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Thanksgiving – Silliness

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.
Silliness 1 Silliness 2

Contrary to computer modelling of climate change, the United States is suffering through one of its more bitterly cold winters. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside the world renowned institute of technology (MIT) sit mounds of cleared snow that have been dubbed “the Alps”. Despite chain link fences with warnings and proximity to some of the brightest young minds in America, the cabin fever inducing conditions were always going to be ripe for an outbreak of silliness. The MIT students have since been seen donning mountaineering gear to scale the peaks and snap selfies.

When Erasmus wrote In Praise of Folly in 1509 he codified in satire what humans had long known in their gut – that there was far greater joy in being silly than wise. For all our checklists of tasks and concern with being productive, it is our element of playfulness and not a job that brings us closest to a sense of being fully alive. In the wider world, with new terrors and depradations emerging yearly, it can be hard to avoid the feeling we are all going to hell in a bucket. It’s precisely at such times we can redeem our spirits by tuning in to something outrageously absurd.

Alas the king of silliness no longer walks the globe but thankfully we have enough evidence of his being here to tide us over for a good while yet. Peter Cook, another Cambridge alumni, but this time from the original campus in the UK, was for many years credited by fellow comedians and the public as the funniest man alive. His sketches and characters graduated from college revues to the West End, Broadway and finally TV and film. It’s hard to go past the genius of someone who can rework Shakespeare’s well known quote about greatness into “Some men are born in their underwear and others have underwear thrust upon them” as the foreword for a coffee table book.

Although Cook died in 1995 there are many funny people who have taken up the cudgels, take for example Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson and Tina Fey to name just a few. To them, and to all the others who have strained and stretched our sense of humour with a commitment to silliness, we say thank you.

Previous thanksgiving article: Engineering

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

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