Laughter is the Best Medicine (Apologies to Reader’s Digest)

By: Bill Whaley
9 January, 2021

In my own lifetime, the January 6 attempted coup on America reminded me of 9//11, the multifarious complexities of the Vietnam era, President Kennedy’s assassination, and newsreels of the Holocaust shown in local movie theatres during the late 40s and early 50s. When I was a kid, I read the column mentioned above for fun and realized how humor serves as therapy, a lesson embodied by living among Taosenos, who practice the arts of resistance despite the tragic character of El Norte. The recent attack on the Congress in the Capitol in Washington D.C. by costumed White Supremacists represents, apparently, the advance guard of the autocratic republican party. Today’s polls say 78% of the GOP support the Orange-haired leader of the pack.

Here’s my five-point emergency antidote.

First, public and private education has obviously failed the American citizens, given the resistance to facts and science, despite 2500 years of recorded literacy and the historic progress of natural philosophy and its progeny, technology. Technology and social media have introduced functional illiteracy as a common language. In response Congress should withdraw fifty percent of the 700 Billion aimed at supporting the military’s empire and institute “re-education” camps at vacated military bases. (During China’s Great Leap forward, among its multiple “five-year plans,” Chairman Mao frequently assigned “elites” to camps in the countryside where toiling in the fields helped re-introduce a sense of “reality.”)

Second, the leaders of the recent insurrection, Trump, Giuliani, Don Jr., Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and Linsey Graham must be put in public stocks during the inauguration in D.C. and required to write and repeat their mea culpas: I shall not call for insurrection against these United States.

Third, anyone who has seen the film “Social Dilemma,” understands that Silicon Valley operatives have perped deadly effects like brainwashing on the American people thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Apple et al as has the Fox network and Rush Limbaugh. These companies should be nationalized, the Murdoch clan deported, Limbaugh banished. Contrary to popular opinion the First Amendment has limits: Don’t shout “fire” in a crowded theatre.

Fourth, it’s time to disarm the crazies. The gun has alternately been misunderstood as both a phallus and a divine entity. Just as vehicular codes require “driving tests” so the use of dangerous weapons should require psychological and physical tests prior to licensing. The Supreme Court upset two hundred years of precedent by transforming the second amendment’s protection aimed at preserving organized home-grown militias, like the national guard, into an idiosyncratic right to terrorize.

Fifth, it has come to my attention that the current Town of Taos administration has closed and otherwise shut the door to public restrooms, despite Covid guidelines aimed at “hand-washing” or the historic and human biological “calls of nature” that characterize human beings and dignity, whether native, newcomer, or tourist. It took thirty years of advocacy on the part of citizens and merchants to achieve the placement of public restrooms behind the old County Courthouse in the historic district during the first decade of the 21st Century. The retrograde Bellis, Barrone, Hahn, Fernandez, Evans, and Maestas admin must be replaced asap by citizen representatives who acknowledge the “facts of life” in the modern era. (The Gringo himself spent twenty years battling town government for the public’s right to pee and defecate in privacy.)