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The Bitter Mirth of Today’s Headlines

Most mornings I get up around dawn, pour some coffee, and look at the headlines. Those news reports nearly always range from the dire to the ridiculous. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I want to cry, and lots of times I fall into a funk.

In this review of some headlines from the last two weeks, I’m picking laughter, or at least a bemused and sometimes bitter smile.

June is Gay Pride Month, more formally known as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. Those letters stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual, and I guess the plus sign invites those who fall outside this big tribal tent to join the fun.

So I’m wondering: Are those who designated June for these festivities aware that this month is named for the Roman goddess Juno, the queen of the gods, the wife of Jupiter, and the patron of marriage and childbirth? Did those who chose June as Pride Month intend this as a joke, an ironic comment on wedlock and family, or were they just ignorant? Yes, yes, I understand the connection to the Stonewall Riots of 1969, but why consume the entire month?

And why Pride? I was under the impression that those identifying with one of the categories in this alphabet soup were members from birth. If so, taking pride in a quality bestowed by chance and by nature strikes me as humorous. My eyes are blue. Should I celebrate a Blue-Eyed Pride Month?

Another headline which struck my funny bone was Rachel Wolfe’s Wall Street Journal piece, “I Rented an Electric Car for a Four-Day Road Trip. I Spent More Time Charging It Than I Did Sleeping.” The author stopped for hours at charging stations, almost ran out of power several times, and missed numerous appointments. One electric car rider told Wolfe that on a trip to a wedding, she was twice forced to call a towing service when her vehicle died.

And this is the automotive wave of the future? Again, all I could do was shake my head and chuckle.

Meanwhile, in Asheville, North Carolina vandals under the cover of night damaged a pro-life pregnancy center, leaving behind broken windows and red graffiti on the building and the sidewalks. For 12 years, I lived in Asheville, which bills itself as the San Francisco of the South, and so was unsurprised to read about this attack in this “progressive” city, but I thought I’d see what the local paper had to say about this incident. After much digging online, I found a Tweet from the Asheville Citizen-Times showing the paint-splashed facility with this headline: “Mountain Area Pregnancy Services in West Asheville reportedly vandalized and had messages and threats painted on the building.”

Reportedly????? Okay, that one did bring a laugh.

Then came the news of the attempt by some California nutcase to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. No amusement there, not even a morose guffaw.

But here’s a prediction: News of that attempted assassination will quickly disappear down that sinkhole where stories unfavorable to the party in power go to die. Consider what happened to the leaked decision by the Supreme Court regarding Roe v. Wade. We know that someone at the Court released that document, breaking protocol and possibly the law, and apparently there are still efforts to nab the culprit, but that theft occurred well over a month ago. Surely by now the Department of Justice, the FBI, or some organization might have investigated this crime and netted the guilty party.

This one rates another bitter chuckle.

Our government-made shortages also bring sad laughter. A sheriff’s department in Michigan can no longer afford to fill the gas tanks of their police cars, some of the shelves in my grocery store are empty—who’s buying up all that tonic and soda water?—and now stores are evidently running out of tampons. Meanwhile, the trucks that bring goods to all our stores are shutting down for lack of diesel fuel.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines slapstick comedy as “characterized by broad humor, absurd situations, and vigorous, usually violent actions.” If we omit the bit about broad humor, we see that some of the politicians and bureaucrats causing our country’s problems are experts at slapstick humor. They create absurd situations, which frequently lead to violent actions.

More and more Americans are getting wise to the clowns who purport to have charge of us, our laws, and our culture. With any luck, the elections in November will shut down this circus and restore some sense of reality and reason to the horrible comedy in which we now live.

Image Credit: Flickr-makelessnoise, CC BY 2.0


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