Humor

Trying to find humor in social media posts

In Poland, there is a group of LARP who play the role of contemporary Americans. (Courtesy picture)

Life is too serious. The news is serious. World events are serious. My work is quite serious. You go out to get a picture here?

So when I have down time, I like to laugh. I watch irreverent shows like “Schitt’s Creek” or “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” I read light books. And I scroll TikTok.

I love TikTok. I do not 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 who play silly pranks on their parents make me laugh. Customer service stories make me knowingly laugh. Kitchen chess makes me laugh.

But I found something last week that made me spit out my iced tea and belly laugh.

First, you need to know what LARP is. LARP or “Live Action Role Play” is a game and there are all kinds of themes.

According 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 upon fantasy world. Use foam sticks as swords, foam balls as magic and other accessories to create the game world.

So I’m not a fan of cosplay or LARP, but if it makes you happy, go for it.

And then I heard about a band in Poland that plays Americans and they played like “Ohio”.

The images were hysterical. Like, is that how Europeans see us?

It looks like a Twitter user has discovered it and is sharing this humorous take on American life.

@PenBercifield wrote “In Poland there is a group of LARPs who play the role of contemporary Americans. Here they do ‘Ohio.’ And he has pictures. There are guns, police, and a denim-on-denim outfit (we were taught that kind of outfit was a “Canadian tuxedo” by older kids in high school, which is offensive to Canadians and tuxedos.). American flags are displayed. Short shorts (think Daisy Dukes) and ring fights.

I do not know. It was surreal.

And that’s not how I imagine Ohio. But then again, I’m not really imagining Ohio.

And then I went down the rabbit hole looking at this guy’s Twitter feed with the Tweet.

And I laughed and laughed.

It was really absurd.

Some of my favorite tweets in response:

• “They think they’re representing Ohio when they’re actually representing Kentucky.” (@INTPhilosopher)

• “My God, it’s almost true, but they’re a little too put together in a European way. As these boots are all fake and he should uncross his legs. That grocery bag on the table should be a single-use plastic bag. No one in Ohio has straight bangs. (@aquabluejay)

• “I’ve been a lifelong Ohioan, and I still haven’t been to a late night boxing match in the woods…what am I doing.” (@mbbCLB)

But then I researched like I do. And it stopped being funny and it got pretty serious.

According to Facebook page of the LARP group and Google translate, the group is “Larp 4th of July is a drama about the ruined American dream. It’s a story of hope, of a small homeland, of finding one’s place in the community.

The LARP group is therefore a performing arts group that has a social message to share and that made me fall.

“More than two hundred years later, many Americans live in conditions different from what the nation’s founding fathers imagined. Barely making ends meet, striving to be worthy family members and Americans despite poverty and exclusion. Although they live on the fringes of society, their home – a small town lined with caravans and rickety houses – is for them the very essence of the “land of the free and the fatherland of the brave”. This is a story about them,” the expanded information page translated for me and it lowered my mood.

So the seriousness hit me and my own preconceptions about Poland slapped me.

I didn’t see Poland as a nation of people who would feel bad for Americans. I mean it was Poland, a nation that I have always associated with communism and its evil effects.

This really bothered me and sent me looking at the poverty rates in our two nations and more.

I went from laughing to looking in moments. Never mind.

Guess I’ll stick to dog videos to make me laugh.

Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hamilton Gazette. In 2022, she was named “Editor Extraordinaire” by Editor and magazine publisher and in 2021 won two awards for investigative journalism.