Jokes and Money

Reality becomes stark and visible in the context of humor, if you can abstract it. I dreamed I wrote a Ph.D. thesis on the realitypatterns made visible by the kinds of jokes told in different income groups.

It would be fun to believe that one would achieve as much wealth as he wished by simply telling jokes until he hit the right kind. If you can laugh your way to wellness, Norman, why not to riches?

Underlying mechanism: to see the humor in reality, you need another level or kind of reality from which to reject it. Poverty is a joke to the wealthy, and wealth is a joke to the poor. Find a camp of beefy, healthy heterosexual males and you will find gay jokes, AIDS jokes, racial jokes -- in their secure and certain palisade they can strip humor out of any reality not their own.

There are two kinds of humor, though -- the joke of feeling and the joke of unfeeling. A person of feeling doesn't tell jokes which harm, because it reflects tiny windblown ice shards into his heart, which he in his wisdom prefers not to experience. He will laugh at the IRS or the stress of being sexual, however.

To laugh your way to money requires tracing a path of humor which is not harmful. Otherwise you end up with a bag of frozen money, gripped in a frozen hand, fed by a frozen heart.

# # #

Previous Essay / Next Essay / Table of Contents