I write suspense/thriller stories. While there is humor interjected in some scenes it’s not like anyone is going to pull one of my books off the shelf looking for a good laugh. Ain’t happenin’.
Quirky shows, smart writers of smarter dialogue, natural comedians—all of these I enjoy. But these things are being covered well by my fellow Mysteristas this month.
So I decided to put on my Thriller Writer hat and dig a little.
What’s not to like about humor and laughter?
Turns out, there are a few things:
- What about the bully in school? The target of derision is laughed at because everyone else wants to ‘fit in’ and the bully is laying down exactly what those rules are;
- I go back and forth with Don Rickles and other comedians like him. While we can see flashes of huge, raw and tender compassion (and hear about it being part of his personal life), he was known professionally for mean comments that tore people down by splitting open their failings and splaying the wounds. Would he have been successful today? I sincerely doubt it;
- Mental health issues abound in our society (don’t get me started on why I believe they’ve grown to such remarkable levels), but there are adults who find suffering human beings funny. There are adults who are still the kids in the background when the bully in grade school makes fun of the different kid;
- How about when humor becomes a part of how to handle the job? Law enforcement officers who deal with deeply bad ‘products’ of our society on a daily basis, first responders who see the horror of a tragic event, ER staff who’ve come to the point that “treat ’em and street ’em” is about all they can emotionally handle? Does that make disrespecting another human being okay?
We’re living in a time and place that feels tenuous. Our daily news is filled with bad things we do to one another locally, and fear of what might happen next globally. So finding something that’s light and fluffy and silly can be a survival mechanism.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
But when you’re ready, when you’re feeling stronger, push out just a bit. Replace the fear you feel with love. Tear a piece of the bad thing away, stare it down, and laugh in its face because you’re better than whatever it represents. You know what’s right, you’re good, and you’re gonna win in the end.
It’s all better with friends.