The necessity of Whimsicality

By: Kevin Thomas ~Copy Editor~

People need to be more ridiculous. The world is too serious of a place to not be. Every single day, people die, couples get divorced, pets get run over in the street, cars crash and cancerous cells don’t go away. Most people respond with tear-stained cheeks and gathering together as a community to mourn or to protest, but by allowing ourselves to be overcome by anger, sadness and fear, whatever you feel, we forget about the humanity inherent in each one of us. We get too upset to listen to reason.

The best way to reason with someone is by being completely unreasonable in the most exaggerated way. It takes walking around barefoot while juggling oranges or nectarines – cantaloupes, if strong enough – and wearing a sweater vest to catch someone off guard, force them to push aside their potentially overwhelming emotions and attempt to understand what exactly is happening in front of them. Perhaps not exactly that, but that’s the general idea.

1Whimsicality and ridiculousness are not just good at bringing people back to rational thought when they’re feeling intense emotions that can cause a cloudy mind – they’re also a necessity for realizing the absurdity and nonsensicality of everyday life. That’s exactly what satire and parody are supposed to be: an exaggerated, ridiculous lens that’s placed upon life and things we don’t think of as being as weird as they really are.

Let’s look at some statistics provided by the National Geographic website about chances of things happening: “The lifetime odds of dying from a local meteorite, asteroid or comet impact [are] at one in 1,600,000. Compared with…one in 8 million for a shark attack, or one in 195 million for winning the Power Ball lottery.” What great statistics. Personally, I’ve gone into the ocean and had a split-second daydream where I wondered if a shark would eat me right away, and I know that I have had dozens of dreams about winning the lottery. It all seems so possible in that moment, but once I realize that I have better odds of dying from an asteroid than either of those two things happening, they seem completely ridiculous. More ridiculous than the chance of dying from an asteroid.

Kevin Thomas is a first-year English and Philosophy double major. He is a copy editor for the Newswire from St. Louis.

Without the added perspective of the absurd, the whimsical and the things that are looked at as being completely impossible and irrational, we don’t realize when we are being impossible and irrational. Ridiculousness is necessary so we don’t wind up crying every single day due to the ever-present reality that we could die at any second. That’s a terrifying fact that sometimes keeps me from sleeping at night.

Still, once I do fall asleep, I dream. What is a dream other than a whimsical and ridiculous adventure in creativity in the inside of a brain that’s there to distract from the terrifying reality?

Why shouldn’t we have non-imaginary, whimsical and ridiculous adventures in creativity to distract ourselves from the terrifying reality? A person doesn’t have to paint, write or play a musical instrument to utilize their creativity. They can just do whatever they want, wherever they want, regardless of how irrational and whimsical.

By far, the greatest thing about ridiculousness is that it doesn’t always need a deeper reason. In a world where everything must have a reason, this is, by far, the most revolutionary meaning that can be drawn from whimsicality: there doesn’t have to be a meaning to every single action and event. People can dance on desks in classrooms without saying that they want to be less restricted by the educational system. They can just want to dance on a desk. To me, whimsicality, ridiculousness and nonsense are synonymous with freedom, and we always need a little more freedom.