Monday, December 11, 2006


Is Ethan going to write an intelligent reflection on the topic of silliness? Yes. Will he accomplish this? Let us find out...

So last night I finished reading Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. (It's a great book, which everyone should read, even though there are spoilers below. Ahem.) At the end of the book, Will's father is pursued by the dark forces that are determined to do away with him. They attack him with their dark, occult powers, and are slowly destroying him. He is powerless to stop them, until... He laughs. He laughs in their face, and this saves him.

As Jim lies near death, near being consumed by the evil powers, Will and his father have only one way to save him-- they laugh. They cavort, and play bad music. They act silly, and the darkness is defeated, and Jim is saved.

At first this looks almost ridiculous-- Go out, have a romp in the grass, and Evil will be driven from the world? Eh? But look at the power of, well, silliness. Monty Python, for example, is beloved by millions. It is ridiculous, nonsensical--silly. What makes grown men dress up as old women, roll about in a mud puddle, and very seriously claim to be reenacting Pearl Harbor? They know people will laugh. And that is where the power of silliness lies: it creates laughter, it warms the heart; it acts as a healing balm.

But laughter often masks fear; and silliness can be a diversion, a denial, of the ultimate power of death (this is one of the underlying themes in Something Wicked). As Christians, we know that Christ died for us to defeat death. He rose again to give us life. Thus, the sting of death is ended, the victory of the grave is shattered. In Christ, we are given the ability to laugh in the face of death. I mean this not as frivolity, but as a celebration of the great gift we have been given: Christ gives us the ability to be silly.

As a side note, I think this is something that MHers, and actually most of the people working for Higher Things, understand very well, at least subconsiously. It's why you'll find the Anti-Olive Brigade next to threads about the Eucharist. We have the Christian freedom to, well, be silly.


Anonymous said...

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Ethan said...

I can't find your adress! Gaaah!!!

Send something to

Anonymous said...

so...... why aren't you replying?!