Permission to laugh

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Eighteen days before the 27th season of Saturday Night Live was scheduled to air, the September 11, 2001 attacks took place in New York City. The season premiere went on as scheduled, with a special cold opening by then mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. Flanked by the firefighters and police officers of New York, he declared that despite the terrorist attack, New York City would run as normal and Saturday Night Live will go on as planned. What I remember most about that opening was the question posed by the show’s producer Lorne Michaels: “Can we be funny?”, to which Giuliani responded, “Why start now?”

Overwhelmed by the pain and suffering caused by the natural disasters in Japan, deeply disturbed by the government of Libya killing its own people and feeling the weight of what seems to be nothing but bad news, I find myself asking the same question Michaels posed on SNL: “Can I be funny? (To which you may be thinking, “Why start now?”) Is it okay to write about all the stupid and ridiculous things I tend to gravitate towards on this blog when there’s so much suffering going on in the world?”

I think the answer to that question is yes. Because there will always be sadness and suffering in this world. There will most probably be moments in our lives where nothing seems funny. Last week I wanted to wallow in my sadness. Being stupid and ridiculous seemed just that–stupid and ridiculous. Not funny.

But you know what’s funny?

image from

Me wanting to wallow in sadness like some horrible suburban emo kid who ignores all the wonderfully beautiful things of this life. Things like making fun of emo kids:

That video still makes me smile.

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