Monday, 31 January 2011

8 Days. Day 1.

Day One. The four funniest things you've ever heard, and the four saddest things you've ever heard.

Now, I can't promise that these are THE four funniest. Suffice it to say, they're at the very least near the top.

1. Hyperbole and a half. Oh. my. god. Just one of the FUNNIEST things ever. I was introduced to it when several friends who have nothing to do with each other posted this entry within minutes of each other. I cried with laughter. But I didn't nearly suffocate, as I did with this one, because that child could be yours truly - and it strikes me that is what really happened with Joseph and Mary and...Kenny Loggins.

This is often so similar to my running commentary in my head, it's uncanny: I wish I could write like this. I'm aware of how serious my writing IS, and would love to move a bit more in this direction.

2. Goodness Gracious Me, especially season 1
. I'm an American of Punjabi descent, and these sketches were all written by British of Punjabi descent. Much of it transcends ethnic boundaries and speaks to the immigrant experience generally. Much of it is so Punjabi-specific, it hurts. I could not stop laughing the first time I saw it - and it cut so close to the bone, I was often crying and laughing, it spoke so deeply to me. These people ARE my family.

If there's one sketch EVERYONE has to see, it's this one. Sheer brilliance.

3. LOLcats, Inc. Whoever came up with this was a genius. The entire empire is fabulous. And in a particular context, 'OH HAI!' leaves me on the floor, unable to speak.

4. Facebook threads with good friends, especially K8, LSN and 3C, some of which have run to 100 comments and usually include chicken porn. 'nuff said.


The 4 saddest things

1. Bill Zeller. I first read his last words 3 weeks ago, and I couldn't breathe, my heart broke over and over. I meant to blog it...but I still can't breathe.

2. A child's cry growing quieter and quieter, till it ends in the whimper when she realises no one is coming. It's why I know that attached parenting is probably closer to my style than Supernanny.

3. Male grief. I can cope with a woman crying, but when a man loses it, so do I. I'm not sure WHY male grief paralyses me: if a woman cries, I can move to comfort her. Men...I don't know. Last year, I said something to a guy friend on IM, and he said, 'Stop it, man, I'll be crying in a minute.' That nearly started me off.

I talked to a friend of mine who is a bereavement counsellor, and he said that in his experience, when men get to the point of crying, it is actually a total collapse, and that's what he thinks I'm sensing - that absolute helplessness that I need to reach for, but can't help. Someone else told me that I lived for so long around my father's unexpressed grief, knowing I couldn't touch it, that any other man's grief feels like a replay. I think there's something of the truth in both.

4. The eyes of those suffering who know it isn't going to get any better. Famine, disease, war, poverty. All those images. Their eyes haunt me every day, and drive me to make a difference, even if it is a small one.

But one day, I want to go out there and be there with them.


Kate said...

When we first met, I introduced Ash to Goodness Gracious Me and he couldn't believe it. He LOVES it. Certain phrases from their sketches are used in our household on a weekly basis. They funniest thing is when he says something *exactly* like one of the characters without even knowing it and then there is this moment of self-realization and then laughter. i love it. It really does I think, speak to anyone from the Indian sub-continent and their families.

Obvs. because I AM one of your main partners in crime re. facebook, I totally and utterly agree with that one :)


Anonymous said...


(Sorry, I had to.)


Anonymous said...

Items two and three definitely resound on the comedy front. In the end my four would include LOLCats and a sizeable volume of Joyce Grenfell monologues for starters...not sure where to go next, as there is a lot that I find funny.

For saddest, that is much more tough. As someone who is more than familiar with depression it is difficult to put the saddest things down on paper or whatever; but the destruction of European Jewry would have to be part of it - although there is no way that one could even trivialise it by saying sad - it's beyond words, really.