This column has gotten more than a handful of people angry with me this semester, and it has led to a few of my professors suggesting that, perhaps, I should temper my writing in the name of getting a job after graduation. Whether that was good advice or not, I didn’t follow it. I suppose my future job hunts will be an indication of whether I made the right decision or the stupid one.
Either way, job or no job, this column has been eye-opening for me. From the reactions to my writing, I’ve realized there are two distinctly different ways people choose to see the world, and I’m not referring to the colorblind.
The topics of my columns this year have been a bit more touchy than my self-deprecating “From the Loser” columns last year. These touchy subjects included consent laws, child support, marriage and Caitlyn Jenner. Like a diner who has eaten a bean-heavy meal anticipates an increase in flatulence, I should have been ready for the anger, but I wasn’t. I was especially not prepared for the amount of disdain that has come my way from readers.
I wasn’t mentally prepared because I think life is funny. Even in the most serious of situations, I can find humor. Like giggling at my grandfather’s memorial service because I wore sweatpants, and he was always yelling at me to dress nicer. He was a stubborn grump; my mom says I take after him in that regard.
What I didn’t realize was some people like their news served serious, with a side of somber. And you make jest of a topic they’re invested in, watch out. Behind a keyboard, timid folks become activist hyenas. And I don’t mean in the excessive laughter hyenas are known for. Trying to rip the meat from your bones is what I’m talking about.
The way I see it, the balance lies somewhere in the middle. I am too harsh, too blunt and too insensitive for everyone to be like me. It is not from a callous or malicious intent; I just chase the laugh, trying to find the ridiculous by any means necessary. This pursuit of laughter, if only for myself, sometimes disregards the emotions and feelings of others that are very valid. This is not sustainable for a society, but neither is the opposite. We need humor, need to point out the ridiculous and need to tell people their feelings are silly when they are.
This world can be a rough place, and a little funny goes a long way. So if you’re ever in need of emotional understanding, talk to someone else. Your mother, maybe? Or a good friend? Santa? But if you want to laugh, look me up, because I spend most of my time attempting to make people do just that.
Tim Drugan-Eppich will be graduating in December with a degree in English.