A measure of wit

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By: Aaron Sorenson

How do you measure intelligence? I say by the total number of sincere laughs you accumulate in a lifespan; both the laughs you’ve had and the laughs that you’ve made happen. I’m not talking about weak or sympathetic giggles during some corny speech. I’m talking about the exchange of true wit.
Someone could say intelligence is measured by expertise in a specific subject or by a person’s survival value. In either case, I think the highest value is worn by comedians. Comedians are the most brilliant people in society. They’ve beat the system. They’ve managed to make a living off of laughs.
This isn’t an easy task, of course; comedians have to be extremely intelligent and current with the times. They are always at work, always practicing their craft. A comedian is the modern day jester working his charm; adored by all, even the king, the jester won people’s hearts by playing with their minds.
Congratulated by society for their efforts in keeping everybody sane and happy, they are rewarded with the utmost love and respect. Most people couldn’t help but begin to smile if they walk into a room and Dave Chappelle, Jim Carrey or Mike Myers is on the television.
I idolize George Carlin as the best and brightest thinker and comedian to be honored by the masses. I regret not seeing him perform live. It may have been no better than watching him perform on TV, but maybe being in the same place as him, within his aura of genius for even a short window of time, could have allowed some of his enchantment to be shed onto me.
People want to be around funny people because the mood is always light and comfortable. If you can make a person laugh at just about anything, in the right setting, and at just the right time, you are a funny person. Like music, you can’t go wrong with comedy, because it brings people pleasure. Of course, also like a musical instrument, you can play comedy the wrong way… it takes practice, and lots of it. It’s a skill that can be built; like any muscle, it gets stronger with more work and attention.
A comedian understands that nothing is really that big of a deal; nothing at all. Life is pretty simple, anyway. We wake up, we eat, we interact, we sleep, and eventually we die – for everybody, every day and forever. Once you can live with that simplicity, you can begin laughing at all the absurdities and dumb things involved along the way, and that’s best to be done in a sophisticated manner – high humor – it brings about a delightful and intangible magic into almost every moment.
My nephew is a natural comedian and a smart little guy. He is now entering his first year of public school and I always tell him to make sure to hang out with the funny people, knowing he will anyway, because that’s what I did and I believe it’s the best way to enjoy the ride.
Why look back and think about all the trivial drama you got involved with, instead of looking back at all those great laughs you had? I don’t want him to grow up worrying about life being too short like many people seem to do. Instead, I want him to go with my planned route, which is to simply let the good times roll and then hope to get old and laugh about it.
Email:amsorenson@radford.edu

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