Re Humour and dialectics
cburford at gn.apc.org
Sat Jun 3 19:02:56 MDT 1995
Humor, as a category, usually plays off of paradox, and for Ollman,
it was often the best way to illustrate dialectical methods.
This for me is compatible with humour being on a cusp, where the
mind considers two possible meanings and could tip
either way, as with the flap of a butterfly's wing. One direction
may be conventional, the other may be taboo.
Even better when delivered completely deadpan, so you have to study the
teaser's face hard to get the slightest flicker.
Nice example from Scott of the subversive nature of
anti-Brezhnev humour. And I couldn't help laughing at the dyslexia
joke. That was what made it funny.
Jokes playfully and eloquently define boundaries. That is why they can
be so significant.
That is why sexist jokes play about with but also maintain sex
That's why Jerry's late friend was right to object to
all jokes against the Irish. I bet he did not lack a sense of humour
in other ways.
I am glad this list spans the personal and the political.
Marxism that does not integrate the general and the grittiness of the
particular has no credibility.
And I must thank Ralph for a full ten minutes of laughter on one
occasion. I find Ralph much funnier than Dana.
[what is the e-mail sign for a deadpan look?]
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