Published in  
October 3, 2015

Queer lessons with my Daughter [2]

A letter to Alethea

Dear Alethea,

For me, self-deprecating humour is perhaps the one opus magnum moment most religions never allowed themselves to have. Which is really just a fancy way of saying that to arrive at a place where we can no longer take ourselves seriously, or whatever we claim to be doing as ‘important’ – and that to realize that we touch ourselves more intimately when we allow ourselves to be awkward – is worth more to me than a thousand sermons. And ten thousand beatitudes. I might as well insist that there is yet another beatitude we’ve not yet heard, and it is this: blessed are those that make fun of themselves, and laugh at their mangled bodies and heady quests for supremacy or excellence or enlightenment or salvation or love or whatever, for they…well, that’s it.

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I think it is funny – or don’t you? – that we, material beings, are so enamoured by this quest for a disembodied state, and that we mostly think of pleasure as the hallmark of everything evil; that you haven’t loved something or someone enough until you have begun to despise it; that those who are utterly useless to us, who are most distant from the goings and comings of our lives, are the ones we find most respectable; and, that in writing this, I am pretending to be profound, to be sincere, when in fact the more sincere I try to sound the more wily I prove to be. Maybe it is truer to say we run into all kinds of trouble when we attempt to have everything together – and that things fall asunder, in heaps of laughter, all the time. And that a tragic giggle is the theory of everything. Or most things.