I am – badly – plagiarizing this formidable title from the magazine ‘Selecciones’ from the Readers Digest that I read during my childhood.
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.”
How 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!
That 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.
Can 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.
Neither 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”.
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.
(Translated by Caroline Gutierrez – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)