OPINION

Life goes better with a laugh or two

The Examiner

I think there’s enough true racism around the world without having overly sensitive types labeling what I would imagine fairly innocuous things by that epithet. Nowadays it seems that you are a racist simply because you disagree with another’s opinion, regardless of the subject matter.

Annie Dear

We could go a long way to repairing this problem by providing dictionaries to those who it would seem have somewhat lost the plot – and their senses of humor.

Having a sense of humor doesn’t mean you break into loud guffaws at the drop of a hat. It means that you can go through life and appreciate irony, and that you are prepared to see the lighter side of a situation rather than constantly having the need to be deadly serious.

Apparently, according to a poll, 56% of Americans believe “Arabic numerals” should not be taught in schools. I wonder if the “no” vote was recorded due to a basic lack of understanding that 1,2,3, etc. are actually called Arabic numerals, or if the vote was cast as a frown at the possibility this could be called a racist term.

A racist is defined as a “person who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group …” 

I would imagine it would be a pretty high honor to have a group of symbols named after one’s race, and for it to have survived very happily since the 15th century is a testament to its fabulous usage. After all, it replaced the Roman numeral system, didn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a whole lot easier calling this year 2021 rather than MMXXI. Imagine the kerfuffle it would cause if we were in 1888, when we would have had to write MDCCCLXXXVIII.  Be a bloody nuisance to write a check that year, let me tell you.

We have a school in Oregon that decided to change its mascot. The school wanted to ditch its Trojan talisman. See now that’s where a sense of humor comes in – did the school object to it because it reflects on a time in Greek history when it was used to secrete warriors when entering the enemy’s gates, or because it’s now the name of a computer virus, or because it’s a popular brand of condom? 

I can see why this might cause a conundrum. The school put up some alternatives and put it to a vote, and the outstanding winner was “Evergreen.” A nice ,innocuous word. A beautiful tree, although probably not known for its fearsome influence in a game of football, but a thing of beauty and a joy forever nonetheless.

However, this has been, at least temporarily, howled down as it could be associated with lynching – a thoroughly barbarous and despicable act that indeed should be condemned universally. Does this mean, then, that Washington – the Evergreen State – must now denude itself of its magnificent forests, and if taken further, must we all rush out and chop down all our trees? The Brazilian rainforest better look out then.

Now come on, petals. There is a beautiful life out there if you’d just ease up a bit on the angst.

In fact, I believe the authorities are authorizing a free new medical procedure of the implantation of sense of humor. I would thoroughly recommend it.           

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedear@icloud.com.