A Comedic Look at Recruiting And Why We Join

A Comedic Look at Recruiting And Why We Join

Benjamin Franklin, a man who clearly had a sense of humor and knew its value, once wrote: "If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself." He understood the importance of laughter. I think he would agree that a life without humor is a life without balance.

Laughter has a way of making sense out of the strange, the difficult, and the unbelievable things we encounter in this life. What would the world be like without humor and laughter? What would we be like if we always took ourselves too seriously and could not laugh at ourselves? To be able to laugh at oneself is a sign of a balanced and healthy self.

 width= Photo: YouTube/Gary Owen

Let's face it, we all have our foibles. There is a little bit of the fool in all of us. Some of us, and I speak of myself here, can look back at a lot of experiences in our lives and see that God has given some of us a larger share of foolishness than most. To see the silliness, the humor of our own foolishness, is to be liberated from the dis-ease of taking ourselves too seriously. To be able to laugh at oneself is to be able to forgive oneself. That is pure grace!

There are those among us who have been blessed with what we call a great sense of humor, who can put the goofiness of our lives into words that make us laugh at ourselves. Comedians have this ability, and this comedian clearly has that skill. His self-deprecating style here is engaging, and what he says about his recruiting experiences and his reactions to them is, dare I say it, funny.

 width= Photo: YouTube/Gary Owen

One of the reasons his material is funny to us is that it is based on real things, things that are recognizable to anyone who has had a similar experience with speaking to recruiters and our sometimes quirky reasons for joining a particular branch of the military. His comments are also finely attuned to the "myths" and "legends" that are associated with each branch of the services. They work.

As a matter of disclosure, and this is something that is not unknown to us, his routine is salted with the per-CUSS-ive language that is common to all of the military branches, but those words are "bleeped" out of this video. Plato, in his "Allegory of the Cave," says that one must speak the language of those one is sent to in order to have them "hear" what you are intending. Well, this comedian is speaking to an audience in San Antonio, a city with a heavy military presence, and his audience is full of active duty and veteran military people. And they get it, because he is speaking to their experience.

 width= Photo: YouTube/Gary Owen

Comedy is not philosophy. It does, though, have the power to lighten the heart and heal the soul. If you have been in the service, you will recognize the military humor here. He takes what can be a very serious topic and shows its unintentionally silly side with wit and self-deprecating charm.

Take a moment and enjoy a little laugh. Then pass it on. "We don't laugh because we're happy, we are happy because we laugh." ~ William James


Dan Doyle

Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.

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