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That sound of the social fabric ripping is a little bit funny

Washington, D.C. -- President Barack Obama has officially declared today, this July 11, 2011, a National Day of Laughter.

The proclamation comes in a time in desperate need of good cheer. The United States government is ideologically stretched to its breaking point, and teetering on economic collapse.

Minnesota is worse off yet, with no government to speak of. Presidential candidates are making grave historical errors in interviews with the national media, causing many to question whether there is anyone living in America competent enough to run the country.

The nation asks: "Who will save us from ruin?"

The answer, evidently, is to not worry about it.

"We're going to get through this," Obama said, stifling a giggle as he addressed the nation in a televised press conference. "Besides," he continued, "you have to admit it's sort of funny."

The Day of Laughter reportedly began when area man John Doe picked his copy of the Tribune off the doorstep and scanned the headlines. On a typical morning, Doe would have furrowed his brow at the depressing news, grunting something about "the planet goin' to pieces" as he headed in for another cup of joe.

Today, though, he took one look at the picture of the massive explosion, sharing the space above the fold with a mug of Obama staring cautiously into an uncertain future, and started laughing.

Doe's unconventional reaction to the daily news soon caught fire across the nation, as countless people reacted to reports of disaster and conflict with a high-pitched, slightly unsettling giggle.

Although the masses' seemingly flippant behavior has outraged some moral stalwarts, who argue that reverence and dignity are needed more than ever in these unsettling times, even the strongest holdouts are beginning to acknowledge the need for this most unique holiday.

"Billion dollar deficits! Collapsed governments! Murderesses on the loose!" Bill O'Reilly exclaimed on his show, before breaking into a howling fit of awkward laughter. "You must admit it is all slightly humorous, is it not?"

Indeed, laughter seems to be the most effective response thus far to the numbing overload of inter-government war, death counts and general chaos, which seeps into our skulls with every updated news feed.

Anyone who tried to absorb or comprehend the rate at which our society is unhinging -- much less try to slow it down -- would quickly drive himself to depression and insanity.

World events are simply too ridiculous, too random, too far-removed from the realm of reason to change or understand or even pay attention to.

Late-night talk show hosts cannot mock or satirize such insanity. The Onion cannot improve on the ridiculous headlines that grace every "real" newspaper and network. People cannot protest in the name of "justice" or "dignity," when such concepts were thrown out of discussion long ago.

The best solution, people seem to agree, is to appreciate our modern world for the comic spectacle it is, and hope that God's legendary appetite for dark humor will soon be satiated.

Nathan Kitzmann graduated from Detroit Lakes High School and will be attending the University of Minnesota this fall.