[ExI] humor reactions

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue May 19 05:18:25 UTC 2009


> ...On Behalf Of Lee Corbin
> Subject: [ExI] humor reactions
> 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!...
> > 
> > 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...Lee

These comments have been enormously insight-producing for me.  One could
soften it considerably for instance, if it starts out with the alternative:

The bartenders says "Why the long face, mensch?"  Bar patron says "Oy vey,
ees so unfair..."

And drop the adjective "little" which was offensive to Damien, and more like
the way Asimov told it.  Then you could add in a number of references to
religion, to make the bar patron a pious sort, which might add some
additional fist to the punchline.  

Those modifications remove most of the tragic aspect (suicide reference) and
reinforces in the reader the focus on the fact that it is a Jewish joke,
more than having to do with sexuality, with that sense of tragedy I
mentioned in an earlier post.  I completely missed the aspects Damien and
Harvey mentioned, and went to the notion (the one that started me down this
path) that the Jewish guy has all these accomplishments but this extremely
minor thing (the blowjob, or Jewishness, or the subtle equating of the two)
which causes people to focus on that one insignificant aspect instead of the
buildings and bridges. 

The Jewish people have the tragic (repeated) distruction of the temple, the
pogroms, the struggles over the ages.  For those of us who are of European
descent, we have nothing analogous to that sense of tragedy.

Regarding the transhumanist angle, I am one who feels it most worthwhile to
study humor, for if uploading, what then shall we do?  Well, we tell each
other funny stories I suppose, or tragic stories or dramatic stories, or
personal histories.  The latter three categories work so much better if
wrapped in humor or if the contain humor.


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