Misunderstanding the joke.
April 18, 2002 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Misunderstanding the joke.
posted by zedzebedia (15 comments total)
Was it Dave Barry who opined that there are three types of people with regard to humor: those that laugh at the joke, those that didn't like the joke, but still understood it was a joke, and those who were not even aware that something joke-like was occurring?

I spent part of yesterday sitting in on a student orally defending a paper about the basis of humor. His base contention was that 'humor is unpleasantness.' For this he was slightly skewered. But we all agreed after much discussion that humor is a mechanism for rendering the unpleasant harmless and putting it at a remove. The classic definition is comedy=tragedy + time. "Cutting-edge" humor merely tinkers with the time factor. And yes there are exceptions and exclusions: wordplay is hard to fit in there.

That was major straying from the topic. The practitioners of high-end political correctness always leave me goggling and gaping at their desire to be offended even at the expense of their own opinions. I know I keep saying this, but some things never fail to astound.
posted by umberto at 1:21 PM on April 18, 2002

Larry Niven used to repeat the line "humor is a defense mechanism", something we evolved to prevent killing each other all the time. (Though one might argue we're getting better at the latter all the time.) Thus, his Darwinian conclusion that the humorless among us are dooming themselves genetically.

We can hope.
posted by dhartung at 2:04 PM on April 18, 2002

Why would you even post this here zedzebedia? Hasn't enough damage already been done? Metafilter is going downhill fast.
posted by crasspastor at 2:29 PM on April 18, 2002

Damage? Forgive me if I misconstrue.

So someone who tried to make a point about the oppression of indigenous peoples and the suppression of the reality of our ruthless and violent forebears but who was misunderstood by the very people whose mistreatment he was bemoaning is not worthy of comment or discussion?

Hmm. Back to the Lego churches and radio jingles, I guess. At least it's not the freakin' middle east.
posted by umberto at 2:47 PM on April 18, 2002

I thought it was interesting, and thought others may find it interesting.

Also, I'm trying to destroy Metafilter from within. Tee hee!
posted by zedzebedia at 3:04 PM on April 18, 2002

Destroying metafilter from within is horrendous! It is one of the most brutal, heinous suggestions I have ever heard. Please let Matt know this is not amusing, appropriate or justifiable in the year 2002 and he should publicly denounce this comment.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:10 PM on April 18, 2002

Also, I'm trying to destroy Metafilter from within. Tee hee!

Hehe. It's so wrong, and yet......................so funny.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:20 PM on April 18, 2002

posted by crasspastor at 4:21 PM on April 18, 2002

It's OK crasspastor - I got it. ;)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:34 PM on April 18, 2002

Waitasec! (My favorite line.)
The bookmark shows *conquistadores* shooting a "Native American". Ironically, were we alive then, with our "enlightened" ideas, we would probably AGREE with the conquistadores!
The conquistadores were hardened mercenaries, coming from Spain after an extended period of brutal warfare. And yet these men were so *horrified* by what they saw the "Native Americans" doing (LOTS of human sacrifice and stuff), that their overriding concern was to make them STOP!

So I ask you, if you had just arrived at a place and saw the butchery of hundreds of men, women and children in the most inhumane way possible, would you stop and opine, "Well, gee! these people are just exercising their cultural prerogative in celebrating their Nature-loving religion in oneness with their jungle environment!", OR would you order your company of musketeers to cut down the buggers like the bloodthirsty savages they are?
posted by kablam at 5:05 PM on April 18, 2002

that was too good.
game-set-match: crasspastor.
posted by juv3nal at 5:06 PM on April 18, 2002

Kablam, is that a bridge you're guarding?
posted by solistrato at 6:50 PM on April 18, 2002

/me hangs head in shame and awards Crasspastor the official Master Baiter award.
posted by umberto at 7:18 PM on April 18, 2002

Cutting-edge" humor merely tinkers with the time factor.

These poor librariens were Jenined!

Oh, and if you read the linked in the linked story, you'll discover that they wern't just any conquistadores, but clipart conquistadores.
posted by delmoi at 7:35 PM on April 18, 2002

but clipart conquistadores

The worst kind!!! Next people will be making statements by playing songs in the public domain, or try destroying Mefi from the inside...

And wasn't Mel Brooks the first to say that "comedy is equal to tragedy plus time?"
posted by drezdn at 9:38 PM on April 18, 2002

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