What’s The Crack?

Jesus wept, Jesus wept;

He never laughed, just cried.

In all the Gospels, tell me once

Did he see the funny side?

 

Poor, lied-to, broken, holy man,

Who suffered for our sins,

If you believe, or not, by God,

He paid for all our grins.

 

Then don’t we owe it back to him

That we should crack our face,

With heavenward heads and howls of mirth

At our sweet, cracked, human race?

 

It is true that, though he weeps several times, Jesus never once laughs in the Gospels.  The only record of God laughing in the Old Testament is when he is deriding mankind’s weaknesses or laughing at us as he punishes us.  He relishes our pain.  If anyone can offer me another interpretation of that I am willing to hear it, I really am, because that is chilling whether you are a believer or not.  I don’t believe in God, who seems to me indifferent at best – and that’s using all my human charity – but I do believe in powerful stories and that they can be, in mysterious ways, truer than the “Truth.”  I think I believe in an extraordinary man called Jesus who had some sort of a handle on some sort of truth, and that’s the best I can do. 

Brought to you by a pain in-the-arse-day in bed with some virus that is making my neck feel like a knotty sapling.  Gah!

71 thoughts on “What’s The Crack?”

  1. I’ve been away, schlepping hot dogs at track meets and such. Not to mention a bit of a relapse with the EMBLOS’ health situation recently.

    Anyway, I’m pondering your, as usual marvelous thoughts, and will respond shortly.

    Goodness, I love this stuff. I know you don’t like single malt Scotch, but I’ll buy you a gin when I see you.

    Cheers, my friend.

  2. Dear ProblemChildBride,

    Thank you for not excoriating me for what I’ve posited here. I am finding it increasingly rare that folks will tolerate a serious discussion on anything. And yet here we are, seriously discussing that which is dear to all our hearts: laughter, humor; the giggles. In short, we are seriously discussing silliness (in all its wonderful forms).

    Can I continue our conversation without either trying your patience or boring you to tears? I hope so.

    I don’t think you’ve really addressed the questions I’ve raised. I have not said that ALL humor and laughter are born of morbidity. But surely much of our laughter comes from something less than what is best in humanity. I am sure it is hard for some of my readers to imagine that I am wildly committed to laughter, to playfulness and wit. I am tickled silly not merely by clever depictions of futility or the incongruous, but by giggling babies, bouncing puppies, and somersaulting bears. I love the simple things; I laugh freely and regularly.

    But the question remains: why do I laugh? Related to it is the inquiry as to why babies laugh. The broader question is what is the nature of humor: What are its qualities and characteristics, its essence and its accidents? Until we know these things — or so I feel — we can’t accurately conclude whether Jesus, the alleged incarnation of God, should be known for His laughter.

    Also, I think it’s important to note that the Gospel writers/redactors might actually be the humorless bunch: perhaps they were unable to show Jesus’ joy because they could not see or hear it.

    If we accept that SOME humor is born of the morbid, the dark, and the sinister; if we accept that some humor is born of envy, jealousy, spite and the appearance of superiority; if we accept that some humor is born of the incongruous, the illogical; if we accept that some humor is born of pain, coping, and even despair, then it seems evident that a God intent on healing us of our darkness and our mortality is not going to laugh at any of these things. Would Jesus laugh at the “absurdity” of life if He does not think it absurd? (And if life is truly absurd, how could we know it without reference to that which is not absurd?) If life is futile, would a God who denies that futility laugh at Sisyphean struggles? I don’t think He would.

    I know I already mentioned that Jesus apparently attracted children. I think such a “fact” significant. It is also clear that He enjoyed “paronomasia,” or the making of puns, and He understood and even employed ironic statements. These are all parts of humor, even if only small parts. Unfortunately we can’t access Jesus’ words in His original language, especially if His primary language was Aramaic. But in the end I am under the distinct impression that if Jesus laughed, He laughed at things that rarely make their way into the routines of stand-up comics, absurdists’ plays, or late-night TV. But Jesus loving the little children, well, that seems to me nothing but pure joy.

    Peace,

    BG

  3. Alas, dear Randall, I can’t fathom you should dare disagree with the All-knowing Moi! I shake with incredulity.

    I snicker in your general direction.

    Bliss!

    BG

  4. Hey Sam , Bill, remember the wedding feast, where they ran out of plonk? I think he musta smiled when asked to intervene. “ Fair nuff says He, the party must go on “, and correct me as I’m often light on detail, but did this one go on for a couple of days. And that loaves and fishes thing, surely at some stage he said “ More Peter? I weep H , feeding my flock! “

    Bill, I think the humour thing is more to do with today. These gospels as I remember them lack depth, and there’s too much down to interpretation and pretence. It’s the constriction and formality of today’s big religions. It’s not working, and they’re getting a lousy press recently.

    I wish you had thought me religion when I was younger Bill. I like your approach. Although I could never be a monastic monk which I believe is the only way I could accept all you say. But, I can go with a lot of it.

    Hey Sam, are you EVER coming back ?

  5. Knock, knock?

    Ahem?

    Hellooooooooooo?

    [Do you think the gales have blown her right away?]

    HELLOOOOOOOOOooooooooooOOOOOOh?

    Right, I’m going to have a nose around….

  6. what the boys said, sugar…and i might add, where the fuck are you? (silly southerner that i am) i miss you! 😉 xoxoxox

  7. Dear ProblemChildBride,

    I hope that the virus that was affecting you when you wrote your post in March was not an indicator of something more serious. Please know that I, too, am thinking of you (I know I am new here, but that does not limit my concern).

    Be well.

    BG

  8. Not only do I find it chilling that God doesn’t laugh, God also apparently gave us human suffering, disease and disasters. Cheers ‘Our Saviour’

    Tsk

  9. Not dead. Just busy. Thanks for your lovely messages, sweet peeps, I appreciate then all, I really do. I’m not the best at keeping up with and responding to people right now and I’m sorry about it. It means I don’t deserve my friends but I promise, if you’ve written and I haven’t replied yet, it’s truly nothing personal. Busy these days, is all. And follicle-rippingly disorganized to boot. Back soon.
    x

  10. I always liked the late Rev. Alan Watts’s idea (with which he once utterly shocked a TV interviewer into silence) that when Jesus said in the Sernon On The Mount that anyone guilty of murder would face the judgement of the court, while anyone who called someone else a fool would face hell fire, he was making a joke. And the “render unto Caesar” episode always makes me want to go “Ta-daaa!” at the end – it’s the kind of smart comeback you’d expect from a stand-up comic. Mayve not laughing, but I can’t believe Jesus wasn’t grinning from ear to ear as he high-fived the disciples after that one.

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