Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Humor in a modern biblical figure.

One of the most important qualities of any modern day biblical figure is a sense of humor. Anticipation of a biblical figure has concentrated on a successor to Jesus. Such a figure would have little room for a sense of humor. Jesus had none. Thus there is no ground on which to build one, for anyone taking him as a predecessor.

I am no Christ. Jesus is not my predecessor and I don't often look to him for inspiration. On the other hand Moses is my predecessor and I often look to him for inspiration. I try not to picture him as Charlton Heston. I find that hard to do. It might seem tempting to point to him and say everyone should respect me the way the audience of his film is led to respect him. This is a hazardous route. If I am a successor worthy of the name then there should be ample validation in the record as supplemented by my own telling of my life story. And here is where the sense of humor earns its keep. So much sacrifice and relentless misfortune needs a balancing theme. It is an immediate restorer of peace to think that humor is a deep part of my own approach to life, not taking myself too seriously and accentuating my peerfulness. This way my friends throughout my life can enjoy each one a stake in the transcendence I have carved out of the misfortune, as my good friends and comrades at all the many stages of the story, and as assessors, going forward, of the many ironies and absurdities of it all.

The nine videos in the sidebar go far in one direction and the moments of humor are well distributed throughout. It is this aspect that I rely on to remind me of the responsibility I have to keep the whole thing light. It is surely a sign of success to be able to laugh at the ridiculousness of one's own attempts at standing out from people one needs as brothers and equals. It is admittedly a laughter on a deep level, but such is the nature of the thing and the place where the humorous side emerges in my thinking. On that I can rely with freedom to be zealous, where my own humor gets its biggest boost.