When I watched the Jon Stewart show this evening (–as described in the foregoing post) I laughed pretty hard, I can tell you. In a few short minutes I was feeling a sort of exhilartion that is –sad to say– simply too rare.
Exhilaration! I had no doubt –that was The Correct Word for it.
Not only was it caused by Stewart’s sense of fun of seeing through Fox’s supposed Grand Propaganda, and the amusing schtick that he employs (–the [perhaps wilder] Stephen Colbert can be equally devastating–) but it was very much magnified by the skill of application, combined with the “mot juste” aptness of it all. Delicious!
Indeed it was the simple truth of the bit that crowned the whole experience for me.
Exhilaration! I thought about the word: yes, no doubt about it –that was what I was feeling. Yes, it is an unusual word –one not often employed by us grownups. I considered it, and quickly saw the “hilarity” contained within. “Hilarity” is an even rarer word, again –not too often employed. [When I thought about it for a minute, an image of my grandmother Johanna O’Neill came to mind: she herself often shook with mirth, but in this case –from 60+ years ago– she was corralling a bunch of us kids with a “STOP this hilarity!”.]
Where does “exhilarate” come from? What does it mean? “To make cheerful” said my dictionary. “To INVIGORATE!, stimulate. To make happy.”
“Exhilaration”? “Cheerful; gladdening; invigorating; stimulating.” See synonyms at “Mirth”. See “Hilarity ” –boisterously funny, gay, merry. From the Greek.”
The name “Hilary” –which is for both boys and girls; I think of our own famous female “Hilary” but cannot think of a male counterpart.
Perhaps Bill might think of changing his name.
There was a Saint Hilary of Poitiers (d.368) but I could find no reference to his or her Holy Mirth.
My over-riding response to it all was –not just HOW VERY HEALTHY, and NECESSARY exhilaration and mirth and fun and boisterousness (not forgetting girlsterousness) are to our existence, but also how wonderful that our two root languages of Greek and Latinfo fully recognized that very centrality.
Beware the killjoys!
There is a certain holier-than-thou attitude that we allow to hang over our culture, that relegates and tries to sideline exhilaration and hilarity.
It needs dispelling –which is why people love Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert! (Sometimes I will catch the often humorless Bill O’Reilly give a grudging flicker of a smile. But don’t let Roger/Rupert catch you, Bill.)
And hey, FOX News!: why don’t you join us. You’ve been on this Unrelenting Toxic (and VERY UnAmerican) Binge since the day after President Obama was inaugurated. You’d have a lot more fun. People might listen to you more. Maybe you could make fun of “our” media –though I think they all tend to be a tiny bit more balanced.
How about it, Fox. What would it take?
I’ve had this idea that I might suggest to President Obama. You know, another one of your talking points is that he is always apologising and appeasing the Muslim World.
Of course, I disagree with you: I think you might grant me that any apology for a perceived slight which might actually save the lives of a few United States soldiers in Afghanistan is worth the while (whether it be for Koran-burning or Urinating on Corpses).
But –hear me out. This was my idea: to suggest to President Obama that he apologise to the Family, Wives etc., of Osama Bin Laden, you know –for taking him out. Then Fox could really come in and say “Hey, you’ll never guess what Obama’s gone and done now!” that would really last a long time on Fox news. Then some one like, say, oh, Charles Krauthammer or Mitch McConnell could Tweet them a “Just kidding!”
Think what fun we could have!