Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dr. Sanity: Not all Political Humor Created Equal

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Especially Political Humor

Reading more "humor" and laughing less?

Terrific read at Dr. Sanity's, "Not All Humor is Created Equal". It takes a look at the various things parading as "humor"

If the good Doctor would have only posted the first paragraphs--along with the chuckler by Greg Gutfield at HuffPo--that alonewould have been worth the price of admission. But wait!--the Doc's got more!

I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for those who gently mock the left; and no one does it better than Greg Gutfield... AND he does it on their own territory, the vastly overinflated HuffPo

Calling Sarah Palin a murderer might seem a stretch.

At first.

But alarmingly, Sarah Louise Heath Palin was born on February 11, 1964 - a suspicious beginning, as it is also the forty-eighth anniversary of the arrest of the free-thinking "first-wave feminist" Emma Goldman, for lecturing on the benefits of... birth control.

This "coincidence" could be easily dismissed, if poet and woman Sylvia Plath had not committed suicide one year (to the day) prior to the birth of Palin. Whether Palin was aware of this fact as a child isn't known - and whether the banning of the book "The Bell Jar" was actually discussed with her parents cannot be said for certain, but there had to be a reason why both mother and father landed comfortable jobs at various schools of learning - convenient locations that gave them easy access- not simply to books - but to bells, jars, and to children as well.

Yes: Our children...many of whom at the time were childlike - and vulnerable, like the late Sylvia Plath. If Plath could not weather the already considerable exploits of a youthful Palin - what harm might come to these young and helpless individuals?

One must wonder if George Orwell would have seen the irony in Palin winning the Miss Wasilla Pageant, for it happened, of course - in 1984, only a few miles from a local animal farm. Eerily, this is the same year that Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, claimed his first victim. Whether Palin was in contact with Ramirez at the time cannot be verified, but when Palin finished second runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant, it is unlikely that the outcome sat well with either of them. Few experts know what drives serial killers to kill serially - but later, Palin winning the "Miss Congeniality" award, must have been icing on the cake.

A very deadly cake, one might add. With murderous frosting. Made of death.

And murder.

Gutfield skewers the entire mind-set that has joyfully embraced 'scandal' after supposed 'scandal' involving the Republican VP nominee, and exposes it for the nonstop neurotic nonsense it is.

Mockery is a form of ridicule, contempt, or derision. When effectively combined with gentle blend of humor it can be very funny. When focused on a specific indivuals it can be cruel, vicious, sadistic and painfully insulting (think of the over-the top portrayals of Bush as Hitler or a terrorist in 'cartoons' and print, for example). For some--usually at the mental level of a 6 or 7 year old, this kind of humor may also be funny.

From a psychological perspective, not all humor is created equal.

The above would be a good day's work for any blogger: Dr. Sanity explores the various types of goofery masquerading as "humor", as well as the various levels of maturity and development needed to appreciate various types of humor.

There's also an analysis of Stephen Colbert--who occasionally is funny--the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner and Bush Derangement Syndrome.

"It was very revealing precisely because it revealed something about Colbert and any of those who found it hilarious--it revealed immaturity and intolerance. To be precise, it was just another attempt at displacement, the underlying psychological motivation of Bush Derangement Syndrome. The purpose of this kind of "humor" is to hurt. It makes very few feel pleasure except at the pain of someone else."

Who knew humor, psychology and political analysis could be so much fun?

Fascinating stuff, especially for those who love to read the "nut-and-bolts" behind what constitutes much of contemporary humor--about which most of us don't have the time or expertise to ponder.

"Not All Humor is Created Equal" is that rarest of articles: something that teaches as it entertains.

by Mondo
image: dbkp file

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