Good people! Nay, only people! (For goodness is a notion bound to make an already complicated matter even more wretchedly complicated.) I come to you with a grave warning about society at large! We are being monstrously demoralized and hoodwinked before our very eyes and ears and noses and mouths! We are being manipulated to our very cores and back again! We are being moulded by our own impressionable minds! People, oh people, we are being pervaded by a most unholy and most unclean mechanical operation! It is a most arduous matter and can no longer be ignored! It is a most insidious manifestation, concealed within educational texts, the same texts that are meant to empower and inspire today’s youth! Beware, our laughter has been corrupted!
Official officials were first alerted to the situation when reports of unusual occurrences at a local downtown comedy club arose last month. Jack Russell, a thirty-four-year-old comedian who has been touring the national comedic stage for the past decade, experienced an unusual bout of seriousness while mid-jest. During his last performance at the Twitchy Toe, patrons were alarmed to find that Mr. Russell was not funny. Sometime last week, Mr. Russell, much to his private amusement, allegedly ran out of dental floss. He told reporters that he couldn’t believe the sudden emptiness. He is still reeling from the realization that the tiny white spool resting cozily behind his bathroom mirror actually ran out, right there in his hands. He compares it to losing the companionship of a faithful friend, someone who has consistently been there for him whenever needed to get out of a sticky situation. He compares it to a death. He told his audience at the Twitchy Toe his feelings the other night in what was anticipated to be “a routine that moved beyond hilarity.” The audience didn’t get it.
It seems gaiety is a concept that has melted away from poor Mr. Russell and numerous others. Extensive psychological testing revealed startling results concerning the learning process so many are blindly indoctrinated into by society. Mr. Russell has been programmed to such a level to tune into the “logical” that he can no longer fathom the “illogical” unless it is an attempt to define it by some musing of logic, which is, of course, logically, illogical. In other words, this diagnosis means that Mr. Russell, and individuals like him, simply cannot partake in random funny happenings, because funny things are more often illogical bits of randomness than any step-by-step formalized construction. Laughter in and of itself is not a linear production, but more a sporadic outburst of carefree emotion, which again cannot be predicted or quantified. According to the medical definition, Jack is not what you would call a natural comedian. He . . . (WARNING: the following statement may be disturbing for some viewers) studiedcomedy.
Official officials believe the origins of the spreading non-funniness epidemic to be rooted in the North American educational system, specifically its universities, like the one attended by Jack Russell. Attempts to streamline comedy into a mainstream pool of academic thought have ultimately corrupted the fundamental free-ranging nonsense that has defined comedy for generations. Indeed, Russell actually read theoretical literature about comedy and more abhorrently, digested that literature as concrete fact, which then became incorporated into his everyday life. Exactly why Russell’s past lessons have decided to emerge problematic now remains a mystery, though medical professionals hypothesize that fluctuating environmental changes may be a contributing cause.
Recent psychological and emotional studies have revealed that nothing takes the funny out of funny like explaining why something is funny. The irony that underpins this situation is devastating, yet Jack Russell remains standing in his violet-striped tie and tacky green blazer in open-mic comedy clubs week after torturous un-laughing week, bravely declaring to reporters that “the show must go on!”
Investigators believe that Jack Russell, along with so many others in recent weeks, have fallen victim to a romanticism of the elusive punchline. Rather than quest after the joke, people are now searching for the reason behind the laugh. It is an infuriating phenomenon to observe, comparable to watching the so-called renowned art appraisers ooh and aah over the paint splattering of a three-year-old chimpanzee; or the supposed wine connoisseurs, who flamboyantly salivate over the most exquisite wine from a lineup of unmarked glasses, only to find that all are poured from the exact same bottle. In both cases, it becomes clear that definition is arbitrarily appraised. However, definition, as we shall explore, is not the point. A thing is what it is merely because somebody somewhere says it is, isn’t it? Things like emotion all too often become muddled by words, so much so that in our attempts to explain, we simply cannot articulate. Likewise, the notion of humour becomes muddled, indeed confounded, if explored or rationalized too strongly — as its recent inhibitions have demonstrated.
The monopolization of humour and laughter by over-thinking harbours some severe and even potentially dangerous consequences, official officials say. Suspicious camps, who have requested to remain anonymous, have theorized that some more sinister motivations linger beneath the surface of this growing unfunniness epidemic. Some believe that a corrupt pharmaceutical drive lingers behind the systematic institutionalizing of humour. Laughter is indicatively known as the “best medicine” and by far the most effective cure for most emotional ailments. By eliciting an academic haze over humour in general, the resulting laughter is thus curbed and relatively contained, meaning that more and more people will be forced to turn to major drug companies in order to maintain their health and happiness.
Other societal factions have pronounced concerns that the emerging monopolization of humour by the pharmaceutical industry is actually a ploy to extend military control over the population. For decades laughter has been employed as a brutal, yet acceptable, means of public chastisement, or as a method of correcting deviant social behaviour. Thus, laughter has been known to retain an element of viciousness within its methodology, since any kind of corrective antidote inevitably requires a degree of brutality to it. Concerned parties worry that what was once a self-constructed social corrective tool has been taken over by authoritative forces to exert a furthered control over the public domain. An obviously social gesture, laughter then becomes morphed into the modern Machiavellian policeman, patrolling the social graces of every individual citizen.
Whether this possibility is a negative social occurrence depends greatly upon individual views and opinions of the state. However, as citizens of the post-9/11 age, wherein terrorism is a daily threat, we are forced to query how effective this social surveillance procedure could be used overseas to aid in the war on terror. Potentially, the militarization of laughter or humor, or indeed laughter and humour as a killer combo force, could cripple aggressors and give Western forces a significant advantage. Yet, as with any power, the possibility of abuse comes into play. Laughing pains were already a problematic byproduct of excessive laughter before the epidemic. Social subsets warn that in the wrong hands, laughter could in fact become a grossly misconstrued resource on the military playing field.
Although official officials have declared in repeated public statements that the unfunniness epidemic is in no way linked to any of the conspiratorial theories that have emerged, they do stress the severity of the situation at hand. All media agencies are currently hard at work warning the public to carefully monitor their moods and report any unusual moods to local medical authorities. Proposed treatments for individuals who have fallen exceptionally blue and dull include unrelenting tickling and strict diets of chocolate and sugar until a more permanent solution can be conceived.
As for Jack Russell, who remains unconvinced of the epidemic’s seriousness and its impact upon his professional situation, he has his own theory for the sudden morose nature of his routine: he blames the audience. Jack Russell announced that he read somewhere that the more people there are in an audience, the more likelihood there is for increased laughter. Now Jack blames the venues and the limited audience he attracts, ignoring the fact that both change from week to week and still there is no laughter happening. Apparently he forgets that he is the only common element in each performance, or perhaps his absentmindedness is yet another result of the brainwashing that education has induced upon his person.
There, I have done my job now. I have reported to you a story that may or may not be true, like so many stories today. Perhaps you even discovered your own story or idea within the tale I told — that is if you were clever enough, of course. Don’t worry if you’re not. It takes a special kind of person to follow a loopy nature in and between horizontal lines.