The past week’s big event was no doubt the Women’s March on Washington, and all its sister marches around the nation, and the world. I have to admit, I was angry and bitter (still am) and not in much of a mood for anything. Although the ascent of this disastrous administration can’t be blamed on us in Oregon, all I could think was that if everyone who partook in the many, many marches had showed up to the voting booth with the same enthusiasm and vigor they marched with, we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. But, grumpy as I was, I soon found some things to make me laugh. There were some GREAT signs emerging around me, held high over the wet, bobbing heads that slowly made their way along the rain drenched route.
As I appreciatively giggled, I thought of a radio show I once heard about the power of humor as a means to survival, for folks dealing with everyday hardships in dictatorial nations. Laughing in the face of adversity is indeed a potent release valve. To prove the point, jokes from Pinochet’s Chile, Amin’s Uganda, and Franco’s Spain, were recited, as I recall. Though often dark and sinister, the jokes helped people cope. I realized that humor will help us too. These next few years will be a long and arduous backward slide. If we’re lucky, and work hard, we will be somewhat able to halt the systematic dismantling of democratic society as we know it, by simply showing up in the midterm elections. As I pondered this, I realized that I too will need to find peace in laughter, in order to not drown in all the negativity. The best of the signs I saw are here. Some are more clever than funny, but they all made me laugh, and nod approvingly: