Monday, October 20, 2008

Tragedy

Hello everyone!

Lately I've been busy keeping track of all the racism, bigotry, and xenophobia on the part of McCain/Palin supporters during the past few weeks now that Obama has been pulling ahead in the polls. I've theorized that all this could lead to violence, but I figured it would be against Obama himself, not his supporters. Boy was I naive.

Yesterday, someone slashed the tires of over 30 cars parked outside an Obama rally. Two people in Chicago (of all places) have reportedly received death threats the other day for having Obama signs in their yards. And a dead black bear cub was found this morning dumped at a college campus "draped with a pair of Obama campaign signs." Classy, eh?

In my mind the best type of comedy is tragedy. When things are the most uncomfortable, the most pathetic, the saddest, it's a sort of natural instinct for me to laugh. That's always how I got through stressful situations in my life. Even what should be really bad movies can turn into fantastic comedies when the main character is a tragic figure. American Pie is a classic example. Jason Biggs's character is so unlucky, ignorant, and pitiful that when his father catches him having sex with a pie or when he's humiliated in front of the whole school because he's doesn't have a clue how to act with the exchange student, I not only have to laugh at the situation, but also empathize.

Sometimes, however, the tragedy overpowers the humor. When that happens, it's no longer funny--it's just sad. Whenever I see a photo like the one below, my first instinct is to laugh. It's not out of a feeling of superiority or anything like that, but rather because the situation is so sad and so absurd, and laughing is the only way to cope with it.



But then when I read the stories above, I realize this isn't funny. This is a symptom of the pervasive ignorance throughout so much of our country, ignorance that doesn't have to be. Tragedy overpowers humor.

Rob

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