Laughter: the infallible remedy

March 3, 2013 00:01 0 comments

I am – badly – plagiarizing this formidable title from the magazine ‘Selecciones’ from the Readers Digest that I read during my childhood.

.

La risa remedio  18Armando Orozco Tovar

.

I am killing myself laughing right now at remembering the practice of covering these magazines in leather and hiding them; at what would they have stopped?

Reading them as if they were pornographic magazines in the bathroom, for me, stole the enjoyment of their true reading, indulged by famous writers interviewed for radio: “as a child, I read Salgari to Mark Twain, The Thousand and One Nights and so on.”

La risa remedio  2How embarrassing to reveal to these greats that I only did it with comics (as they are called): Tarzan, The Monkey Man, The Ghost, The Black Hawks that couldn’t defeat the Koreans in Korea; The Saint, a Mexican fighter, The Red Grasshopper’s predecessor, and the vampire with a black cape (Batman) and adolescent love. Oh, I had forgotten: Mandrake the Magician with his slave Lothar, and Dick Tracy, with a wristwatch that had today’s internet, how advanced!

La risa remedio  7That is why remembering those things never fail to make me laugh, but also, with laughable actuality: a pope, gripped, like any other mortal, by ‘Kafkaesque existentialism’, peering over the balcony of his small palace to say, crying, “Don’t mess with me anymore, hosts! I want to go on holiday to Varadero!” But, what can be said about the Colombian politicians with their huge and expensive primary-coloured kitsch neckties – yet, many of them didn’t even complete primary education. How can you not laugh at these things, if this attribute is only of the human animal, and according to Marcel Schwob, is probably destined to disappear?

Perhaps humour gives way to laughter? Or is it just the reflection of tragedy? Luis Vidales (Colombian poet) said there was nothing more humorous than the history of totalitarians and fundamentalists, since they always prohibited laughter.

La risa remedio  14Can you imagine Starlin dissolved into laughter by some joke about him? Or Jesus Christ bent over double in laugher at the sight of his amazed fishermen and sinners upon seeing a modern-day illusionist walking on water in the Thames?

Religion punishes this gesture because it needs unforgiving faces stripped of any outbreak of irony in front of its fables. And one must always be serious about the tortures of the inquisition.

But, the joke in the democracies of lies is teased loose without humour: grace becomes a grin. Here, the whole world laughs in excess, but at lies; it is not a true product of intelligent sarcasm.

La risa remedio  10Neither does God laugh at his antics. The Pagan gods roared with laughter at everything, for that reason they gave rise to art, poetry and fiction, and not to religious tedium that only wants unforgiving believers with a face of the dead.

Yet, it is still believed that laughter leads to hell for the sinful, but the reality is that it demystifies and frightens demons, and is allied with freedom, fooling around, and the Eros that we all have within.

Carnival, of all quarters, exists due to the necessity for dance, guise, mockery and humour, but culminates with priests roughly stroking ash crosses on the foreheads of those that come out, saying, “You have enjoyed yourself already, now your stuffed because you’re going to die”.

La risa remedio infalible 24What idleness! Therefore, when you’re at the party, don your mask of mockery, of humour and laughter, until it ends, wear it widely and democratically, like the sea.

The church is the institution of Thanatos, the carnival of Eros; it doesn’t allow hierarchies because a good time is only to be had by the couple in the bed. Only thus is the communism between the sheets achieved, a true orgasm and a true hoot of life.

They want to make this society laugh heartily with bad jokes, which is why they never kill off radio and television comedians, as they do with humorists, because there is nothing more serious than humour.

La risa remedio  16Without doubt, laughter cures. It is allied with poetry and eroticism: nobody makes love with a grim face. So then, kill yourself laughing before it disappears.

 

(Translated by Caroline Gutierrez – Email: carolinegutierrez@btinternet.com)

Share it / Compartir:

Leave a Reply


*



The Prisma News

  • Comments, In Focus Power, for whom?

    Power, for whom?

    I met Isidoro Morantes on that 2nd day of January, at the age of 84. People say on that day his age was not noticeable like other times. In spite of his vitality making you forget for moments his advanced years, he was an old man.   Armando Orozco Tovar   That night Isidoro seemed younger asking for...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Birdman flies

    Birdman flies

    As we came out from the cinema, my wife commented that “Birdman” is the kind of film any man in his fifties is bound to identify with – she, of course, meant me.   Steve Latham   The movie is centred on the emotions of a man in the midst of his mid-life crisis, wondering whether his life...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus The great battle announced by women

    The great battle announced by women

    Yesterday I found myself on a pavement in Las Aguas, where – amongst other books for 1000 pesos (30p) – I saw “Memoirs of a Standard Bearer”, by the 19th Century writer and painter José María Espinosa, and published in the 71 volumen15 by the Banco Popular.   Armando Orozco Tovar   They...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Screen Ventura Pons and Ignasi M: “Films are what directors are”

    Ventura Pons and Ignasi M: “Films are what directors are”

      Ventura Pons and Ignasi M: “They have robbed us of everything, but they will not take away our ability to laugh”   The Catalonian director took a gamble on a documentary about the true-life story and difficulties of the life of a famous gay HIV-positive museum curator.   Virginia...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Greeks bearing gifts

    Greeks bearing gifts

    As I write, Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, is traveling across Europe, trying to woo European Union leaders to grant Greece a bail-out from their obligations under the debt rescue plan.   Steve Latham   This is the second act of the drama unfolding after the election victory of Syriza,...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Faces and traces

    Faces and traces

    Faces are part of the individual and collective imaginations. They are invented. This is especially so of those belonging to characters who have made a strong impression on others.   Rostros y rastros – Rostros Borrados by Juana la Loca flickr.com/photos/74049931@N07/6839899278/ Armando Orozco...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, World Terror & democracy in Islam

    Terror & democracy in Islam

    The key issue is the development of moderate political Islam. Violent repression of Islamic movements only removes the possibilities for integration of the deeply rooted religion into the political processes in those countries which were in the hands of westernised elites during the colonial period,...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Parallel London

    Parallel London

    Recently, a friend of mine awoke to find that his street in Bethnal Green had been the site for a battle between two rival gangs.   Steve Latham   Instead of the black-on-white violence which characterised the 1990s, this was a fight between two Asian gangs. In parts of London, the chequerboard of...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, World Young Jihadis: fighting the good fight… or the bad one?

    Young Jihadis: fighting the good fight… or the bad one?

    In the current hysteria about jihadi attacks in Europe, a sober analysis is important, to assess the real risks we face while also understanding their sources. What are the deeper psychological and social motives of volunteer jihadis? What part does the Islamic theory of war play, and what happened to...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Visual Arts Art and aftermath of war in Colombia

    Art and aftermath of war in Colombia

    “There is an aesthetic precariousness, poverty, and neglect in the open desolation where the dead have neither surnames nor temples.”   Reina Magdariaga Lardue   The Colombian artists Bibiana Vélez and Cristo Hoyos express in their art a reflection of the consequences of the armed...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Music “Hay quien precisa”: a song about identity and roots

    “Hay quien precisa”: a song about identity and roots

    Venezuelan folk singer Cecilia Todd and Cuban singer-songwriter Liuba María Hevia are combining their unique voices in a compilation album that includes some of the most successful songs of their careers.   Cecilia Todd, photo from corriente-alterna.net Martha Sánchez   For them, 2015 began in Havana...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus And seventy years ago the Red Army liberated Auschwitz and released its stench

    And seventy years ago the Red Army liberated Auschwitz and released its stench

    The “work sets you free” sign remains at the entrance of the Nazi hell… The camp´s prisoners endured cruel forced labour on top of the intense cold, all types of hunger, torture, a variety of illnesses, and their bodies were subject to physical and chemical experimentation.   Armando Orozco...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages, Visual Arts Grito de Mujer 2015: a festival across 34 countries

    Grito de Mujer 2015: a festival across 34 countries

    Photo from www.gritodemujer.com The Movimiento Mujeres Poetas Internacional Inc. (MPI, International Female Poets Movement) in the Dominican Republic has already published the list of countries that have confirmed their involvement at the Grito de Mujer (The Cry of Women) International Poetry Festival...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Rich and poor… Mind the gap!

    Rich and poor… Mind the gap!

    The gap between rich and poor has magnified in the last decades in the UK, and more generally in the whole world. The question is: should we mind the gap?     Mabel Encinas   In the UK, 1% of the population receives 14% of the national income. In the world the 80 richest own the same wealth...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus 20,000 days on Earth

    20,000 days on Earth

    All power to the new bio-pic about Nick Cave: singer, songwriter, front man for the Bad Seeds, author, all-round polymath and renaissance genius.   Steve Latham   The movie purports to describe a single day in the life of Nick Cave, summing up the 20,000 days of his life. In practice the film...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Culture, In Focus, Pages In defence of youthful expression

    In defence of youthful expression

    Every new generation is apathetic. How can they be otherwise, when the intellectual motivation that comes from books or the older generation’s half-forgotten memories is no match for the experience of being personally committed to a cause?   Armando Orozco Tovar   The older generation of...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Europe, Globe, On Stage An erotic show that subverts the male gaze: UmColetivo

    An erotic show that subverts the male gaze: UmColetivo

    The enunciation of the words is an oral expression, which also exists in sexual relations. But very often the man seems to be the one with the power to speak, here it is the women.   Entrevista: Graham Douglas Potos: Alipio Padilha   The Animatografo is discreetly placed in a very central position...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Screen El Salvador… through women’s eyes

    El Salvador… through women’s eyes

    Until the 20th of January, the cultural centre, Rich Mix will be hosting the exhibition Stories of El Salvador (Historias de El Salvador). This exhibition tells of the primary role that the women of El Salvador have played during the Central American country’s recent history.   Defying the...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus NY – 9/11 Memorial

    NY – 9/11 Memorial

    During our recent trip to New York, my wife and I thought it was only respectful to visit the 9/11 memorial.   Photo by Gabri Micha – Flickr.com Steve Latham   It didn’t feature high on our initial list of priorities for site-seeing. But so many people were insistent that we needed...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, Latin America, United Kingdom Mexico-UK, dual year

    Mexico-UK, dual year

    2015 is Mexico-UK Dual Year, a year in which the governments of both countries decided to celebrate each other, and to promote business, cooperation and bilateral relationships. Can we be a part of it?   Mabel Encinas   The disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in Mexico was the straw...

    Read more →