Monday, October 16, 2006

Seriously Funny

In response to my post on Banned Books Week, Rob said... “I agree, Sean. But for me, it's not a laughing matter. Banning books belongs to the Nazis and the Taliban…”

Rob, I will whole-heartedly support your stance that this is a serious matter, and that is why I will continue to use humor in confronting it.

While I will grant that there is a form of humor that “makes light” of its topics, I find that wit is actually the strongest form of defense (and offense!) in exploring serious matters. Social criticism is a pill better swallowed, and often more effective, when presented in the form of comedy.

You will find that folks like, say, the Nazis (since you brought them up) tolerated no lampooning of their ideas – not because they thought them too serious of a subject matter, but because they knew that their propaganda could not stand up to the scrutiny of the comedian.

It requires someone with the ability to laugh to point out that the emperor has no clothes; and we have too many emperors running around this world. We require more laughing and pointing.

As Heywood Broun pointed out, “Humor is the grit in the evolutionary process. ‘Does it matter?’ is the underlying mood in almost every expression of humor. And of course it does matter.”

Just my thoughts,

Sean

3 comments:

Ben said...

It's reasons such as this that Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert are so incredibly big at the moment. They are lampooning both sides, and making points that "real" news agencies won't. But they do it in a way that is funny, but it's also full of "point".

~Ben

mgaff said...

Yes any point is much better received through comedy. It allows the receiver to change their opinion without losing "face". With comedy there is no confrontation just the chance to find humor in one's self.

Sarah said...

The sad thing is that, given how easily some people take offense at a little roasting these days, it seems that more and more people have less and less of a sense of humor.

And the Deadpan Sardonic has to really watch out, because people think we're (God help us) serious. (I count myself in your company, Sean - though I don't throw the zingers quite as well. ;) )