Waiting for Laughter, Part 2: Finding Empathy for Pain Through Humor

James Belarde // AUTHOR’S NOTE: Both this article and Part 1 discuss a short play written by the author that can be found in its entirety here. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” ­-Maya Angelou In my last article, I discussed a comedic (and tragic) play I wrote that was produced by my fellow…

Laughter Part 2: Is It Safe To Laugh Yet?

James Belarde // “It seems to me that you can know a man by his laughter, and if from the first encounter you like the laughter of some completely unknown person, you may boldly say that he is a good man.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky, in Notes from A Dead House “A woolly mammoth and a saber-tooth…

Laughter Part 1: Which Came First, The Language or The Laugh?

James Belarde // “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” -Rafael Sabatini, in Scaramouche Have you ever been to a party hosted by a three-month-old baby? Neither have I, but wonder what that might look like? Maybe some formula milk mocktails and mashed peas laid out…

The Smile: A Confusing Expression for Every Occasion

James Belarde // “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” -Thích Nhất Hạnh One of the biggest smiles I’ve ever flashed came after purposefully having my jaw broken, subsequently facing a six-week period where I couldn’t chew. While this sounds masochistic at…

“Let’s Play!”: The Use of Play Therapy in Child Healthcare

James Belarde// “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.” -Charlie Chaplin Children are the definition of potential. While having dinner on a first date at a vegetarian restaurant, the conversation turned to my gross undereducation in the field of vegetables and an abhorrent overeducation in the field…

Comedy Conflicted: The Dual Nature of Humor in “The House of God”

James Belarde // “Comedy is a tool of togetherness. It’s a way of putting your arm around someone, pointing at something, and saying, ‘Isn’t it funny that we do that?’ It’s a way of reaching out.” -Kate McKinnon In 1978, Samuel Shem published The House of God, a scandalous novel centered around the lives of…