[ExI] humor reactions

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue May 19 04:42:19 UTC 2009

Harvey writes

> On Sunday 17 May 2009 3:11:09 pm spike wrote:
>> A New Yorker is crossing a bridge and sees another man about to jump, asks
>> why, the jumper says "It is so unfair.  I designed this beautiful bridge you
>> are standing on, but do the people point at me and say 'There goes Jacob,
>> the famous bridgebuilder'?  NO!  And I helped draw up the blueprints of half
>> the skyscrapers you see there, but do the people say 'There goes Jacob, the
>> great architect'?  NO!  But I get caught with just ONE LITTLE COCK in my
>> mouth, and they all point and say..."
>> Made ya laugh, didn't it?  Why?
> At the risk of being accused of being humor impaired, I have to say that I 
> can't imagine laughing at a gay guy about to commit suicide because he had 
> been outed.

I may be as "humor impaired" as Harvey, but for
different reasons. Like MB, I didn't connect
the "little" in the joke to children (can't
honestly say for sure I connected it to the
*big* things like skyscrapers and bridges).

But I can hardly believe all of your reports.
To me, what is funny about the joke is the
exasperation of the poor guy who is at his
wit's ends. He feels underappreciated for
having got his hand caught in the cookie
jar (to him, and incredibly mild offense)
when he has done all these great things.

Now I speculate that the humor jolt happens
in people---and is based upon this impression
of his exasperation---many milliseconds before
it can dawn on anyone that "little" specifies
children. (Or, I guess some people's brains
are ready to go to some conclusions a lot
faster than mine.)

As for him being gay, I admit that a bit of the
humor was associated with the traditional
embarrassment of many people (now being corrected)
having to do with their non-normal sexual orientation.

> I can't see how this would be funny to anybody unless they had preconditioned 
> to think gays are funny, gays are unusual, and gays should be ashamed of 
> themselves.  Without those prerequisites, this joke simply doesn't make any 
> sense.

That's probably true. But that's the way it is. And
I would claim that unless one is gay *and* has undergone
a lot of reverse conditioning, the joke would be funny
anyway. (That is, I can fully credit in the brains of
gay people that the neural connections linking up
their ostracism or denigration are going to be fired
easily, and would easily have time to fire in the
split second it takes to get the joke, thus ruining
it for them.)

> Seriously, try making this joke about a heterosexual and see if it can in any 
> way be made funny.  If not, the alleged humor lies in laughing at gays rather 
> than laughing at something inherent in the joke itself.

Probably true again, although I think that anything
that could generate such a sense of exasperation on
the part of the victim (of the situation), coupled
with an attitude on his part of complete innocence
for what is regarded as a no-no by society, would
also arouse humor in the same way.


P.S. I don't know whether or not to hope
anyone found the two words I used above,
coupled and arouse, to be funny here or

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