The Revolution of Laughter



The Revolution of Laughter

There have been many revolutions in the past. There was the Protestant Reformation which sought to displace communities enslaved by the church and turn the focus of god’s love onto the individual (now you’re on you’re own). Then there was the industrial revolution which sought to displace the church with factories so that everyone could have stuff in between their 12 hour shifts in the mines or the mills. Our modern era also saw the Feminist Revolution, which sought to spread the pain of males onto most industrious and ambitious women. But they didn’t get off the hook so easily. They were still the baby makers, as well as the baby watchers, as well as the workers. All hail the revolution. And then there was the information revolution, which was mostly bullshit, but it did produce the internet, without which I would never write these words.

And, of course, there was the greatest revolution of all, the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago, which got started in the plains between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now the despoiled nation of Iraq. This, pretty much, started the whole engine of personal debasement and personal elevation. Before that people were mostly nomads moving along the paths of animals, working now and then to get food, telling lots of stories, and generally ‘kibitzing’ their days with gossip and merriment. Neither their birth or their deaths signified all that much. People, like clouds, floated ephemerally across the wide sky and then were never seen again.

Such is the preciousness of this life now.

Revolutions never ended what preceded them. Rather they added a new level which changed how many people lived their lives, but, for the most part, life for most people changed very little. Ask anyone living in the back country of India, China, and much of Africa. Often for these largely unseen multitudes (who die by the thousand with every flood and avalanche) the biggest change is the near miraculous appearance of metal crockery.

We can see that the general trend of revolutions was to atomize society. We moved from the vast, undifferentiated masses of field workers that characterized most of human history to the age of enlightenment, which celebrated the uniqueness of each person’s human spirit. Now with the age of the Internet, we seem to be moving back into vast groups of largely undifferentiated hordes of sitter-arounders that spend many, many hours gazing into brightly lit screens seeking something, anything, to break the crushing monotony of modern life. I wish you good luck with this.

Meanwhile, we don’t have to wonder why people are getting bigger and fatter.

Most revolutions have been serious affairs. We “must” do this or that and we must do it now. We must get more serious about our lives. We have to produce. We have to become somebody. We have to, have to, have to, and then at the end of the day we are amazed that even the simple act of sleep eludes us.

These very serious men and a few women have been our leaders for thousands of years and as far as I can tell, they have done a terrific job of not only making life an arduous struggle for most of the world’s disenfranchised people, but have now brought the planet to a place that is making it unlivable for most of the planet’s species.

This is the crime of seriousness. For all we know, and I really don’t know how much we know. It seems that from one perspective we really know a lot, but from another we know nearly nothing, but at our current level of knowledge we do know that this is the body in the universe with life. And we are working day and night to killing most of that life from all the carbons we drive into the atmosphere, the mountains of plastic crap we freely dump into the oceans, and the zillions of gallons of toxic everything that we blithely pour into our rivers.

We have turned this magical planet into a steaming trash dump and our primary concern (a very serious concern at that) is how can we produce more jobs so that we can consume more, so that we can dump even more shit into our own homes.

Does this make any sense to you? It only makes sense if you’re crazy and hypnotized by this society that is oh so serious.

I now say that the task of the next revolution is to make an utter mockery of all the revolutions that have preceded this very moment. I say it’s time to give “this” up with all of its sternly serious intentions and starting exploring where laughter might take us.

Did you know that most child abusers and murderers and heads of state have dedicated their small lives to seriousness? They are serious because they have been Wounded and in the challenge of making believe that the Wound is not their own, they have adopted a life that is strangely serious, taxing on others, and otherwise banal to the extreme. They have a very hard time getting over themselves. Isn’t this true for most of us (see Liberation from the Lie for all the interesting details).

Religion and philosophy are another dreary and serious region, but please don’t get me started with that one. I’ve even heard that people meditate for years so that they can have the very brief thrill that laughter could have delivered with so much less effort and self-infatuation.


Schools are another very serious venue. Let’s face it, when you boil it all down, schools teach only one thing and that’s obedience. Anyone with an IQ over 90 can do the vast bulk of most school assignments and we’d be a planet of straight “A” (ok, a B+ here and there) students if everyone just marched in step with the layers of rules and authority that education celebrates every shitty day in the schools of the world.

I suggest that the only way out is laughter. Where will laughter and smiles take us? Who knows, but let’s find out.

Very few people will take this post seriously (loud laughter) and the reason why is that they are too serious. They will see these words as frivolous. They might even claim that I am immature. Well, if they are the ideal of maturity, then I say, they can keep their maturity in their tightly zipped pants and get on with the job of fucking the planet.

But I say the time for real revolution is overdue. The planetary death clock is ticking and if anything on this very small planet is serious, then it must be that. Let’s just start getting over ourselves and are very serious identities. If you say you’re an American (with an exclamation mark), then I will say that you are deluded. There is no America. If you say, I’m a Jew/Muslim/Christian/Hindu/Buddhist/whatever, then I say you are deluded. And even if you say you’re middle class (now that’s funny) and I will also say that you claim more class than you actually possess.

Spare us the weight of your many identities and wake up to the magic of living with a simple smile. We are enslaved by our identities. We are human beings way before we are any identity and we are animals before that and before that we are life itself!!!!!!!!

I suspect that the Revolution of Laughter will wake us from our identity driven slumber and take us back to Life.

If you want to get people laughing, then I ask you to spread these words. As Tom Robbins once said, I didn’t show up for work today. I called in well.




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  1. #1 by muselady11 on August 11, 2010 - 12:15 pm

    Great, Eric! Tom Robbins is very good to end with, since he does not take much of anything seriously, particularly large, serious topics like religion, philosophy, mysticism and sexuality. A fine example.
    But, hey, the planet’s not doomed. She’ll do just fine, probably better without us. See what she’s doing to the Gulf of Mexico? Actually decided to tidy it up a bit for us. Life is never doomed. Humans, on the other hand, are quite expendable. I’m sure we don’t want to go extinct, but it looks like Mother Earth got over the loss of the dinosaurs quite nicely. Loved your analysis of the revolutions, though. Agriculture was the beginning of real human exploitation through fear and unrealistic expectation. We’ll see if we can simplify and get back in harmony with the Earth. If not, I understand that after 10,000 years of no humans, only Mt. Rushmore will still show that we were here. We really need to get over ourselves.

    • #2 by Eric on August 11, 2010 - 1:41 pm

      Thank you. While I agree with everything in your note – that the Earth will do quite well without us, that is nonetheless a message that I find somewhat dis-spiriting. I, for one, enjoy life. And yes, while we are busy at work making the planet unlivable for many of our fellow plants and animals, it’s not like we are the asteroid that struck the Earth wiping out the dinosaurs and many other species 65 million years ago. We are sufficiently self-conscious to SEE the consequences of our actions and beliefs to make the changes to bring healing to our lives and to the planet.

  2. #3 by The art of war on August 25, 2010 - 5:21 am

    今回のトークショー「 …

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