We still remember laughter

A rose by any other name A4 lowres

Illustration: «A rose by any other name would still give you a hangover», A4, 2019, Moiret Allegiere

 
We still remember laughter, we, who once felt alive beneath the blue and slightly shimmering skies of never-ending summer vacations, we who spent our teenaged years poking fun at the absurdities and oddities of it all, we who were alive in this fantastic past; in the summers that seemed to stretch into infinity and then beyond infinity, transcending invisible barriers seen and felt by none and all.

We still remember laughter, we who used to hang upside down by our legs from the street-lamps, bottle in hand, roaring with laughter as midnight came crawling in. We still remember laughter.
We who came to grips with reality through the very simple understanding that we should not, would not, could not take this weird and wacky ride of life too seriously, lest we lose our minds and marbles in the abyss right below our feet.

We still remember fundamental humour – the fantastic sensation of being able to detach from and, through heartfelt and bellowing laughter, transcend, comprehend and come to terms with the grimmer aspects of life – to get to grips with the shadow side of humanity through humour blacker and gloomier than the goth-infused melodramatic doom metal of our formative years.

We still remember being able to laugh at ourselves, to have that shining spark of self-awareness, of self-reflection, of self-irony that made it possible to simplify the process of bettering the aspects of our selves worth bettering through self-deprecating humour; all in jest, and yet serious behind the mask and glowing veils of laughter hitting us all in the chest and mouth and face and ears with joy exuberant and bountiful, telling us in sensual whispers that the most important aspect of humanity is to laugh at oneself first and foremost; that laughter is the one unifying force of the universe.

We, who processed death and suffering just as much as we processed life and pleasure through the same fantastic metaphysical optics of laughter and humour as rejuvenating as the fountain of youth – we still remember laughter.
We, who accepted and came to terms with the grim and horrid spectacle of death, of depravity, of despair, of torture, of tragedy and of terror through laughter and morbid, grim humour, bringing tears to our eyes both serious and simple, making us able to find pleasure and solace in one simple fact of this absurdist theatre that is life: life makes fools of us all, and laughter separates the enlightened fools from the fools living in perpetual denial.

We still remember laughter.

We, whose sense of fun and of humour and of laughter even in the face of personal tragedy were enough to get us labelled as strict nihilists, even in our teenaged years, as depraved, jaded cynics, as unfeeling, uncaring sociopaths with no empathy for, nor understanding of, the plight and pain of others – even when the opposite is, was and always will be the truth.

We still remember laughter.

We who knew, without even having to think about it, that humour and laughter is, was and always will be the greatest weapon humanity has ever had – the greatest tool in existence to tear down the walls between us and the vast empty void of existence – to separate us from the empty black pit of despair that lies lurking just behind us in times of trials and of tribulations. We still remember laughter.

Oh yes: we still remember laughter, we who dwell in the realms of unsolicited giggles, sniggers, snorts and various ululations of merriment and joy.
We who still remember giggling in principals offices when, having been caught in some trespass of authority or other, the hammer of judgement was coming down and we cleared our nervous system of nervous trepidations through barely contained humour, perceived, perhaps, as lack of respect, but being quite clearly a mechanism to detach and deal and cope.
Oh, yes: we still remember laughing at the absurdity of it all, at the great abyss that awaits us all at the end of our life. How should one – no – how could one come to grips with the finality of death without being able to laugh at it? How does one keep the joy of life alive when faced with the absolute inevitability of death?

Remember laughter.

We still remember humour.
We still remember laughter.

And we still remember the hushed voices, the looks of discontent, of disbelief, of quit-it-you-punks from those who did not see, nor care to understand, the amount of elation and salvation lying hidden in the simple act of laughing and seeing the light shining through the darkness which seemed to be coming down in full fucking force – to laugh, to laugh, to laugh and as such to understand, comprehend, process and become whole once again after tragedy struck and then be prepared for when tragedy will strike again. A coping mechanism for the enlightened individual, who has realised how laughter is used and at what – or at whom – it is aimed, when and where and how it actually works, a fantastic ability to find something to laugh at, even in the grimmer moments of life, even when the entire world crumbles and falls to the ground around oneself – this one core strength of humanity stands unbeaten still, in the era of censorship and hurt fee-fees.

Still we will remember laughter.

We remember still, in nightmares fuelled by grim spectres floating by and atop and underneath us all, the voices telling us to not laugh, to not crack jokes, to not bring our sense of despair to a fantastic boil-and-let-the-steam-go through bursts of unhinged, unbridled, unstopped emotions, bellowing at the top of our lungs, roaring with magnificent laughter, grim as grim may be maybe, but turning the grim realities of whichever topic was at hand on its head and making us understand and come to terms with it. And the cultural fever-dream we inhabit dare make the claim that men do not deal with their emotions properly! Maybe it is them who do not deal, but choose to hide neuroticism and inabilities to cope with difficulties behind a mask of severe offence; telling others to not cope as they see fit because they themselves are unable to deal with their emotions in a functional and healthy manner; making others submit to their will and whims and flights of fancy instead of learning how to deal with things themselves.

We still remember laughter – Even when displeased looks from teachers or from parents or from passers-by made it clear that this was not suitable, this was not the proper way of dealing with things – that it was, in fact, better to keep the mask of silent subjugation in place and not to laugh, never laugh, never crack jokes darker than the dried up chambers of a politicians heart to lighten the mood and turn it upside-down and inside-out for our benefit and for the great and grand and glorious lightening of the mood.
There are plenty out there who do not deal with life, who take life far too seriously and as such are unable to comprehend the extreme pleasure, the fantastic catch-and-release of emotion that laughter, humour, merriment and dark, morbid grim and final jokes make possible.
Those who cling to suffering like the last few drops of wine cling to the side of the bottle, refusing to come out and play.
Those who are scared, who are trapped within a prison of their own design, who will not, can not, dare not transcend difficulties through laughter and as such refuse others the joy of transcending, understanding and coping through laughter.
Those who wish to subjugate others to their will instead of appreciating the perspectives and coping-mechanisms of others, those who impose their will and lack of humour and understanding and remembrance of laughter upon others because they deem themselves to be above those who transcend the realms of suffering for subconsciously wanting to stay trapped within suffering.

Those who do not gaze into the darkness will never see the light shining within. Those who are unable to laugh or to let others laugh for lack of understanding and of comprehension of the very human urge to transcend tragedies, travesties, torture and terror will never understand and will never fully see the full release of terror from themselves, because they refuse to see themselves fully and wholly; they refuse to understand that laughing at suffering is not a mockery of those who suffer, but a mockery of those who make others suffer. That laughing at those who make others suffer turns a tyrant into nothing but a fleeting joke, an effigy that burns just as easily as any other effigy, that laughing at evil acts and deeds is not a laughter aimed at those who are made to suffer from said evil acts and deeds, but a disarming of the evil in and off itself; a way to make the darkness less dark, a fleeting candle in the dark which will light the way and make the darkness easier to get through.
Comprehension of the dark through the shining beacon of laughter is a very real thing, and something that should never be made to disappear.
Why do you think that tyrants always crack down on jokes made at their expense? Why do you think that humour is the first to go in the great purge, and yet the first – maybe even the only – thing that survives and raises its head once again from the remaining ashes of the purge; blowing, as only it can, on the embers of hope?

Oh yes; we still remember laughter, we who were told that our jokes and our humour was unsuitable, we whose jokes and whose laughter was suppressed by miniature tyrants who themselves were unable to crack a joke or smile a smile at the expense of themselves first and foremost, whose neuroticism enabled them not to have a crack and a go at themselves, but enabled them to crack down on the coping mechanisms of others because the mechanisms of others did not align with the un-lubed mechanism of their selves, all fragility and hopelessness and despair when faced with others who made coping with the dark and the shadow and the abyss a simple matter of catch, release, let go through laughter.

We still remember laughter, even beneath these oppressive skies of do-not-laugh, do-only-weep and do-not-be-humanity.
We still remember laughter, even in the face of those who wish to make fully automated machines of us all, who wish to dictate what is and what is not funny.

We still remember laughter.

And we still remember the class-room saints who proclaimed loudly for one and all that they were offended – highly offended – by our fits of laughter when watching videos or hearing tales read from ancient dusty tomes of wisdom of some tragedy or other, be that tragedy personal or societal, from something that happened and which we, through our laughter and through our cracking of jokes made easily digestible and as such something possible to understand, something whose claws would not dig deep into our shoulders and make a burden of itself and thusly a burden of our life.

We still remember jokes and humour and laughter and – most of all – being happy to be just where we were.

We still remember laughter.

Even in the here-and-now, where it is nigh impossible to laugh and nigh impossible to smile lest the full frenzied fury of the mob comes cracking down.

We still remember laughter.

Even in the here-and-now where the politically correct madness is rampaging through our very humanity, being arrogant enough as to proclaim that our way of coping with difficulties is inappropriate, even when the justice legionaries takes a sledgehammer to our teeth and vibrating diaphragm.

We still remember laughter – even when facing down totalitarianism reaching into the core of our being, cracking down on jokes said to be offensive as if those who are able to laugh in the face of tragedy are the ones at fault, not the ones who are unable to do anything but sneer and frown and grimace with self-aggrandizing dissatisfaction.

We still remember laughter, those of us who were able to, and are able to, come to terms with the very simple fact that we are all going to die, and as such, it is best to enjoy oneself and deal with the suffering and pleasure of life simultaneously, drawing strength from the one fantastic force that we all have in common, the force that ought to unify us and make us see both each other and our selves mirrored in a shining smile, overcoming any-and-all through laughing at the absurdity that is life.

We still remember laughter.

 

  • Moiret Allegiere, 27.03.2019

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