Random acts of awkwardness seem to be the building blocks of a life, especially during the tension and turmoil of adolescence. Formative years, some may say, where we begin to “mature”. In Jeff Kinney’s novel Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg gives us insight into his core of awkwardness, just like 90% of our class did during our 60-second humor stories. Showing 30 or more people embarrassing footage of me as a 3 year old child is not something I frequently do. Why do it then, you may ask, and I would reply the reason is humor. For the sake of a good laugh? No, no. I let you all witness my terrible toddler years to exercise my liberating tool of humor. The most surprising thing I have learned this semester is the power of humor.
For example, our sweet little devious Greg enjoys the company of his friend Rowley for a plethora of reasons. One main reason is that he may now exercise his brother Rodrick’s jokes on Rowley. Kinney writes, “It’s been great having him around, mostly because I get to use all the tricks Rodrick pulls on ME.” (18) Jokes that were never funny for Greg, always humorous for Rodrick, now become funny because of the power he can wield over Rowley.
Humor may be the one thing that can simultaneously make you incredibly angry and incredibly happy. Humor may be the one thing that can diffuse a horrific situation. What we must realize, and I think our class has done so ever so beautifully, is that one must respect the power that humor holds before we use it. One may use humor to exert their authority over another, one may use humor to get out of a sticky situation, one may use humor to ignore certain hardships, while another may use humor to address a hardship.
This class has shown me that humor is incredibly multifaceted and can be seen anywhere, I have learned that humor can most importantly free your mind of burden and invite others to feel along with you. Humor has a way of leveling the playing field and encompassing the “all-ness” of human life. Humor tells us we are not alone, that sometimes we suck and deserve to be embarrassed, that sometimes we’re awesome, that sometimes we’re hilarious, that sometimes perhaps we’re a little too much, but we’re all in it together.