You may be wondering where I have been. The short answer is that I have also been wondering.
How Can I be funny when there is so much pain in the world?
For days, weeks, maybe even months, (who knows at this point?) I have been struggling to come back and write, in this here Witchy Humor blog.
Nothing seemed funny anymore. The mere thought of laughing or attempting to make others laugh just seemed…cruel and insensitive.
I thought about what to write here for a long time. I couldn’t imagine going on as usual without making space for acknowledging that Black Lives Matter and doing more to promote anti-racism in this space.
I needed to say something, to keep going with this blog. This website is a very important project to me, and so is doing intersectional activist work.
Staying silent here was a mistake. One of many mistakes I have made and will continue to make in my anti-oppression work as a white person.
I tried to respond earlier. I read this article where Trump called the enraged protesters a “laughingstock,” and the governor of Minnesota retorted, “No one’s laughing…we’re in pain.”
Words have power.
I never gave it much thought, but sharing my written words have always inspired action in me. Sharing my writing in all its forms has helped foster empathy in others during the most challenging times in my life. Writing often is my joy, most of the time. I couldn’t let fear and collective pain stop me from writing.
So, I had to take action.
When I started to plan what to write I was thinking about talking about the absurdity of Trump’s “Laughingstock” comment. I miraculously had not saved it in my millions of browser tabs open, that spanned both Firefox AND Safari. I turned to Google. Despite all my googling, I could not find it (and I am usually a good googler).
Instead, this article was the first one to pop up. This New York Times article features high school students’ opinions on finding ways to laugh through “tough times.”
The times we are living in are more than “tough.” Hopefully we are at a point in history where our collective consciousness is on the rise, but we are currently experiencing some growing pains.
After reading that article,
I realized, no one is telling us we can’t laugh anymore.
Laughter is not cancelled. Laughter has power. It can heal. It can get us through the best of times and the worst. Laughter can even be used as revenge if you want it to. That video clip was taken from the trailer for The Last Laugh, a documentary series about laughter and comedy during the Holocaust and by Jewish people (like me and my family members), which I want to watch.
I believe in the principle of “do no harm,” but “take no shit,” also has a place.
To me this is like the idea of how “white witches” are supposed to be good, and “black witches” are supposed to be “bad” or “evil.” I myself have fallen for this either/or trap. I have learned there is more to being a witch than good versus bad, white magic versus black magic. Magic is on a spectrum, just like everything else in the world. There is room for both, and there is room for the in between.
Here’s another way to illustrate the point above. Remember the Wizard of Oz? The “wicked” witches were considered ugly and evil. But they were grieving their family who were killed. The Wicked Witch of the West only wanted what was rightfully hers.
Meanwhile, Glinda over here, dressed in a pink frickin’ prom dress, with a crown and a magic wand, was considered the good one! She even led the parade where everyone celebrated the witches’ death! AND SHE FLOATED AROUND IN A PINK BUBBLE!
I used to have some trouble deciding which witch to favor. Now it is clear.
The wicked witch needs more attention. She needs her demands to be met. Glinda is not as glorious as she seems. She needs to get out of her damn bubble!
For some further reading:
If you haven’t thought about it before, here’s one of many black voices who have talked about being othered in mainstream witch culture.
I also want to re-share my intentions for this blog. I think they still hold true.
I am committing to post more resources and BIPOC voices in my links/articles that I share throughout this site.
If you are a blogger, reader, witch (or anyone) who needs ideas for what you can do as a white person to support anti-racism efforts and black people, please get in touch through the contact page, or you could also comment on this blog entry. I may be able to help you talk it through.
Also, another offering of my own for you to consider:
I am teaching a 6 week, 1:1, creative writing, arts-based course with activities based around the intuitive arts. I will be donating more than half the money I make from it to a Black Lives Matter fund or organization of your choice. For more information and to sign up for the course, click here.