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LOL. What is the point of comedy?

by Sven Triloqvist Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:14:19 PM EST

NOUN:
pl. com·e·dies
a.     A dramatic work that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict.
b. The genre made up of such works.
1.     A literary or cinematic work of a comic nature or that uses the themes or methods of comedy.
2.    Popular entertainment composed of jokes, satire, or humorous performance.
3.    The art of composing or performing comedy.
4.    A humorous element of life or literature: the human comedy of political campaigns.
5.    A humorous occurrence.


And while I might not agree 100% with the following:

There are various types of comedy, including:

Slapstick

Parody, where a work deliberately mimics the style of another for comic effect or ridicule.

Spoof is light parody or gentle imitation. Is it not necessarily intended to ridicule or make fun of the thing being spoofed but the comedy happens in the recognition of the piece being spoofed.

Satire is where a section of society or politics is deliberately mimicked and mocked in order to poke fun at them and point criticism using humour. e.g. Catch-22 is a satire of war.

Irony is where the opposite of what is expected happens or where someone says the opposite of what they mean.

Sarcasm is where an insult or quick remark is fired at someone with the intention of causing injury. It is often used in repsonse to an initial statement or comment in order to pour scorn on the stated idea or statement.

Farce is where comedy is achieved through exaggeration and extreme characters in preposterous circumstances that seem to spiral out of control and become ever more ludicrous.

black comedy is dark comedy where a light humored touch is applied to very dark and serious subject matter in order to ease the pain or make some specific point by juxtaposing the humour and the sadness

Surrealism throws together completely disjointed concepts and random ideas to weave together something bizarre.

I agree with Koestler's analysis, in the Act of Creation, that a joke involves two or more logic worlds colliding in the mind of the audience. Each world can be true and the context can be sketched in. But put together these worlds are not part of a logical continuum. The mind oscillates between two or more stereotypical `solutions', finds it cannot form them into a cohesive whole, and reacts to that discovery in various ways up to and including hysteria.

Comedy is an art, not a science, because it's about perceptions.

Koestler goes further in calling the joke a primitive dramatic structure that can be applied to all art (though more complex collision-wise). The sensation of insight comes from the dynamic of the experience of the audience colliding with the experience of the artist. Laughter, euphoria, transportation, inspiration can be the result of such insight.

The point of this diary is to discuss the role of comedy in the process of social change. I believe ridicule is one of the key weapons in 'talking to power' and changing power. Precisely because power is almost always humourless.

The diary is an extension of some minor points made in 'Feeble Democratic Secularism'. I believe it is an area worthy of discussion (without the endless tantrumic dialogue) because the Jester - the licensed purveyor of 'truth' to power - has a vital role in our society, not only in changing the worldview of the elite, but also in changing the worldview of Uncle Tom Cobley.

So I ask, how do we define a political cartoon, for example?

Display:
ridicule is one of the key weapons in 'talking to power' and changing power

Ridicule is one of the key weapons used by in-groups to single out, put down exclude, and create outsiders. As such, it is also a tool of power.

Discuss.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:55:36 PM EST
True. But isn't that true of many tools?

e. g. :

Politeness is one of the key weapons used by in-groups to single out, put down exclude, and create outsiders. As such, it is also a tool of power.

by IM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:48:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In controversies, politeness or courtesy simply allows us not to give a further excuse to an antagonist, adversary or enemy to attack us and our argument on personal grounds. It is also an excellent vehicle for irony. In fact the two go together.

In general, courtesy is not quite a virtue but is certainly the better atitude to have towards the other and oneself. It makes life more pleasant.

Sarcasm, ridicule and insults demean those who use them and have little effect on the target. Tactics of this sort will hardly win over the antagonist.

On the contrary irony veils a humourous attitude towards oneself and the other, an attitude lacking in sarcasm. Irony is also far more effective in the long run and quite fun.

Of course with internet it is challenging since it can be misconstrued. We after all do not have those peripheral cues that come with someone's presence, so must device other tactics accordingly to assure the other perceives our take as irony...

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 07:43:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you talking about manners as a class marker?

Or are you talking about ironic or sarcastic use of excessive deference?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 08:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Are you talking about manners as a class marker?"

That too.

But more important the rules what can be said, how it can be said, what can be mentioned or not restrict speech. what is taboo.

What constitute a serious argument by serious people.

"Or are you talking about ironic or sarcastic use of excessive deference?"

That is of course the traditional remedy to the strictures of politeness on the discourse.
 

by IM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:11:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I agree with Koestler, but would put it differently.

Oh, wait I have

My impression is that the basic structure of a joke is to build up a tension which is then released by the laughter. This tension is often built on misfitting concepts - like pure/unpure, high/low, group X/group Y, expected/unexpected etc. For a creature that thinks in cathegories this is probably necessary. The joke as communication then reinforces group-identities and values. If you do not find the joke funny you question the group and its values - thus the necessity to question you by accusations of humourlessness - while if you just plain do not understand it, you are probably removed from the group altogether.

Group identity is of course a weapon that can be used to unite groups against other groups lower or higher in the hierarchy of things. So if you are talking to power or simply exerting power depends on what the power relations are.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:38:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's pretty much what Freud said.

I don't agree with Koestler. A lot of more basic humour exploits taboos with no obvious collisions of anything - it's simply an indirect way to mention unmentionable acts, beliefs or desires.

I also think its power is limited unless there's already some element of near-equality.

No banker is ever going to be threatened by street theatre, unless the people doing the street theatre have a realistic prospect of putting the banker out of a job or in prison.

So like a lot of 'free speech' political humour creates a useful illusion of political leverage, but its practical effects are often close to zero.

Sarcasm from peers is far more damaging and painful.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 09:12:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Freud, eh? I suspect there is no new thoughts. only ones one does not know where they have been written before.

ThatBritGuy:

I don't agree with Koestler. A lot of more basic humour exploits taboos with no obvious collisions of anything - it's simply an indirect way to mention unmentionable acts, beliefs or desires.

I see that as a collision between the taboo and the non-verbal situation in which the joke takes place. Which could mean that you really had to been there to get the joke. Also suspect poo is not all that funny when discussed between doctors or plumbers.

ThatBritGuy:

No banker is ever going to be threatened by street theatre, unless the people doing the street theatre have a realistic prospect of putting the banker out of a job or in prison.

They need not be threatened, so far I agree. But sometimes powerful people are threatened because even in the mouths of powerless serfs, they did not expect that kind of ridicule. Rich and powerful people can have very thin skins. But in general, yes it is mostly venting.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 09:57:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those in power do feel threatened by unauthorised humour. It's a question of decorum, the dignity of the state which eventually was codified as the crime of lese-Majesty and transferred to the person of the monarch or tyrant. The concepts of sacrilege and blasphemy were institutionalized to discourage free speech and discussion of which humour is the fundamental expression.

Two examples come to mind: the murder of a young man by the Camorra a few years ago for having lacked respect for the son of a potent boss. The victim did not know that the butt of his boutade was a boss's son. In order to reaffirm his dominion the boss had to murder the person according to his "code of respect". In the 90's in the States, a person could be killed for "dising" someone without knowing that person followed a criminal code.

As for Berlusconi, he was obsessed, as he still is, by comedians. During his various regimes he managed to prevent many comedians from appearing in television despite their enormous popularity (Benigni, Grillo, Luttazzi). Berlusconi cannot stand being made fun of (much like Putin) and equates his person with the State. Neither his rule nor his person could be critized or made fun of on national television or his channels, unless they were his own clowns and his factory approved grovelling critics.

It's no wonder his most fierce critics were and are comedians. Comedians break down the complacent paranoia of the tyrant and the ruled. It's no small wonder Berlusconi was laughed out of power.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 10:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I gave you a full and non-tantrumic response on the role of the Fool or Jester. Some way further in the thread, you said:

Sven Triloqvist:

But all comedians satirize from the inside...That's what they do. That's their audience. To the extent that other cultures impinge on the inside, they satirize that too.

Not having any time to do more, I put in a <citation needed>.

That meant, do you have an example of a humourist, jester, cartoonist, satirist, who usefully mocks an "impinging" minority culture?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:56:47 PM EST
He can't be bothered.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, now.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:17:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
practiced a particular type of all-inclusive stigmatisation of minorities. If we follow the logic of insider satire, they would have confined themselves to lampooning American Jews and the Italian minority in France, respectively.

In contrast, they struck out at everything in sight, sparing no stereotypes, within an implicit humanist framework. The overall thesis is something like : hey, we're all humans here, whatever the shape of our noses.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 04:14:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's your sense of the word "stigmatisation"?

eurogreen:

If we follow the logic of insider satire, they would have confined themselves to lampooning American Jews and the Italian minority in France, respectively.

Lenny Bruce was deprived of being American because he was Jewish? Coluche, though of Italian origin, was entirely French. His send-ups, in which he often posed as a dumb Frenchman, satirised the French -- with a fair whack at their racist attitudes. I'm at a loss to see where he stigmatised a minority group.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 04:49:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are familiar with the geographical and social-standing rivalry in which stereotypical inhabitants or events in different streets, cities, regions and countries are compared. I can quote you dozens of comedians who enter into a rapport with the majority of a particular audience using those stereotypes.

Any comic has to do this - to get this rapport generally involves pointing out shared attitudes to life with that audience majority (shared experience). And this sharing is often accomplished by pointing out the ways in which other minority cultures (perhaps in the same audience, or next city, or region, or country or class, or whatever) have different attitudes.

An audience will laugh at jokes about politicians, for example, because as a class they are in an external minority, and they impinge greatly, and 'obviously' have a different attitude to life than you and me chum. The comic exploits the perceptual stereotypes of the audience in order to draw them into a conspiratorial rapport.

But then you included 'usefully'! In this context I don't know what that means. Is laughing useful?

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 08:52:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An audience will laugh at jokes about politicians, for example, because as a class they are in an external minority, and they impinge greatly, and 'obviously' have a different attitude to life than you and me chum. The comic exploits the perceptual stereotypes of the audience in order to draw them into a conspiratorial rapport.

Politicians are laughed at because they hold power over those who laugh.

Is laughing useful?

To you as a clown, it earns your keep.

I see a total absence of power dynamics and politics in your analysis. It's almost like economics.

Politically, humour can be socially useful if it keeps the powerful honest. If it is used to belittle te powerless, humour is not being socially useful. IMHO.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 08:58:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
belittling the powerless to keep then down is certainly "socially useful" for some. An essential part of maintaining class separations and divisions...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misčres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 09:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's start at the end. "Usefully" stems from the previous discussion in which (it seems to me) you posited a socially useful role for the Fool or Jester (such as speaking truth to power under cover of jest, or questioning the attitudes of an audience), by taking up an:

Sven Triloqvist:

'acted position' in order to provoke a discussion, or question an audience.

My point was that comedians do this from the inside of the culture, not outside - isn't that what you're saying about "shared attitudes" and "audience majority"?

Now, what you go on to say about humour arising from comparing stereotypes and different attitudes may be true. But I suggest we would find it a lot less funny (and socially useful) if that humour doesn't question majority attitudes by making the audience laugh at themselves, not just at the minority (politicians and people in power one way or another not included, that's a different kettle of fish).

So I'm sure you could think of lots of examples (though you don't offer any) of humour arising from comparison or dissonance of cultures. But an example of humour, that we find funny, that simply mocks a minority group's accepted beliefs and attitudes from the outside?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 08:55:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the comic, to survive, needs to create a bond with a particular audience via a particular channel (channel used in the pro sense of a system of delivering and receiving messages. So pigeon post would be a channel!)

As I said there are minority groups everywhere. Many comedians do characters - I surely don't have to name them? - and typically the act will at least partly mock the attitudes and beliefs of the adopted stereotyped minority: the scouser, the punk, the minister of silly walks, the welsh, the cockney, the Staines crew etc etc.

And of course mocking humour formed a very important of WWII, at least as far as the British were concerned.

As usual here at ET it's the inexact or unshared meanings of words that cause many a trip up the garden path. 'Mocking' comes to me as a tad nasty, but usually understood by both ends of the dialogue. It is not far up from teasing or joshing as the temperature of invective rises.

In Funland, bullying is mobbing (translated), which seems to me a milder version of bullying.

But back to the point: IMO, though there are usually sharper cultural differences across borders, there are lots of minorities (cultural isolates) within national cultures. Thus I am referring to all examples of minorities within, and without national boundaries, whereas I realise now that you were referring back to the main thrust of the previous diary. It wasn't a very useful diary and conversation, but there were some issues that came up that I thought worthy of further discussion.

Perhaps we can no longer enjoy the sometimes vicious mocking of political cartoons of the past that were full of the kind of racial stereotyping (mocking) you are talking about. But to me, a cartoon of a Islamic man with a beard with a bomb in his turban is no different from the Pope depicted with young boys. Those cartoons speak to power (misuse of), and thus to leaders who promote, defend or conceal gross acts against a society. The 'collateral damage' is that millions of followers take offense because they think it depicts them personally. My guess is that the Danish cartoon was addressed to an internal audience (which includes a minority who might see themselves as depicted), and the actual worldwide effect of dissemination was not at all predicted.

On the whole though I am in favour of total freedom of expression - except where against the laws of the particular jurisdiction where the freedom is expressed ;-).

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:21:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is much more basic, Sven. The same speech act can be interpreted as friendly banter or as an unfriendly act. It depends if the relations are friendly or unfriendly, not on the speech act. The relations are part of the message.
by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but you shouldn't read other people's mail.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 03:58:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sloppy encryption was too tempting.
by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 04:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm rather hopelessly lost to define when it's 'useful' to mock anyone. And I'm also rather hopelessly lost on the how and when minority cultures 'impinge' on the 'inside'. It's raining question marks for me. I rather suspect such discussion is bound to derail and people end up perfectly talking past each other.

So, my only aid is adding a Dutch example of 'cabaret' - these days largely performed as humorous story-telling. The current segment, by lauded, gruff 'cabaretier' Theo Maassen has created the past week a bit of a dust-up:

The joke that caused the stir is made in the first 20 seconds. Because this is an 'inside' joke (?), let me go through it verbatim:

European Tribune - Comments - LOL. What is the point of comedy? tan1 European Tribune - Comments - LOL. What is the point of comedy?

Bij de vorige verkiezingen, in Volendam stemde 50 procent van de mensen stemde op de PVV. In Volendam! Dat hele dorp is 100 procent blank! De enige variatie die ze daar hebben in huidskleur zijn de slachtoffers van die cafebrand. Dat is pure xenofobie!

In the last elections, 50 percent of the people in Volendam voted for the PVV. In Volendam! The whole village is 100 percent white! The only variation in skincolor that they have there are the victims of the cafe fire. It is pure xenophobia!

Volendam, both tourist attraction and famous fishing village, is a close-knit and deeply religious community amidst the fabric of Dutch society. People in Volendam adhere to their own traditional culture and family values and are also (in)famous for their interbreeding - which has resulted in a distinguishable gene pool, also used by scientists for genetic mapping.

As known, the PVV is the anti-Muslim, populist party of Geert Wilders.

On New Year's in 2000 - 2001, a fire in a local café in Volendam ended in a deadly tragedy - with 14 people dead and hundreds of young people scarred for life with dramatic burn wounds. More here.

Thus the 'joke'.

In his shows, Maassen spares hardly anyone - himself, his girlfriend, his audience, waiters, Geert Wilders, atheists, the Queen, etc. He's been criticized for tiptoeing around coarse jokes on muslims and Islam - but he hasn't spared them either. And now he targets people in Volendam. Maassen is not from Volendam - he's an 'outsider' in that respect. But he's also Dutch and he's as white as the traditional people in Volendam.

His show, launched last year February, is called 'With all due respect' and was rated by critics as one of his most poignant and best ever seen. It was broadcast last December on a public channel for the first time.

Only then, after more than a year after the try-outs, someone in Volendam said: 'Wait, I'm offended by this!'.

Which probably says more about Volendam than it does about Maassen.

I'm not going to touch whether Maassen is 'impinging' enough to mock a minority culture or whether he's too much of an outsider - or whether it is altogether useful.

Still after this segment, he does go on extensively mocking Volendam people, and to great success of the audience - and myself, I should add in all honesty.

by Nomad on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 08:50:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As you say, he's Dutch and white, and he's satirising a subset of the white Dutch, the 50% of Volendamers who voted PVV. He's doing so, presumably, to question the political attitudes of all white Dutch by using Volendam as an extreme example. The question of whether it's funny to mock them concerning the fire is up for grabs -- as it's delivered it gets a laugh, though I thought I sensed some nervousness.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 09:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about The Point© of humor.  I note humans enjoy it and even make active efforts to seek it out.

...Koestler's analysis, in the Act of Creation, that a joke involves two or more logic worlds colliding in the mind of the audience.

I doubt "logic" is correct, substitute "semantic" and I'd go along with it.

Neurologically, recent work suggests there are processing differences in Semantic selection (inferior frontal gyrus, activation (posterior middle and superior temporal gyri,) and integration (anterior middle and superior temporal gyri) - Broca's Area - in the the Left and Hemispheres.  The Left Hemisphere (LH) seems to specialize - there's a lot of overlap! - more towards the dominate, literal, and contextually relevant meaning while the Right Hemisphere (RH) towards weaker, diffuse, and invoking the brain's neuro-psychological and neuro-epistemic (roughly "cognitive") semantic network¹.  

Should this be accurate - and "why not," says I - this leads to the suggestion humor arises from:

  1.  Two equally valid "Semantic Closures" (SC) in the LH
  2.  Two equally valid SC in the RH
  3.  Two equally valid SC, one in the LH and one in the RH
  4.  An inability to find a SC

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

¹  Anybody who thinks they can separate the two, given our current state of knowledge, is fooling themself.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 12:44:05 AM EST
That tickles me pink.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Logic in the sense of a self-contained matrix: "An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman went into a bar..."

It is possible that you have just revealed the great secret of mind: Overlap.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 08:56:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a safe bet the hemispheres specialize but also cooperate in higher cognitive function processing.  Which makes sense given neural, like all biological, systems expend stored energy to get things done and the 'low energy cost solution' is dividing tasks up bBut not to the extent of the popular Left/Right Brain mis-understanding) and running the processing in parallel.

In the general course of things it can be  postulated the RH is more apt to "get a joke," most likely due to it's predilection for diffuse, loosely-coupled, Semantic associational reference processing, initiating an unresolvable back-and-forth between the Broca's Areas which then ships the mess to the anterior prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's Areas 9, 46, and 10) the "center" (sic) for executive processing.  Then, in the light of current knowledge, a Miracle Occurs:

 

and unable to resolve to SC we laugh.  Why we laugh rather than become frustrated and irritated is a puzzle.  My hand-waving guess is the context of the communication establishes expectation and 'programming' of the types and modes of to-be-expected communication ... a fancy-assed way of saying we expect to laugh in a comedic venue.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 12:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Becoming frustrated or irritated by apparent contradictions is not very conducive to finding a solution. So maybe it is adaptive to become interested in situations where semantic closure cannot be attained.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 02:12:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree.

However, adaptive behavioral modification requires the kind of Mind (whatever that is) interested in the condition.  It's CW Right Wing Authoritarians are not interested and react by ignoring or being threatened by non-semantic closure, not adapting in other words.

Which kinda/sorta goes to explain the lack of first rate RW comedians?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 02:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, even small animals display expectations and curiosity about the unexpected.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 02:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yuppy indeedy.  Why the Harvard Law of Animal Behavior:

Under carefully controlled experimental circumstances, an animal will behave as it damned well pleases.

came about.  Chomsky has observed Biologists cannot accurately predict the behavior of nematodes who have right around 100, give/take, neurons.  Being inquisitive about unexpected 'stuff' is a Good Thing for the species as whole, perhaps not for the individual of that species that unexpectedly became lunch for an inquisitive individual of another species!  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 05:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Curiosity kills the cat, and all that.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 05:46:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:

Which kinda/sorta goes to explain the lack of first rate RW comedians?

There are lots of comedians that are only funny when you are in agreement. So in order to appreciate RW comedians perhaps one must be RW? Or those that are right wing but manages to collide more then two worlds and make jokes that are funny from several angles might not be perceived as right wing, even if they are. South Park at its best (rare as that might be) comes to mind.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 04:12:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are lots of comedians that are only funny when you are in agreement.

There's this:

which I find hysterically funny.  YMMV.  :-)

Re: South Park

I've never watched it.  The various bits I've seen posted haven't encouraged me to want to wade through the muck to find the gems.    

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 05:03:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like the drawing of the old crones which can become the stem of a candlestick (pos/neg inversion), it can be one or the other, but not both at the same time. There is thus 'hunting' going on - oscillation between two states. But how that turns into reflexive diaphragm waggling...

Babies giggle when they are flooded with behaviour-triggering biochemicals - they 'feel good'. But if I recall from my own spell on the cot night shift, it took some time after birth before giggles began. Perhaps when there was the first clear recognition of mother - so quite some time.

But evolutionary advantage might have come from reflexive diaphragm waggling?

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 04:20:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I'm remembering my Psychology (taken in early 7th Century, CE) correctly women are more apt to provide extra nurturing to babies that smile, laugh, etc.  A significant evolutionary advantage.  No reason to amp it up to eleven for Daddy since he's not the primary care giver.  

And I'm in danger of writing a Just So story.  So I'll stop.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 05:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've also read that the physiological mechanisms of laughter and crying are very similar.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 05:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wading through a fascinating paper discussing the anterior prefrontal cortex.  It seems (my interpretation) impossible to separate the neuroanatomy of cognitive functioning/processing and emotional functioning/processing.  Thus the diverse range of emotional response and behavior would be processed "in the same way."  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:02:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is, for instance, a neurological condition that manifests itself in uncontrolled laughig, or crying, or both.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well if you can lay your hand on Aristotles Comedy, it's worth a few pennies

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 12:42:37 PM EST
Just remember to wear gloves and NOT lick your finger when turning the pages.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 12:50:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've got an old xeroxed copy laying around. Maybe I should scan it.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 01:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that humor?  Aristotle's Comedy has been lost.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 01:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A rose is a rose is a rose dixit Gerty.

Actually, there are quite a few fragments of no earth shaking significance lying around in various manuscripts. They've been compiled and discussed by those in the know. Richard Janko sought to reconstruct it.

I worked nearly a year on the film under Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo. My job was to make the numerous objects, sacred and profane, among which the main book covers.  The pages were reproduced by a brilliant young designer whose name avoids me at the moment. must have been mid-Eighties. So, yes, the full original may be lost but we made the copy that was unceremoniously chomped up.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:07:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Showoff!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:23:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
O, dear, I haven't even started and you've called me on that. I shall retire to my fond memories.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 04:04:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
de Gondi:
I shall retire to my fond memories.

and we'll be the poorer for it...

deG, you are as far from being a showoff as it gets. Mig was kidding!

 

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 05:22:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was envious!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 06:02:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew there are bits and pieces compiled from second sources quoting the work.  I didn't know there was enough to even try a reconstruction.  I learned something.  Thanks.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 05:11:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're welcome.

Years of work and research went into that film. There was a wall of specialized literature on all possible aspects of the Middle Ages. Jean Jacques Annaud was very meticulous. Professor Janko's Aristotle on Comedy: towards a reconstruction of Poetics II was on the shelf as soon as it came out. I don't know what impact it may have had on the screenplay but it was well received in academic circles. It was consulted and passages were underlined.

I see a new edition came out in 2002.

Janko at one point does cite Umberto Eco. I doubt he is aware that his work was consulted for the film.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 02:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A film I can watch again and again with pleasure. :)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:11:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that film reflects all the enthusiasm everyone involved put in to it. It was a boom period at Cinecittà with Sergio Leone preparing Once Upon a Time in America and vying for the Rose carpenters, hard set on building the amazing library. Leone hanged around a lot even during shooting.

There were some curiousities such as Annaud's insistence that Valentina be portrayed as a statue in a more realistic, classic style rather than Romanic or early Gothic. The sculptor, Filomeno Crisarà, grumbled although the subject matter was stunning. Effectively, Annaud wanted to create an hallucinatory effect in which Valentina's semblance stood out.

An archaeologist ribbed me for that anacronism but hell I wasn't involved in that decision, which I believe can qualify for artistic freedom, and an effective one at that.

Another anacronism was the atrolabio. Although they did exist in the Mediterranean at the time, that particular one was a later development. The object was a frantic last minute rush- maybe there was a scene change. I was asked to incise arab on it over night after the original more modern inscriptions had been ground off. I vaguely recall resorting to potassium chlorate and HCl.

One passage underlined- while I'm at it- in the Janko text was an example of a word parody in which the word "Clod" substituted "God." "O, Almighty Clod!" was the phrase in some lost play quoted by Aristotle. This certainly would have qualified as blasphemy in Jorge's vision. Greek gods were somewhat more tolerant than Biblical Gods.

If I recall correctly, casting wanted Huston to play Jorge but it didn't come through. Chaliapin did a great job anyway. As for Connery nothing can be added to his superb craftsmanship, curiousity, humility and all around great guy.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 07:31:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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