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Go Back   BHM Forum > After Sunset > Philosophy

Philosophy Any non-religious philosophical discussions.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:49 PM
Davedone Male Davedone is offline
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Default Why is that funny

I often think about the things that make me laugh. I have some memories of particular circumstances and personal experiences that invariably bring laughter out loud even 30 years later.
Like most folks I enjoy humor but it seems to me most of what we find funny is misfortune of others - or our own. Are we really only laughing at some unfortunate blond or ( insert ethnic type here) or the guy slipping on a banana peel? Seems that when something is humorous there is someone or something taking a hit. How can that be? I believe humor is good for us, maybe what we are really doing is being glad it's not us with the egg on our face. What's funny that doesn't involve someone or something being short on luck or intellect or skill or whatever.
I love a good laugh but I don't want to believe that I am only having fun due to others misfortune. What about that ?
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:13 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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Two categories of humor. First is, as you say, someone else's pain. Before you condemn it too much, you should realize that it's hard wired into the mammalian brain. If you've ever been around animals a lot, you can see that they get the same pleasure from pain, just a bit more crudely done. Cats with mice, dogs with wounded rabbits, even horses with penned calves.

I once had a 110 lb malamute dog (more of a partner than a dog) that would wait until I was all relaxed on a sunny hillside, then jump with his front feet on my chest. The madder it made me, the more he enjoyed watching me try to get my breath back. He'd actually grin when I cussed him and tried to hit him with a rock.

The other type humor is the unexpected. That's why puns are funny, or limericks. You're led to think one thing, then a perfectly reasonable, but unexpected word or line instantly shifts your perspective.

Some things of the first category annoy me, I guess because of the political correctness involved. For example, for some reason, it's "funny" to hit a guy in the crotch, but expressly NOT funny to hit a girl in the breast. Both hurt like hell, but only one is "funny." Go figure.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:07 AM
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offgridbob Male offgridbob is offline
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If I wasn't laughing at the world I would be crying. Why do we laugh at funerals? I think sometimes it is a release so we don't go crazy
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:56 AM
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Txanne Female Txanne is offline
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Others pain is sometimes funny--not perversely but just the circumstances.

My baby sister is a know it all drunk----we were going to fix Mothers fence so her mean mean chow wouldnt get out and bite a kid.

She has installed a 110 volt fence charger to dispell digging out---well a tree branch had fallen and an knocked out a section.

My sister being in her (cups so to speak)and in her Millers' wisdom---wouldnt wait for me to turn off the power to the charger-----need I tell you I laughedd all day---and its been years but I still fall out laughing when I think about it: Me hollering dont--not yet Suzie--wait a minute----The scream----the cussing and just general noices she was making whe she grabbed that connector---was worth all the years of misery she caused me.

And my Mother silently rooting for me---but worried my sister was hurt---nawwwwww she was feeling no pain----I seriously hurt from laughing---as she hollered Dammit Anne turned it off---me hollering Turn It Loose---knowing she couldnt.

I know--perverted sense of humor---but she deserved it.

Annie
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:32 PM
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Laura Laura is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davedone View Post
I often think about the things that make me laugh. I have some memories of particular circumstances and personal experiences that invariably bring laughter out loud even 30 years later.
Like most folks I enjoy humor but it seems to me most of what we find funny is misfortune of others - or our own. Are we really only laughing at some unfortunate blond or ( insert ethnic type here) or the guy slipping on a banana peel? Seems that when something is humorous there is someone or something taking a hit. How can that be? I believe humor is good for us, maybe what we are really doing is being glad it's not us with the egg on our face. What's funny that doesn't involve someone or something being short on luck or intellect or skill or whatever.
I love a good laugh but I don't want to believe that I am only having fun due to others misfortune. What about that ?
Back in my bad girl days, my bff had one bloody mary too many.
As we walked back to our hotel, on the snowy sidewalks, I decided I wanted a coke. In front of the machine was an icy hill.
I stumbled up to put my dollar in, and busted my butt.....HUGE.
My bff laughed so hard, SHE fell.
So now, we are loaded like freight trains, rolling around like sows in the mud, trying to get up and can't.......all for a coke.

When I have a hot coffee pot / hot coffee on my tray at work, I make the announcement "coming....hot coffee, burn you and laugh".

I have always told the kids "no blood, no bone, no foul".....and we do (after making sure the other one is ok) laugh when we hurt ourselves.
WE all have pretty thick skin around here, but don't take our sick humor to the streets........cause most folks have pretty thin skin.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:46 PM
Davedone Male Davedone is offline
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So we laugh at misfortune if we are able to, i.e. still alive.
Probably like the antelope "pronging" after a close call with the lion, a little celebration of life.
Is it a matter of severity? We can laugh at a fall on our butt but not a 60 foot plummet to the death. I wonder if the act of laughing is cathartic for us and soothing to those around us who share the experience, like the pronging prey animal: "boy that was close but look how healthy and fast I am"
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