Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Humor Theory

Excuse me, but can you spare a moment? I’m taking a survey here and I’d like to ask you a question. It’ll only take a minute and I won’t even ask you to fill out the comment box below this post.

What is humor?

Simple question - right?

Here's some Typical Answers from 4000 of My Closest Friends on Facebook:

"Humor is those cute little laughing babies on YouTube" and...

..."those adorable Cats who cnt spl." 

"It’s jokes and stuff that makes people laugh." 

"It’s funny text messages and auto-correct." 

"It’s a cup of coffee spilling down someone’s pants, and the hysterical laughter that follows!" 

It’s also... "when someone’s laugh is funnier than the joke."

A separate but related problem is how do you know if something is funny? To answer this question, you need a theory of humor. A theory that explains both how you recognize humor, and what makes something funny – or not.

If you were to channel Oscar Wilde he’d probably say something like “No great comedian ever sees things as they really are. If he did, no one would laugh.”

The hidden implication here is that comedians have a superior sense of humor. No, really, they do. Comedians re-represent reality. They package it up differently and serve it with a side of Funny Fries.

Naturally, humor is subjective. So, what might be funny for me might not be funny for you, and visa versa. Everybody in this sense has a theory of humor, though they might not realize it.

For me, humor has become an irreplaceable theater whereby I can act out my daydreams and offer them – thanks to Blogger – for the delight of others. My blog is an easily accessible world where humor abolishes the harsh paraphernalia of words and explanations, of confrontations and arguments – even the well-meaning ones.

My little corner of the Internet has no present and no departures. The posts themselves remain permanently visible (even if you have to click on the Blog Archive on the right-hand side of this post) to access them (hint, hint!).

Relaxed, attentive, curiosity reins here. But there is also nostalgia: 1980s Ditto and Etch A Sketch Art.

Perhaps someday I will depart from sharing these humorous, fanciful whims of thought and sentiment. Even so, as long as this link remains valid, and as long as people continue to search for the videos, photos, or concepts contained herein, this blog will leisurely continue on - inviting new reflection upon a simple collection of intellectual wanderings where silence is only broken by the sound of laughter or a sudden giggle over something that resonates.

If humor resonates with you – if this blog resonates with you - I would imagine you’re the kind of person who can find humor any and everywhere you look.

I believe this to be true because in my theory of humor, we are all laughing in the same language - over the mere fact that we exist – that for me, is funny (funny, ha-ha AND funny, peculiar). 

(of the flying pizza not the post): 

If the pizza looks like it's falling downward, 
your mind is more technically inclined. 

If the pizza is folding upward,
your mind is more artistically inclined. 

Thank you for playing.


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