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Monday, May 12, 2014

Silly Syllogism or Loony Logic?

Bird Humor; Look Out Below!
Bird Humor; Look Out Below! (Photo credit: Dawn Huczek)



Humor is anarchy,

Anarchy wants to destroy civilization as we know it and perhaps even the world.

Therefore the destruction of the world is funny.

        Do you enjoy funny apocalyptic books and films?    Does the humor of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, George Carlin, and other similar comedy acts appeal to you?    Is anarchist humor funny to you?    Do you think government morally corrupts society?    What do you think would happen if the government totally collapsed?

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33 comments:

  1. I thought Zombieland was hysterical. Never a fan of Carlin though.

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  2. Not a fan of most of that kind of stuff, esp. post apocalyptic movies. 'Salute the Jugger' (aka Blood of Heroes) stars my fave Vincent D'Onofrio but it's weird. 'World Gone Wild', from the 80s with Bruce Dern and Adam Ant was whacked out too. Love me some George Carlin though. I think the 3 Stooges is a guy thing.

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  3. I'm not a fan of anything violent--and few of these movies are non-violent, so I avoid them.

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  4. No, not so much, Lee. I like the old sitcoms like Mary Tyler Moore and Friends for comedy.

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  5. End of the world humor can definitely strike me as funny. I'm with Alex about Zombieland, and love the humor in shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I like gallows humor. I DON'T care for slapstick or anything that requires a victim... mean isn't funny (this is my main problem with 90% of sitcoms). I tend to like British humor (think Monty Python)--the contrast of the proper seeming person doing something ludicrous. As for George Carlin--love him in very small doses. He is too much on a binge.

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  6. I think I like the more serious end of world stories with a little humor thrown in.

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  7. Yes, the destruction of the world is funny. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ...er, sorry, that was my muse. She gleefully plots ways to destroy the worlds create.

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  8. It would only be funny if it weren't happening. So, I guess I don't think it is all that funny. That isn't to say that I don't like dystopian stories... I do. I find them fascinating. The worse the government gets.... well, it gives the people an opportunity to shine.

    And there is always real life. Look at The Holocaust... the people who survived the camps (inspirational) and the people who risked their lives so to get people out of the country (also very inspirational). I chanced upon the story of a man who risked his to get as many children out of Germany as possible. He never really talked about what he did during this period, so his family didn't even KNOW until it was all revealed later. Anyway... they brought him on the show to talk about it and he was still very humble about the whole thing. And then they revealed that almost everyone in the audience were children that he rescued. Let's just say that there was a lot of crying. And only some of it was happening on the screen.

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  9. Interesting choice of comedians. I love the Marx Brothers but find the Three Stooges infantile. I appreciate some of Carlin's humor but not all.

    I used to enjoy stories about our society collapsing before it felt like fiction. Now, not so much.

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  10. I'm a huge Carlin fan and wish he were still here to poke fun at our very "funny" government. It needs a lot poking these days.

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  11. What do you think would happen if the government totally collapsed?

    I'd sure love to find out...

    I loved George Carlin. Sure he was liberal, as most entertainers seem to be, but he was funny as heck and had a mastery of words.

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  12. Alex-- Have not seen Zombieland yet. I like the intellectual often subtle humor of comics like Carlin.

    JoJo -- I always hear that about 3 Stooges being a guy thing. Maybe guys have more sense of the absurd. I'm not big on the comic violence of the Stooges, but I enjoy the situational chaos.

    Stephanie -- I suppose if society disintegrated into a chaos accompanied by fear, suspicion, and conflicting goals, violence would be likely to be something that would go along with it.

    Karen -- You are not alone in this preference.

    Hart -- Humor can be found in anything. An everything gets overdone if the doses are too profusive.

    Teresa -- I prefer those as well.

    Patricia-- As long as it stays in fiction.

    Robin -- There is a serious message behind the concept of apocalypse that I think has been diminished and trivialized since WWII. There are good story potentials, but sometimes I think endtimes is almost romanticized and I'm not sure that is a good thing. I've seen several movies and heard stories about those holocaust heroes and they are very moving.

    LD -- The Marx Brothers are the Three Stooges for the intellectuals. Much of their humor is related though. Yes, the collapse of society is becoming too close for comfort.

    Lee


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  13. C.Lee-- Government always needs to be poked and then prodded if they don't get the more subtle messages which they typically don't.

    Carlin -- He had an intellectual approach to comedy and to life in general. He made us think about what he said which is something many modern comedians don't do.

    Lee

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  14. I really like British panel shows. They usually have comedians that are very cynical and sarcastic. Questioning the norm and status quo through comedy is important I think.

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  15. Is that why we laugh when people fall down?

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  16. I was never into the Marx Brothers and I hate the Three Stooges, completely.
    I absolutely love George Carlin.

    I didn't see Zombieland as a comedy and could barely bring myself to watch it all the way to the end (and I love horror).
    A lot of young adults think being in an apocalypse would be amazing or cool. I believe that's because they're planning on being the protagonist instead of, say, nameless victim twelve. But few stories have room for more than a few major players.

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  17. Cely -- Comedy is all about turning things upside down to cause us to question what we see as the norm and the absurdity of society.

    Andrew -- I guess if it happens to someone else and not to us it can look funny. There has to be some kind of separation between any empathetic reactions that we might have and somehow putting the event in some realm of not being real. Pratfalls are a comedy standard because it does look funny. Humor can be so cruel when you really start thinking about it.

    Jennifer -- The young people who fantascize about dystopian societies probably have had life too easy and are a tad bit bored with the aimlessness that a static society seems to have.

    Lee

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  18. I used to love Who's Line is it? I thought they were so clever.

    As Time Goes By was also a series of very clever programmes, they are still shown on PBS. Years ago in the UK there was Dad's Army about a local Home Guard during the war, hilarious. Many others but doubt anyone on this side of the pond would remember them. Morecombe and Wise were a hilarious couple too.

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  19. George Carlin was a huge talent! As a Vaudeville man, I would think that you'd also appreciate someone like Billy Crystal who could sing, dance, and do impressions.

    Julie

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  20. Jo-- I remember As Times Goes By, but never watched it. I don't watch much on PBS or any TV for that matter. Improv is such a special skill. I'm not quick like that.

    Julie -- I don't recall seeing Billy Crystal too much, but he seems like a likeable guy. I thought he was one of the best Oscar hosts. Don't know why they didn't keep him longer like they did Bob Hope.

    Lee

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  21. Always enjoyed the Marx Brothers although never thought of them as Apocalyptic.


    I am not a fan of most of the present governments they are always on the edge of corruption, but I suspect the alternative is anarchy. . . . Maybe I need to become a dictator and try and rule honestly and fairly.

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  22. Humor makes people think, and often from a different perspective, so humor can't be all bad. Personally, I think if the government collapsed, a bunch of new folks would step in and put things back in order, just like they do when catastrophes happen, only this time, they'd be doing it to keep the comedians in business, instead of to help people rebuild their lives. It's a dry heat out here :)

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  23. If the guv'ment collapses, then maybe, just maybe, normal people without an agenda would come out of the woodwork and volunteer to git-r-dun.

    As for humor, I love all of those that you mentioned, although in today's f'd up p.c. society, some of that humor would be verboten.

    Father Nature's Corner

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  24. I will admit that sometimes I laugh really hard at things that really shouldn't be funny. I wonder if getting the giggles over something serious is more nervousness that actual humor.

    I don't really get all the fascination with apocalyptic or dystopian stories. Do people really think it will be all romance and adventure? Do they believe some sixteen year old girl with a bow and arrow will rise to save the day. These futuristic dramas that might warn or help to prevent us from sinking to the levels depicted might be somewhat helpful, but all those 'young people' who are hoping for an apocalyptic collapse of civilization, most likely would be very surprised at the actual outcome. My best guess is that they would also not survive the first 24 hours.

    That said, the apocalyptic comedies like 'Warm Bodies' where zombies are turned back into human form by love, do strike me as funny!

    When I'm in the mood,the goofiness of the Marx Bros and even the Three Stooges can have me on the floor. Carlin is someone I thought often times very funny and others not so much.

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  25. Rob -- the Marx Brothers were pretty chaotic though. How are you going to be dictator if I'm going to be dictator? I say let's start a war and destroy society.

    MJ -- If more people had a better sense of humor the world might be a better place. It's hot in L.A. too and I don't like it.

    GB -- I'd like to think that good people would step forward, but I tell you that if there is a societal collapse I hope I'm not in Los Angeles at the time. This place could be terrifying.

    FAE --I think so many young people are feeling aimless and without hope that societal upheaval would alleviate their ennui. They're not thinking very rationally about the reality of it all.

    Lee

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  26. >>... Humor is anarchy

    Well, I disagree with the very first concept being proposed, so... that doesn't leave me with much room for commenting.

    >>... Do people really think ... some sixteen year old girl with a bow and arrow will rise to save the day? ... all those 'young people' who are hoping for an apocalyptic collapse of civilization, most likely ... would also not survive the first 24 hours.

    And I agree with FAE. The most dumbed-down and "needy" Followers amongst us, would be the first to perish. In other words, say "Adios" to Generation Text and Generation Tat... which isn't such a bad thing after all.

    Adios, kiddos!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  27. StMc -- I'm trying to think of an example of humor that is not in some way related to anarchy or a thought process that evokes anarchy in the mind. Three Stooges and the Marx Bros. created anarchy in the social settings depicted in their films. A pie fight is anarchy (or chaos).

    I suppose if you use the term anarchy in a strictly political sense some argument might be made that humor is not anarchy just as you might not say that humor is not Democratism or Republicanism or whatever, but then again those things can be rather funny.

    So perhaps more elaboration is needed from you. More from me might be the basis of another blog post.

    Then there is also my blog header Silly Syllogism or Loony Logic?. This poses a question that does not allow for the exception of one element of the equation so therefore even without agreement on any concepts the question posed from the outset can be answered. But that being the case, the answer would still require some evidence of proof not unlike asking why a duck crossing the road to get to the other side is funny since it's a completely logical and orderly. The same applies to a chicken. Or Barack Obama. Well, maybe not Obama--I'm sure he had other motivations.

    And regarding the apocalyptic collapse I probably wouldn't last long either. I sure wouldn't be crossing the road near my house since L.A. would probably be swarming with tatted gang loonies with guns and anarchistic tendencies. Not much humor in that kind of anarchy, but then everything can be funny depending on the point of view and who's looking at who.

    Lee

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  28. BOIDLEE ~
    You're correct, I didn't elaborate enough to make myself understood. I was kind of hurrying along and paused just long enough to let you know I'd been here.

    It's not something I particularly want to break down and put under a microscope but I'll 'splain myself a wee bit better:

    Great humor that really tickles us is based on some reality that we can identify; something normal is tweaked and turned on its head or on its ear. We're aware that something commonplace is suddenly askew.

    The humor comes from the fact that an underlying foundation of reality has been twisted and the absurd result is what entertains us. (Like Ralphie's entire experience with the elves and Santa in 'A Christmas Story'.)

    To me, anarchy means that there is no order, just random chaos, and humor can't be based on something that we can't identify and somehow relate to in some other way.

    Let's say a UFO from Venus lands and the female occupant attempts to speak to us but her language is just a series of blips and beeps. That's anarchy, but it wouldn't strike us as funny because it's not based on anything we can understand at any level - it's a completely anarchistic scenario.

    But let's suppose this female space alien from Venus speaks in Pig Latin, or maybe she speaks in that "Valley Girl" manner ("Like, your planet is SO-OOO grody! Dude, like, gag me with a spoon!"), now we might find it funny because it's something we can relate to in another way.

    So, I don't think "humor is anarchy" is an entirely accurate statement. I would say something like, "humor is encountering the preposterously unexpected".

    To use your 'Pie Fight' example... walking into a pie fight in a school lunch room isn't funny. It may be anarchy, but it isn't happening in a place where we couldn't possibly imagine it. Now, a Congressional hearing or a U.S. Supreme Court trial that ends in a pie fight, that might be humorous because it's "anarchy" occurring in a place where we wouldn't expect to see it.

    And humor isn't always full-blown "anarchy", so I couldn't just accept a blanket statement like that. Often, humor is just a subtle twist or something slightly "off" from the norm and we didn't see it coming.

    I'm probably way over-thinking this thing, but anyway, there's a little clarification on what I was alluding to with that earlier brief remark.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  29. StMc-- Uh, yeah, you are probably over thinking this particularly considering the post in its entirety and the conclusion I came to. This was a lead-in to ask questions in order to get some comments. This was one of my short posts for the summer that I had promised last week.

    But I will stand by my assessment that humor and anarchy have a close relationship and actually I think you and I are on the same page with this. I don't disagree with most of what you say.

    The intent of anarchy is to turn the commonly accepted conventions of society topsy turvy which is essentially what you indicate is the intent of humor. Anarchy if actually to occur would be "preposterously unexpected" and the results could be chaotic or they could turn into a different kind of order which would mean that the state of anarchy would be negated.

    Humor must have context to have meaning as you have shown, but there needs to be appropriate context for the humor to be accepted generally speaking. There is order to the reality being humorized, but the humor comes from the attempt to break down our perceptions of realities in order to provoke a reaction of laughter.

    Laughter itself is anarchy of the body and mind and in an odd sense is violent and chaotic. Expressions like "I laughed until I cried" or "I laughed so bad it hurt" or reactions to comedy such as "Stop, you're killing me" or "Slaying the audience" suggest a metaphorical violence to humor.

    Context is everything as far as what is funny and yet everything can be funny if placed in a certain societal contexts. Humor can differ according to psychological types. There are different kinds of humor and all humor does not work for all people.

    However all humor attempts to challenge those standards and perceptions that govern the mind to make the receiving end of the humor to have a breakdown of their world view. The result is the anarchy of the mind and body, laughter or at least a smile. Humor can stimulate us to feel a bit crazy, wacky, nuts--something that is pleasant. A safe anarchy of thinking that is not the full blown anarchy the can result in violence and chaos, but a metaphorical anarchy based on something unexpected or a bit twisted.

    Think of the comedy club where "the audience went wild" or the person who "loses it" upon hearing something funny.

    Now shall we discuss the meanings of "is"?

    Lee

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  30. I'm a huge Three Stooges fan, though Laurel and Hardy are my favoritest comedians. I've never understood the persistent myth claiming women aren't supposed to like that kind of physical comedy. I wish there were still comedians like that, who played the same characters across all their films instead of playing different people in every movie.

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  31. Carrie-Anne-- Yeah, I don't understand the physical humor and women thing. I do think many women don't appreciate the broad range of humor that men do. Romantic comedy maybe, but other stuff not always. My wife doesn't like comedy that much so we don't watch it very often together. I agree that we lost something that I guess was a vaudeville tradition: acts like Hope and Crosby, Abbott and Costello, and so many others. Most of the ones that are closest to this concept tend to be crude like the guys that make the "Jack Ass" movies. Some of the innocent fun of old comedies has been lost.

    Lee

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  32. I'm not too big on The Three Stooges (they should be heard and not seen), however, I absolutely LOVE Laurel & Hardy. L&H and W.C. are three of my very favorite comedians!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  33. StMc-- L&H and Fields were classic. And since Fields was a very good juggler that makes him all the better. I'll have to admit a weakness for the Stooges. I grew up on those and the films are so ridiculous and silly I can't help but enjoy them. I'm perhaps more curious about their real life stories though. Those guys had a long career and their older stuff is pretty tired.

    Lee

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