Roll Jerk-nitiative!

i’ve noticed a trend of late when i have the privilege of sitting around a table to play some D&D with friends… nearly everyone plays A-hole characters!

“i’d like to make a slight of hand check to steal the gem he just found from him”

“He’s passed out? i take his pants off and drag him outside.”

“i’m not burning my last heal on you, you can make death-saves if you go down!”

 

Why does this seem to be such a trend around tables these days? What happened to playing a group of companions? To working as a team? To being fantasy-friends?

 

Back in the old days we had some jerkish characters, sure. There were jerkish thieves who stole from their party, but they tended to be the outliers. Now even the good aligned fighter seems to want to snag treasure from his companions. Is it a reflection of our change towards each other in general in the world? Is it a case of art imitating life? Are we all frustrated by being worked over by others so when it comes time to escape into a little fantasy we want to be the jerks coming out on top at the expense of others? i’m not sure, but it’s food for thought…

 

In the meantime, “Adventurer seeks trustworthy and friendly companions to embark  on random quests with!”

Mean Humor

i’m a master at being an A-hole…

i can poke fun of the most deeply held convictions, the most vulnerable spots in a person, the most recent personal or social scandals. i can say those things that shouldn’t be said; and can i step over “the line”? Well yes, but i’d much rather jump over it and do a metaphysical jig.

Here’s a fact about that: that’s a trick that ANYONE can do that. Anyone can pull of mean humor. It’s the easiest route to get laughs. Mean humor is the cheapest way to buy laughs and smiles, you just buy them with someone else’s social credit card.

Here’s another fact: i’ve recently become VERY convicted about mean humor… i don’t like it (the convictions i’ve developed regarding it, i mean). It makes me uncomfortable. i like to make people laugh. But i’m trying to stop doing so at the expense of others.

i’m admittedly NOT doing a bang-up job of it either… We live in a social climate that is chock full of political unrest, where people who don’t like what others have to say rail about how it causes them pain… OR (the other side of the same coin) they rant that if you say/do “that” (whatever “that” thing is for the moment) you should be carted off to a modern internment camp and deported from the United States of America. (But that’s a whole separate rant for another time)

So i’m putting on my big-boy pants and doing my utmost to steer clear of the cheap and easy way of humor. Mean humor denies others the basic respect due them as a fellow human being.

It Devalues other passengers of Space Ship Earth…

Ultimately i’m stumbling along attempting to be a Christ-follower. To live the example that He laid out for us. (Admittedly many days i’m a poor one, limping along and poking at the gray areas of life and spirituality with a stick). i find myself hard pressed to imagine Jesus throwing back his head and laughing at my witty rip on flat-earthers, or my quip about those deluded Republicans, or those silly Democrats. i can’t envision him slapping a robbed knee at a well timed “nice shorts there 1995…” Honestly most days i’m not sure i’d garner so much as a smile from Him if we were chilling around a campfire in sandals, eating fresh fish, and keepin’ it Kosher.

Humor is a gift, a gift to bring light and levity into a world filled to the brim with pain, confusion, hatred, frustrations, etc, etc, etc. It’s a shame that humor has become a vehicle that drives those things it could be so effective at repelling.

i’m endeavoring to treat humor as the tool for good that it can be, and not a cheap shtick to get laughs at the expense of others…