Thursday, February 11, 2010

Julia Dales Revisited

I was a little surprised when I wrote an article about a seventeen-year-old student from Canada named Julia Dales who wanted to win the beatboxing championship. I loved the video on YouTube because it was offbeat and was one of the amusing things teens have been doing since the first family left the garden of Eden. I have been amazed that the short article, published on May 30th of 2009, is still generating so many emails. There seems to be little middle ground. People are either amused by the video, or they tell me . . . “Our teens are irresponsible enough without you encouraging this kind of behavior” or “You usually write about serious things. I can’t believe that you are laughing over something so ridiculous.”

There are two reasons I liked the video. When my daughter was in high school, her best friend spent a lot of time at our house. Beatboxing had not been invented then, but if it had, Kim would have done it in some pricy restaurant (she has done worse) between the time the appetizers were served and the main course, and the other customers would have loved it.

The second reason has to do with who we are and how we look at life. One of my favorite passages of scripture is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. It is the one you have heard read aloud at countless funeral services. The forth verse says, ‘there is a time to cry and a time to laugh . . .’ I don’t believe the world has seen enough laughter, especially the kind that rises spontaneously from deep inside, with no purpose except to celebrate life. I think we should address the serious problems of the world, and God knows there are plenty of them. We are now fighting two wars with another looming on the horizon. We still haven’t solved all of the problems with Katrina. Now there is Haiti, the drug problem, crime, illness – just to name a few. All of them are worthy causes, but sadly, it is like playing whack-a-mole, you don’t get one solved until another crops up. There aren’t enough comedians like Bill Murray who appeared in the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’ nor well we ever get enough of those two zany characters in ‘Dumb and Dumber.’ We can’t turn our attention away from them because we see a little of ourselves in each act of insanity. Sadly, too many comedians dredge the bottom of obscenity to get laughs today.

Why do people object to the ridiculous things in society? I have a theory on this: We all have things we think we have hidden from the world, and too much attention on laughter might bring them to everyone’s attention.

I don’t think there are enough people like Julia Dales appears to be on her videos. Anyone with a whole orchestra in her head is to be admired and praised. Maybe she will grow up to be a musician or a surgeon who can carry her sunny outlook into the operating theatre, or perhaps she will aspire to the highest calling in the western world. Maybe she will strive to be a Mom and raise four or five little kids, each of them prepared to roll on the bed and laugh with unrestrained joy at the funny things of the world.

Here is a link to Julia Dales latest video: Julia Dales on YouTube.