Monday, September 26, 2011

Victor Borge

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

Victor Borge

Victor Borge was a piano virtuoso, who had in fact been a child prodigy, but he used his incredible talent for comedy.

His piano routines were priceless. Priceless and so benign compared with the comedy of today.

Victor Borge was before my time, but what I know of him, I adore.

He built a career creating comedy, poking fun at the seriousness and pomposity of classical music.

One of his pieces of creative genius was to play a strange sounding piece of music, look totally confused, nonverbally express “aha”, turn it right side up and play it correctly. But in fact he had initially been playing it upside down.

He would routinely mock-scold the audience for all kinds of reasons.

And he had a female operatic sidekick that he ridiculed to no end, eventually ending their routine with a beautiful duet.

Danish born, he was known as the Clown Prince of Denmark.

Photo: Wikimedia/Victor Borge

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Evil Laughter

Evil Laughter. It’s a perversion of the real thing.

I attended a recent production of Porgy and Bess and was struck by how often I heard evil laughter. Over and over again, someone laughing at someone else’s pain. Even the honorable Porgy laughed when he killed a man, amazed at his own success eliminating a piece of evil in the world. Though perhaps that was a bit of nervous laughter.

Sportin’ Life, the pimp and lowest of the low, laughed the most. Crown too, the 2nd most evil character in this community of African Americans in the South in the early 1900’s. They did it every time they succeeded in overpowering another.

It was fitting that the pimp, the one with a twisted association with sex, would also have a twisted association with joy and laughter.

Laughter can swing both ways. When someone is lost, their laughter and subsequently their joy, comes from hurting another. Beware when you hear it for this is a very disconnected human being.

Dark humor is just another form of evil laughter. We see it in comedy all the time. But that doesn’t make it any less alarming.

Laughter is an expression of love. If you are laughing at something dark, you’ve gotten it twisted.

Sometimes it might come out when there’s pent-up rage. Evil laughter is a passive aggressive way to express anger. “It’s just a joke.” Hidden cruelty.

The ridicule usually comes from unresolved pain. No doubt from someone having been ridiculed in their past. How can he pass it on to you? He can try to do it with evil, misplaced laughter.

Laughter belongs in a place of wholeness for it is a connection to our deepest selves.

Evil laughter is a pitiful expression of a lost human being.

In entertainment, it’s always the villain who laughs the evil laugh.

Photo: Wikimedia: Porgy & Bess

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Laughing Through Divorce

My relationship of many years ended recently. It’s been very hard. Lots of crying, not nearly enough laughing.

I tried joining a divorce support group. Big mistake. Though the support was wonderful, the pain in listening to other people’s pain was overwhelming. So much focus on the one they lost. No room for even a few chuckles, though I tried to bring them in.

I once had a group of widows coming to the laughter club. They drove down from Marysville to Seattle, initially telling me, “We’ve done enough crying, we’re ready to laugh.” I thought it was beautiful.

Though it hasn’t been that long for me, I feel the same. I’m sure no one in any of my laughter programs would know how much pain my heart is in, for they are right, when I lead a laughter yoga session, it’s all joy and there is no pain. “You can’t hold a negative thought in your head and laugh at the same time.” And when it’s over and the sadness returns, I’m fortified with all that laughter.

Laughter heals. Slowly. It always does.

Photo: Stock.xchnge

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fred Allen

“It’s bad to suppress your laughter because if you do, it goes down and spreads your hips.”

Fred Allen, early radio and television comedian

Photo: Wikimedia: Fred Allen

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Universal Spirituality

I love laughter because it’s a universal spirituality. It has no beliefs, no dogma, no right and wrong, no ministers, no membership dues, no church….

Yet it uplifts us unlike anything else. In an instant it raises our vibration. It heals us and makes us better people. We don’t even have to have any thoughts attached to it. Nor a theory. It just happens. And we evolve. Without even trying we become better people.

It’s something we can all agree on – atheist and fundamentalist and everyone in between. Everyone loves to laugh. It brings us together on a higher level.

A universal spirituality for sure.

Photo: Stock.xchnge