Tag Archives: negativity

Realism vs. Negativity vs. Humor

19 Jan

During communism, the people would get through their drab, toilet-paperless days by cracking jokes about their predicament.

Q: It is constantly being said that the communism is on the horizon. What is this communism?
A: Communism is a society free from exploitation, our happy future where nobody lives in want.
Q: But what is a horizon?
A: A horizon is an imaginary line that keeps moving further away as we get closer. (1979)

“The phone is ringing in the Kremlin. It’s a long distance call and someone wants to talk to Leonid Ilyich. The person is being told that unfortunately Brezhnev is dead. Soon the phone rings again and somebody wants to talk to Brezhnev once more. “Look here! Didn’t you understand or hear – he’s dead”. “I did understand, but it’s so good to hear it”. (1982)

“Stalin visited a prison once. The prisoners are line up and Stalin greets:
“Greetings, comrades criminal offenders!”
Prisoners reply: “Greetings our great leader and teacher”. (1981)

“Lenin died and went to heaven. St Peter lets him in and grants him 2 wishes. Lenin says he would like all people on earth to be wise, honest and communists. Peter objects “i can only grant you 2 wishes”. Lenin starts thinking:
-When a man is honest and a communist, he isnt wise
– When a man is wise and a communist, he isnt honest
– But if a man is honest and wise, he isn’t a communist”. (1981)

Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine when one is confronted with a grave illness.  When the illness is caused by ineptitude and self-serving politics, it hardly makes sense to screech like a Jonas-obsessed schoolkid whenever Buffalo gets a bit of positive attention in national press or to blame problems on make-believe causes like the weather, or on currently irreversible past mistakes, like the Skyway.

This region is as balkanized and parochial as Boston was in the 1970s, and just as full of economic stagnation and fail.  Yet Newbury Street and Quincy Market are now landmarks, and streets that were then slums now feature unaffordable homes.

Literally every excuse you can hurl at Buffalo was operative for Boston – silly politics, patronage, unions, weather, urban renewal, bad planning decisions, bad highway and land-use decisions.  Yet for a variety of reasons we’ll look into soon, Boston is now a world-class city with a perpetual inferiority complex viz. New York.

Buffalo, on the other hand, is a faded industrial area that is treading water economically and trying to find its way in a new economy.  The political and social status quo needs to be dragged out of the 50s mindset and start emulating what other places have done to move forward.

Let’s be blunt – the development of, and investment in the medical corridor is worth a thousand Darwin Martin houses as far as our future is concerned.

But if you can’t laugh at our predicament, and you can’t mock some of the stupidity, then the area has become downright uninhabitable.