Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Some jokes aren't funny anymore

Often we find in our lives,  people - be they friend, family or strangers who are missing vital information about the way life on this planet works and they wind up doing some very strange things.

For example, if you go out and about on Venice Beach, or Central Wellington you'll find street preachers, the Salvation Army, Jehovah's Witnesses or even Mormons offering salvation. Sometimes, you don't even have to go out, they'll come to you. But there is something vitally important that they have completely missed. We are all already saved. While most of them may have noticed that no one is being flung into the asphyxiating vacuum of space by the centrifugal force generated by the Earth's spin, few understand or appreciate why this is. Pastafarians have long known of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, sauce be upon him, and his work keeping us all safely on the ground. We laughed when Newton published his delicious gravity satire in Principia Mathematica. Sadly, the gravity satire has since become an urban legend - a myth and it has over shadowed the reality.

The reality concerning our maintained proximity to the ground is that the Flying Spaghetti Monster uses his noodley appendages to apply pressure in order to ensure we all remain firmly in contact with terra firma, he's so effective centrifugal force accounts for only 3% of the force he applies. We praise him for he is noodley and his unconditional care for us. We know his care is unconditional because people who do some really un-noodley things are still here on the ground. As mentioned before we are not seeing people being flung into space where they would surely asphyxiate.

The Newtonian satire was of course intended to highlight mathematical principles Newton was expounding with a math-geek joke - like Pascal's wager. Sadly, this simple fact has been lost to many, giving rise to satirical religions in which people even claim that Pastafarianism - the one true faith built on evidence and trust in the Flying Spaghetti Monster's work - is a satirical religion. We often don't help ourselves when we confirm this comic assertion either because people can  miss the ironic inflection in our voice or sometimes we forget to use the correct inflection. It really is quite upsetting, especially when we see these other satirical religions taking on some mean schtick and then getting into really ugly jokes and pranks while the audience completely fails to follow along. Take ISIS (won't someone please take ISIS), here is bunch of dudes running around with their shtick about a couple of iconoclastic caricatures they like to call Mohammed and Allah - now these guys are just not funny, not even to people who play on the same sort of schtick, and when their jokes fall flat they lineup their former audiences up ditches and shoot them in the back of the head. I know nobody likes a critic, but really this is way too much.

Still others employing a schtick about witches in central and west Africa with children are really losing the plot. One mother wrapped a plastic bag around her young daughters arm and set it on fire after the girl not getting the joke, simply denied being a witch. If your jokes aren't funny, please avoid risky pranks on your audience - get better material, let your imagination be free - your audience will thank you. The girl found help from a local charity that looks after many more children who have failed to see the humour of many other parents and church leaders. Sadly this means their are many more stories like hers, and some of them are far worse. Some have had the children drank a mixture of alcohol, mercury and priest blood in an ironic take on the line "Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live" which they render as "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"(exodus 22:18). These children feel quite ill afterwards, and don't feel the slightest bit entertained.

The Israeli government with the IDF and Hamas with Hezbollah, along with a bunch of random fan boys and fan girls, keep pranking each other over a tent space schtick. Trouble is, while they keep doing this, others keep getting drawn into the comedy who'd really just rather get on with the business of making noodles and enjoying his complex carbohydrate goodness - ramen. But it becomes very difficult to boil noodles properly if at any moment half a city block suddenly collapses and turns your stove on its side. Also many struggle to see the funny side of a random rocket blowing up your car, especially if you happen to be in it at the time, but can their be a more balanced response? Consider a lampooning letter to the editor in the local newspaper, inviting them around for dinner and tweaking their nipples or putting a Mentos in an ice cube to serve with their coke? All these are much funnier, and you can all have a good laugh, enjoy some pasta together while working out how to clean up the mess.

Ultimately, His Noodliness wants us all help each other and be kind, it is one of his top suggestions. He's uncomfortable with unquestioned authority - a common theme in many of these satirical religions, especially Abrahamic satires. So he as made suggestions, rather than commandments, and hopes that people will use reason and see the validity of his ideas.

May have a pasta day, and may you be touched by His noodley appendages.

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