A Marxist theory of Humor?

Scott Marshall Scott at rednet.org
Sat Jun 3 07:12:41 MDT 1995


>I am not attempting below to offer such a theory.  The point that I was
>trying to make is that humor has its origins in the conditions of
>material reality and is class-specific.

Since Jerry is determined to make us take this question seriously then I
have to agree that the discussion here illustrates the degree to which the
rightwing has won the political correctness debate in certain circles.

The attack or caricature of political correctness was/is designed to promote
backwardness and cynical notions of defying anti-racism, anti-women,
anti-working class and many other left standards. Of course we on the marx-l
list are so politically hip that we are free to ridicule such standards etc
because deep down we know better, unlike the unwashed masses.

Many of us Southern whites were taught our first lessons in racism with so
called humor, most boys are taught to look down on women and girls with so
called humor. We don't have to be stuff shirt, self righteous, or pompous to
recognize the harm that some kinds of 'humor' can promote.

But back to proletarian humor -

Comrade X: Comrade Y, here is $100, I want you to drive this truck load of
penguins to the Brookfield Zoo.

Comrade Y: Yes Comrade X, I will be glad to do it.

(Several hours later Comrade Y returns with the truck still full of penguins)

Comrade X: What happened? Why have you returned with the truck full of
penguins? Why didn't you carry out my instructions?

Comrade Y: But I did Comrade. I took the penguins to the zoo, but we had
money left over so I also took them to a movie.

Justin: Typical Stalinist humor.
Scott: Some people really like corny humor.

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