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The Place of Humor in Advocacy

April 17, 2008

I just heard Morgan Spurlock (of “Super Size Me” fame- which I LOVED) on “Talk of the Nation” on NPR about his new film “Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?”. I haven’t seen the film yet but I liked how he explained the humorous approach of the film:

“Well I think that you know Lily Tomlin said it best you know that we have to find humor in everything because you through humor we find humanity and I think that when you see this film, there is a tremendous amount of humanity that comes through.”


Here’s something similar he said on Reuters:

“We take this issue of terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, the war on terror and we make it something that’s a little palatable, a little easier to understand, a little more engaging and some people would say you can’t really find humor in this, why is this funny and Lily Tomlin, a great comedian and actress said years ago she said ‘we have to find humor in everything because when you find humor you find humanity,’ and in this movie there is a tremendous amount of humanity.”

I really like the quote from Lily Tomlin and agree with Morgan. It’s part of the reason that I wanted to make the video “Thru the Plexiglass”. I think human rights/social justice advocates shouldn’t shy away from the use of humor, especially if it helps understand the humanity of people experiencing injustice.

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