Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To be a satirist

"I must answer my calling to be a satirist!" I wonder if anyone ever woke up to that realization. I think rather that they fell into it as the most expedient method for conveying a message and getting a reaction from people who are otherwise unreactive to a more conservative treatment of the subject. Either that or they are all just too chicken to say what they really think! But personally I am no fan of the dark side of humor. It's distasteful, and it creeps me out. I prefer good, clean, simple jokes, like "There are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can't." LOL! Who gets tired of that? And besides, can you name even one famous satirist?

There are actually discussion lists on the web where people get together and debate theories of humor. A quick glance through a few of the posts at one of them led to a simple definition: humor and the vocalization of laughter are most easily understood as an aspect of play, the function of which (need I name one?) is to improve survival in a competitive world.

I've been getting some flack for my "nutritional anthropology" posts. Now some of the highest praise this blog has received were because of those entries, but if you thought those were bad, you should've seen the ones that I deleted!

On a more serious note, I just learned that I can build a house out of fungus. Ecovative Design is a company formed around the invention of what they have given the name "greensulate". This is great news. I will be the first to welcome and help usher in the great Fungal Awakening that awaits us in the 21st Century. Applications in the field of construction are only the beginning. We have yet to realize the true promise held in the complete integration of fungal technology across the wide spectrum of human activites. If you think I am kidding, just ask yourself when the last time science hasn't made good on it's predictions of the future.


Aratina said...

A famous satirist brought to my mind Thomas Nast. I have to admit, I was a person who laughed at the New Yorker cover with Obama in terrorist garbs--it was way over the top and obviously poking fun of right wing rumors. I also laughed at crackergate and its denouement. I guess I've always liked satire, maybe it's because I am slow to get the more nuanced jokes.

Keir said...

How great a skill it is to appreciate a joke made at one's own expense, or make light of oneself! If one cannot do that first, perhaps they should not poke fun at anyone else either. Didn't Jesus say something like that in Matthew 7:3? Quoting from the lolcat translation:

Teh sawdust iz in ur brothrz i, makin u confused. Why u caer so much when u gotz a board in ur i LOL? Why u sez "O hai takin teh sawdust out of ur i"? U gotz board in ur i! Taek teh board out of ur i furst dumass. Den taek teh dust out of ur brotherz i aftr dat. Duh.

Aratina said...

Self-deprecatory humor may be unappreciated in politics, at least, because your words could easily be twisted or pulled out of context as serious commentary. Hmmm... is there any humor in the Bible? Maybe that is why the lolcat translation is important. Another laughable translation is the Brick Testament.