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English comedian Benny Hill (1924 - 1992) reading a joke book during a morning off at his new flat in Maida Vale, London, 15th August 1955. He is currently appearing in 'Paris By Night' at the Prince of Wales Theatre. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Best Medicine

You know who I feel bad for? People that tell you not to joke about something. Those who enter a room full of laughter and smiles and are intent on stopping it. Bothered by people doing something that is completely essential to the human condition yet they are compelled to bring it to an abrupt and cold end.

Who hurt you?

Of course, there are certain situations that require some common sense. We should all try to read the room and understand when humor fits well and when it does not. That skill is an art and, unfortunately, we’re not all artists. But hyper-sensitivity is running rampant and its hurting us way more than it is helping us. It has turned us into a culture of reaction first instead of examination. A culture that refuses to take into consideration context. One that takes everything literally because we simply don’t believe in nuance and subtleties any more. A “kindergarten-society”, if you will.

It can be tricky, though. Sometimes the best thing to do is not make a joke at all. It simply isn’t the time. The spirit and the mind need a chance to process an occurrence and come to grips with the conclusion. However, I have been to funerals where the deceased was lovingly roasted by their friends and family. I watched a guy talk about his cousin always borrowing money and, even though he was laying in a coffin, he still expected to get paid back. There was a happy, almost grateful, release of laughter throughout the pews. Who among us was in position to tell the brokenhearted that laughter was inappropriate?

Humor is truly subjective. It has more to do with your perspective of the world than anything else. There are common views along with complicated ones. If someone or something taps into one of those views, a frequent result is laughter. When something makes you cringe you can rest assure that it is also making someone else burst at the seams.

Sometimes we have to laugh just to keep from crying. I believe that when something tragic occurs, and the mind and the spirit have gone through the entire gauntlet of emotions, the only thing that remains is for us to laugh about it. An honest laugh, too. One that feels like freedom from the constraints of our agony. Seriously, I think the mind tells the body, “listen, if you don’t cut loose a little bit, I’m going to spontaneously combust.”

As a matter of fact, I have an acronym that I believe in.        T.R.A.G.I.C.: Time Renders All Great Injustice Comical

There’s a reason why things weren’t funny back then but they’re funny now. It’s because, at this point, you have no choice.

A day without laughter is a day wasted. These days aren’t guaranteed so don’t be wasteful.

Rudy Ortiz

Listen to me every weekday from 5am to 10am on the Dream Team. Listen Here

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