hearted romp through curious minds.

But having fun at times, being funny, and seeing the humor in things is not hurting research, the self, or others, as long as you’re not making fun of.

The question is, are you having fun at your own expense, or others?

My husband and I make jokes all the time about UFOs and aliens. Don’t you think we both struggle with the weird things that have happened to us throughout our lives? Do you think it’s at all comfortable for us to know that we’ve experienced hours of missing time on two different occasions? That’s damn scary. It’s weird. It’s unpleasant to consider what the possible explanations are; from mental illness to government experiments to actual aliens from space. And yet we make jokes all the time. We have to.

Seeing the humor in things is a good thing, and often a healing thing. How many times in your life have you been in a crisis, and something, or someone, makes you laugh?

I’ll share a personal story that has nothing to do with UFOs or the weird. But it’s an example of humor in a seemingly inappropriate place. We went to the funeral home to my father’s memorial. Now, none of us had any money, including my deceased father. We barely scraped up enough to do what we did. My father was a riot, one hell of a funny man. He appreciated the funny goofy ironic things in life, the surreal, the absurd. So here we are, solemn, sad, in the little chapel, and here comes the funeral director, wheeling my dead father out on a trolley thing. Not the most delicate or classy of arrangements. Okay, so Dad was covered up with a sheet, but still. Now my Dad was a big guy, 6 feet 3 inches, and here he is, barely on this rickety metal table on wheels. And he starts to slide off! And the poor funeral director is trying to not notice it, but also trying to fix it, and my Dad’s body is sliding off. And you know what we all did? We started to laugh. We laughed so hard we cried. And laughed again. We laughed our asses off. Which mortified the funeral director. Which made us laugh even more. Sick? Not if you knew my Dad. (I love you Dad. . ) The point is, humor has its place in the world.

You have to see the humor in things, or you’ll go insane. Remember the television series M.A.S.H.? All that dark operating room humor. They weren’t making fun of patients, or the medical profession -- in fact, they took the work damn seriously. When it came to saving lives and helping others, they did not mess around. They knew very well the seriousness of the situation. I know M.A.S.H. was just a fictional television series and nothing like real life, including UFO real life, but it’s a good illustration of my point.

Who were considered the most useful, and immune to punishments from the ruling classes? The court jesters.

The point is the use and benefits of humor. Humor is like anything else; it can be abused, misused, misunderstood, certainly.

But to suggest that those exploring UFOlogy or other Fortean topics should not have fun at times, use or see the humor in things, is at best terribly narrow minded, and at worst, ignorant.

Besides, if you can’t see the humor for what it is within UFO studies and Forteana, you’re missing a huge part of what those are. There's nothing funny about that.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Funny, I was just writing about the same thing.

How can someone be human and not understand the value of humor, especially in the most important and even dire of circumstances? IMO, it is those types of circumstances where it is most valuable.