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