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

  • Culture, Visual Arts Van Gogh: fury, genius and pain

    Van Gogh: fury, genius and pain

    The certainty that Montmajour at Sunset was painted by the Dutchman Vincent Van Gogh Dutch revives the madness that the unique viewpoint of this artistic genius always produces.    Frade Ibis Brito   In fact, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has announced to the world the discovery of this new work...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Multiculture, Music, Our People Willy Claure, on Cueca rhythm

    Willy Claure, on Cueca rhythm

    On Tuesday the 24th of March the Bolivian guitarist and composer will give his first UK concert at the Bolivar Hall in London.   With a career lasting more than 30 years, Claure is one of the most outstanding guitarists in modern-day Bolivia. His repertoire is essentially based on popular, traditional...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Democracies

    Democracies

    In principle, the term “democracy” implies that the people (demos) are in power (kratos) and thus, that they participate.   Mabel Encinas   However, by contrast with participatory democracies, in representative democracies, we need to ask ourselves whom the government represents and who the...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Urban revolution now

    Urban revolution now

    On Tuesday I was invited to a book launch organised by the Urban Hub at University College London. The book was Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Urban Research and Architecture.   Steve Latham   Edited by academics Łukasz Stanek, Christian Schmid, and Ákos Moravánszky, the book was a...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Woman is asserting herself, so they are killing her

    Woman is asserting herself, so they are killing her

    On International Women’s Day, the statistics did not record a single man being killed at the hands of his female companions, as if being manly was just a matter of violence.   Armando Orozco Tovar   On this day women trotted, ran, climbed and walked in big gatherings around the world, less so in...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Lifestyle, Ludotheque, Music Music and drugs: a friendship that goes back a long way

    Music and drugs: a friendship that goes back a long way

    Music and drugs, drugs and music, they seem to go hand in hand. History has left us many examples of the degradation an artist or a group can suffer when they decide to bring the two together.     Miriam Cantalapiedra Barrocal   The fusion of music and drugs has its own history, which goes back...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Screen Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2015

    Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2015

        The 19th edition of this event will be held from the 18th to the 27th of March, where among other films shown there will be five set in Latin America.   The international organisation Human Rights Watch will present this edition of the event, which will include 16 documentaries and feature...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Multiculture, Our People, Visual Arts Malika Sqalli: home and identity

    Malika Sqalli: home and identity

    A journey within. This is the message of a group of photographs showing the different stages in the life of artist Malika Sqalli and her work, and will be exhibited at the Arab British Centre from the 17th to the 27th of March.   Photos by Malika Sqalli   This is a solo exhibition in London...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Latin America, Lifestyle, Music, Okology Latin America by birdsong

    Latin America by birdsong

      From the sounds of species in danger of extinction, various Latin American artists have come together to create original songs and make a record.   A Guide to the Birdsong of South America is the name of the project, which has the aim of exposing the dangerous situation suffered by these animals. Around...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus The man of the flame

    The man of the flame

    Who will have a photo of him? There is the one of the iconic guerilla hero taken in Havana by Korda, with a fortunate shot of his camera. But who made a portrait of Oscar Gil? Or who wrote about his short life? Because when they killed him he hadn’t reached 30.   Armando Orozco Tovar   This is...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Immigrant music

    Immigrant music

    I met her on a Friday night. She was helping at a youth project in inner London, to which she had been invited by a mutual friend who was a youth worker.   Steve Latham   She ran some ice-breaker games with games to loosen the kids up, for the first session of a new club promoting performing arts...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Human Rights, On Stage, Politiks The Grandson… Argentina and its’ missing people

    The Grandson… Argentina and its’ missing people

    The Theatre for Identity “Teatro x la Identidad”, a movement that for 15 years has seen actors, directors and people from the theatrical world bring the message of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo to the stage, returning to The Calder Bookshop and Theatre, this time with the stage play “The...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Women!

    Women!

    People say sometimes the first thing that comes to their minds (we all do, I guess; however, some of us try to avoid it or at least to rectify when we get it wrong).   Mabel Encinas   Saying things like ‘excessive traffic is migrants’ fault’, ‘English people have also the right to...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus What does UKIP mean?

    What does UKIP mean?

    Last year’s Rochester and Strood by-election victory for the United Kingdom Independence Party candidate, Mark Reckless, was a game-changer for British politics.   Steve Latham   It came hard on the heels of UKIP’s Clacton win by Douglas Carswell; both new MPs standing for seats they had previously...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus The illustrators of life

    The illustrators of life

    “There is too much blood; too much violence”,  Albert Camus.  I had thought that I would start the year with good memories and nostalgia. However, the Charlie Hebdo massacre has brought back memories of when, in the late 80s, Castaño’s paramilitaries shot down ‘JUCO’ militants –...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Multiculture, Our People, Visual Arts Angelika Berndt and the invisible culture

    Angelika Berndt and the invisible culture

    She has worked on projects in Africa, Asia and Europe, although her work is based mainly around Latin America, the region in which she grew up.   Juanjo Andres Cuervo Photos by Angelika Berndt    She first started in photography by helping the non-government organisation Anti Slavery International...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Culture, In Focus, Pages Words to remember Clarice Lispector

    Words to remember Clarice Lispector

    Writing, says Lispector, is not knowing what’s coming next. To find out, we throw another word out, as bait: which words will take the bait, if indeed any? Or will nothing follow but a void?   Carlos Skliar*   If it’s true that the world started with a yes, wrote Lispector, if it’s true...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Latin America, Music Danzón: a dance that overcame discrimination and racism

    Danzón: a dance that overcame discrimination and racism

    The first night of 1879 was calm and fresh, and those attending the Artistic and Literary School, currently the Sala José White, rested after performing a dance.    Wilfredo Alayón   At the conductor’s signal, an orchestra that had regaled those at the soirée on 1st January began to play...

    Read more →
  • 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 →