Trying to find humor from social media posts
Life is excessively serious. The news is serious. World events are serious. My job is fairly serious. You kind of getting a picture here?
So when I have downtime, I love to laugh. I watch irreverent shows like “Schitt’s Creek” or “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” I read books that are light-hearted. And I scroll through TikTok.
I love TikTok. I don’t post on the short video app. I don’t like any videos.
But I laugh and laugh.
Dogs being silly videos crack me up. Kids playing silly jokes on their parents make me chuckle. Customer service stories cause me to laugh knowingly. Cooking fails make me guffaw.
But I found something last week that made me spit out my iced tea and belly laugh.
First, you have to know what it is to LARP. LARP or “Live Action Role Play” is a game and there are all kinds of themes.
According to UrbanDictionary.com, it is “a type of game where a group of people wear costumes representing a character they create to participate in an agreed fantasy world. Uses foam sticks as swords, foam balls as magic and other props to create the games world.”
So I am not into cosplay or LARP, but if it makes you happy, go for it.
And then I learned about a group in Poland that roleplays as Americans and they played as “Ohio.”
The pictures were hysterical. Like, is this how Europeans see us?
It seems that a Twitter user found this out and has been sharing this humorous take on American life.
@PenBercifield wrote “In Poland, there is a LARP group that roleplays as contemporary Americans. Here they are doing ‘Ohio.’” And he has pics. There are guns, police and an outfit that is denim on denim (We were taught that kind of outfit was a “Canadian tuxedo” by older kids in high school which is offensive to both Canadians and tuxedos.). American flags are shown. Short shorts (think Daisy Dukes) and ring fighting.
I don’t know. It was surreal.
And it is not how I picture Ohio. But then again I don’t really picture Ohio.
And then I went down the rabbit hole of looking at this guy’s Twitter thread with the Tweet.
And I laughed and laughed.
It really was absurd.
Some of my favorite Tweets in reply:
• “They think they’re representing Ohio when they’re actually representing Kentucky.” (@INTPhilosopher)
• “God it’s almost right but they’re slightly too put together in a European way. Like those boots are all wrong and he should uncross his legs. That grocery bag on the table should be a single use plastic sack. No one in Ohio has straight bangs.” (@aquabluejay)
• “I’m a lifelong Ohioan, and still haven’t been to a late night boxing match in the woods..what am I even doing.” (@mbbCLB)
But then I researched as I do. And it stopped being funny and became kind of serious.
According to the LARP group Facebook page and Google translate, the group is “Larp 4th of July is a drama about the wasted American dream. It is a story about hope, about a small homeland, about finding one’s place in the community.”
So the LARP group is a performing arts group who has a social issues message to share and it brought me down.
“More than two hundred years later, many Americans live under conditions different from what the nation’s founding fathers imagined. Barely making ends meet, striving to be family members and worthy Americans despite poverty and exclusion. Although they live on the fringes of society, their home—a small town lined with caravans and shaky houses—is for them the essence of ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.’ This is a story about them,” the expanded information page translated into for me and it brought my mood way down.
So there was the seriousness hit me and my own preconceived notions of Poland slapped me in my face.
I didn’t see Poland as a nation of people who would feel badly for Americans. I mean it was Poland, a nation I always associated with communism and adverse affects from it.
It really bothered me and send me looking at poverty rates at our two nations and more.
I went from laughter to research in a matter of moments. Oh well.
I guess I will stick with dog videos to make me laugh.
Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette. In 2022, she was named an “Editor Extraordinaire” by Editor & Publisher Magazine and in 2021 won two awards for investigative journalism.