Memoirs of Life in South Africa

English 162: Literature and Place (A Queens College Study Abroad Course)

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Blog 10: Humor (Option 2)

January 25th, 2012 by stephaniejeanbaptiste · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

What makes something funny? I believe it is the unexpected, the vulgar, the unspoken obvious truth and if one is talented, the controversial that make something funny. Now honestly, I believe that humor is probably the safest way to counter injustice. Because of humor, the words you say, or the truth you say will not be taken for true, they will be interpreted as meant for entertainment and not philosophical awareness. That is why the speaker must be talented in order to hide his or her intentions; because the intentions are what make the difference between an entertainer and a let’s say a revolutionary for example. Often, it is difficult to talk about serious matters without creating an ambiance of uneasiness, which is where humor comes in and smoothes out the process. It is the same I believe for responding to suffering. Talking about things in a “funny” way might help alleviate the ways in which you feel about certain things and see the funny aspect of a bad situation. Of course I don’t believe this is true for every situation, but I do believe a little humor can do a lot in this world.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Talisa Feliciano

    This reminds me of a South Park episode I once saw in which the writers claimed that one needed to wait 25 years after an event before they can joke about it. The example they used was when AIDS was first considered a crisis. There are many people who disapprove of humor that is vulgar or relates to suffering or bad events such as war, the holocaust, slavery, 9/11. I agree that talking and even laughing about it can help with the healing process.

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