Friday, March 9, 2012
The Humor Playing Ground
"We delight, for mysterious reasons, in comic revelations about the inadequacies of the great as well as the absurdity of those all about us. We may even enjoy jokes at our own expense - unless there is too much of a loss of dignity and we feel, too directly, the hostility that is hidden in this humor.
All of us can probably recall incidents in our lives that were funny and which made us feel good. And that seems to be one of the most important aspects of humor - it gives us pleasure, even if it does so in rather complicated ways. We even seem to derive pleasure figuring out how humor gives us pleasure."
Arthur Asa Berger , 1993, An Anatomy of Humor
Arthur Asa Berger is a percipient interpreter of public mood. His explorations into Pop Culture's objects of affection tell us a lot about ourselves and other people. Berger recognizes humor in every subject, "there is no escaping humor and there is no subject...that hasn't been...joked about."
Like many great thinkers before him, Berger recognizes that humor can be a subtle and powerful means of social control, but he also acknowledges that humor is just as much a force for resistance by subordinate elements in society. (p. 2)
In my mind, humor is the playground that narrows the discordance between the "have's and the have not's in society. In this way, humor really does bring us together.
Those who have money and power, and those who do not.
Those who are smart, and those who are not.
Those who are resourceful, and those who are not.
Those who are mature, and those who are not.
Those who are pushy, and those who are not.
Those who are prudish, and those who are not.
Those who are honest, and those who are not.
Those who have manners, and those who do not.
Those who know when to stop, and those who do not.