My older daughter and I were in conversation about who would be the new president of the World Bank. She had seen a report in the Washington Post over the weekend, which outlined a range of potential candidates, among them US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. She said “That is the most laughable option.” I asked her “Why?” She gave a bunch of reasons that made sense that the option may not be acceptable to many peoples of the world, but was it laughable? Why would we or others laugh?
Why do we laugh? For humour? To reduce stress? To distract us from our real concerns, which may include fear?
News reports about long lines trying to get hold of a new Nike sports shoe: reports indicate these may be bought for over US$ 200! What recession? Laughable!
Jobless recovery? Laughable? I would never make a joke about someone else’s plight in trying to get a job, or having lost a job, and all the economic and financial problems that may open up. But some would. I heard a report on NPR this morning, about two places named Dodge in Michigan. One resident in downtrodden-Dodge, a woman who had been laid off but hoped to be called back, and whose house was among few still standing in her street, felt that the Republican candidates offered nothing for someone like her. Another resident in upscale-suburb-Dodge, felt that the economy was struggling because those in power had no experience of running anything, and that his vote for a Republican would be for someone who would correct that skill gap. He would not divulge for whom he had voted: I wonder who :-).
Different strokes, for different folks. Plenty to think about next time you hear someone laugh or use the term ‘laughable’.