Gravity Is No Fun
A movie called, Gravity, proved to be hit becoming the eight-highest-grossing film of 2013. Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, it revolved around two astronauts trying to survive after an accident destroyed the space shuttle. It earned an estimated $723 million worldwide. At the 86th Academy Awards, it won seven out of the ten Academy Award nominations.
Spoilers alert! This post isn’t a review of the movie. It isn’t about explaining the intricacies of gravity, either. It’s simply about the human side of gravity.
It seems that gravity is the word of the moment. The dictionary defines it as a state of being grave or serious, and it is turning our world into a world of black and white leaving no room for compromise. As a result, humor is losing a lot of ground.
In our time, subject matters, that provided good materials in the past, have become off-limits. What used to be funny before could now be referred to as racist, insensitive, homophobic, sexist, sacrilegious, politically incorrect, or whatever new label the legal profession and extremists from both sides of the political spectrum could conjure up.
But where do we draw the line? I understand that humor varies from culture to culture and that it’s also subject to the theory of evolution. In other words, what may be funny in one culture may be offensive to another and what might have tickled the funny bones of a generation may not have the same effect on the next. The trick is exploring the common thread that binds us and it can only be done with mutual respect.
Nobody is sure when humor started. Who knows, it could have occurred right in the garden of eden when Adam and Eve discovered that they were strutting naked without realizing it. What I do know is that it’s humor that allows us (pardon the pun) to defy the laws of gravity. It makes our world go round, smoothing its rough edges, and enabling us to laugh and have empathy for one another.
I dread the day when we lose our ability to accept and laugh at each other’s oddities and imperfections, which is the very essence of being human. That would be the end of civilization as we know it.