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IS ALL HUMOR SADISTIC ???

 
 
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 05:59 pm
Typically, in movies n on TV, a comedy show
will have the hero strive to get something good,
but just as he reaches for it, bad luck erupts,
causing his abrupt defeat n frustration.

Comedy writers seem to consider this
to be * humorous * n to make us laf
at the unfortunate hero
(with whom we have been expected to EMPATHIZE).
They think this formula will bring us back to watch more
episodes of our hero (who, in theory, we LIKE) being defeated.



I wonder if our species wud be happier
if our psychological infrastructure were
such that we ENJOYED seeing our fellow man
have GOOD luck, instead of unexpectedly
being defeated n frustrated.

Can it be humorous if the villain arranges
for the hero's defeat, n humiliation,
but thru an unexpected, serendipitous turn of fate,
the hero has GOOD, joyful things happen to him ??
Can that be funny ? or can humor only come from misery?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,244 • Replies: 29
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 06:06 pm
Are we to consider humor or dramatic ploys to keep us hoping and watching?
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 07:13 pm
I recently heard an interview with John Cleese of Monty Python fame who said humour is all about being mean. It's not nice and that's why we laugh.
I tend to agree with him, from the three stooges poking each other in the eye to jackass (I hated this movie - but plenty didn't) people love to laugh at each other faults and downfalls.
Sad but true or is that happy????

Thanks, Ceili
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 07:17 pm
no
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 07:25 pm
Edgar has it about right. I think you're confusing 'humor' with humourous devices which either help to develop the plot or set up new plot complications. At least, the examples you give tend to point that way. Humor is not inherently sadistic. We laugh at Charlie Chaplin slipping on a banana peel not because we enjoy seeing him in distress, but, rather, in spite of that distress. We can laugh because we know that he will get up unghurt and, in the end, probably win the love of the waif he has befriended. If we expected him to be actually hurt, that would be sadistic. And most of us would stare in horror and not laugh.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 07:57 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
Are we to consider humor or dramatic ploys to keep us hoping and watching?



sure


y not ?
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 08:05 pm
Ceili wrote:
I recently heard an interview with John Cleese of Monty Python fame who said humour is all about being mean.
It's not nice and that's why we laugh.
I tend to agree with him, from the three stooges poking each other in the eye
to jackass (I hated this movie - but plenty didn't) people love to laugh at each other faults and downfalls.
Sad but true or is that happy????

Thanks, Ceili



Well, my mind goes back to seeing a fellow being bitterly
(n loudly) denounced by a lady at a social event (because he did not remember her name)

I remember, back in the 194Os, seeing a neighbor beating his dog.


Looking back on those events, I can't consider them funny.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 09:19 pm
Setanta wrote:
no


I wud haf 2 agree with u, Setanta.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 09:23 pm
It is said that brevity is the soul of wit, but i've overused that one . . .
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 10:07 pm
I say that brevity is the soul of
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 10:20 pm
Om...
I didn't say mean was humour, I said humour was mean big difference.
0 Replies
 
flyboy804
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 07:31 am
Merry Andrew' explanation of why we laugh when we see Charlie Chaplin slip on a banana peel in a film may be valid; but how do we explain some people's laughing when they see this same accident in real life?
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 07:40 am
Okay then, can someone post an example of humor that isn't mean?
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 07:47 am
Most humour comes from misery. The sad clown, who needs to make people laugh to make themselves feel better. However, to call it 'sadistic' is 'moronic'. It is better to laugh than cry, and a lot of comedians would be suicidal without their craft, and their ability to turn their lives around by making people laugh. There are many levels of humour. Here are a few:

high comedy-- comedy which appeals to the intellect and arouses thoughtful laughter by exhibiting the inconsistencies and incongruities of human nature and by displaying the follies of social manners.

low comedy-- comedy which lacks seriousness of purpose or subtlety of manner; typical features include quarrelling, fighting, drunkneness and boisterous conduct in general.

Farce-- coarsely comic dramatic work based on exaggerated characters and situations; fast-paced, boisterous, bordering on the absurd

parody--to imitate a person or style or a particular work for comic effect; designed to ridicule often through exaggerated imitation

slapstick--low comedy which involves physical action, practical jokes and such action as pie throwing and pratfalls

comedy of manners--concerned with the manners and conventions of an artifical, highly sophisticated society; satirical portrayal of the upper classes; the characters are more likely ro be types than individuals

burlesque--comedy in which there is a discrepancy between subject matter and style

travesty--presenting a serious subject frivolously; the style ridicules a subject inherently noble or dignified

pun--a play on words based on the similarity of sound between two words of different meanings

screwball comedy--type of film characterized by wisecracking dialogue, furious pacing, visual burlesque and often focussing on a couple in a bizarre predicament

tragi-comedy--in the twentieth century, a work that combines elements of both tragedy and comedy; both tragic and comic elements are intensified in association with one another

wit--superior mental power manifesting itself in skilful phraseology, puns, surprising contrasts, paradoxes, spigrams, and heightened perception in general

comic relief--a humourous scene, incident or speech in the course of a serious fiction or drama; the purpose is to provide relief from emotional intensity and, by contrast, to heighten the seriousness of the story

black humour--the use of the morbid and the absurd for darkly comic purposes; often features a tone of anger and bitterness and/or the use of grotesque and morbid situations which frequently deal with suffering, anxiety and death.

Choose your path, jung jedi....
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 08:59 am
Satire - A poetical composition holding up vice or folly to reprobation; an invective poem; any literary production in which persons, manners, or action are attacked with irony, sarcasm, or similar weapons; sarcastic ridicule

The Simpsons - best satire on TV
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 09:00 am
Oh yeah, agree, Ceili.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 09:04 am
Also just noticed that satire wasn't on the list. Oh well. Puns are also not mean.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 09:18 am
The best ones are. he he
0 Replies
 
Lazarus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2003 08:48 am
Sadistic?
Have you ever read Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land? Heinlein claims that nearly all humor is sadistic, to some degree.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2003 04:14 pm
Pity that Heinlein himself exhibits a very limited range of humor. For me, at least, too much of his occasional humor consists of 'in-group' jokes, not readily comprehensible to an outsider.
0 Replies
 
 

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