Sunday, December 10, 2006

America's Funniest Home Videos

My wife and I take our daughter up to my mother's on Sundays. It's an opportunity to convene the whole family and to dump our daughter into grandmother's lap for an hour or two (or four).

We stay for dinner and try to leave after 6:30 so that Stella will fall asleep on the way home. The time between dinner and departure has filled itself with America's Funniest Home Videos.

It is true: they are America's funniest home videos. Our country has a never-ending supply of men falling awkwardly on their crotches, deer attacking children on bicycles, women being frightened by jackasses with cameras, and all sorts of other painful things that make me laugh out loud. God blessed America when he gave us the camcorder and ABC.

Is it wrong of me, though, to laugh when a small child runs into a post on his bike? Not if his parents tape it and have it shown on national TV. Then it's funny.

Perhaps it's low of me to laugh at the recorded misfortunes of my fellow men. I concede it. I remind you, though, that they would laugh at me. We're in this wackiness we call bodily life together and it's good to remember it's pitfalls. And when others fall into the pit who can restrain one's corresponding mirth? It's nature.

Seeing the lazy girl get hit with the soccer ball is a helpful admonition for me, the viewer. Her being whacked is suddenly no longer in vain. It's all very ennobling, perhaps.


mccaleb said...

In the words of Mr. Bennet:
"What do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?"

Thank you, Pride and Prejudice.

Did you ever read the essay, "on chasing one's hat" or something of the sort by Chesterton? It's at least remotely connected to the topic at hand...

Hansonius said...

Mr. Bennet's quote is golden. Doesn't he have the daughter who runs of with the soldier, though? I think a friend pointed out that Mr. Bennet is somewhat negligent of his family life. Perhaps he is a good example of the good humored approach to life carried to an extreme (where virtue no longer lives).

My memory banks hold no reference to Chestertonian hat chasing.

Serial Hugger said...

So you're back. You vile fiend. I gave up on check and now I find you've been posting. With a new layout and everythang.

On the topic at hand, I have two words. Star. Jones. ...Football. Okay, three.