Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Humor Research: HA, HIGH, and HAPPY
As a researcher of humor, people often ask me what I find funny.
I'd like to say that everything makes me laugh, but we all know I'd be making a giant leap there.
Supposedly cannabis is surreally funny
but you'd have to smoke it to find out.
So what is funny? How do we define what is funny without using examples? Something that makes us laugh? Tickling makes us laugh. Something unexpected? Train wrecks are unexpected. Something nostalgic? WWII Memorabilia is nostalgic. Something expected? Bureaucracy is boring, as expected. Illogical thoughts tickle our fancy...but they also cloud our judgment. Humor is subjective. So, what's funny about that?
Nothing at all... unless it's shared.
Humor = Sharing
Since beginning this blog April 2010, I have experienced more humorous moments sharing one-liners on Facebook than I have writing in this online, exploratory humor journal - Nah, just kidding. I've had fun with it all!
Most humor entails a feeling of energie and being social. The humor state results from a large dose than that which produces this energie. It might entail joking, sharing one-liners or comics, or making witty remarks or jests. The duration of effect can be seconds to minutes spent rolling on the floor with laughter. A full range of physical and mental effects are experienced, most prominently relaxation, excitement, a quickening of the thought processes or unnatural thought processes that entertain thinking, and a dream-like state with random butterflies breakdancing around your head.
While under the influence of humor, the laugher does not want to move much physically or exert his or her mind on serious or focused thought. Extreme instances of being higher than a kite induce states that are difficult to describe in large part due to the farcical action of various chemical constituents on the user's perceptual systems, memory and cognition. The humored state also has been portrayed in many graphic and symbolic formats - essentially visual metaphors - such as in the below image:
Metaphor, Meaning, and the Humor Experience