Thursday, June 18, 2009

Humor is a social thing

Often overlooked. It's true, though, telling jokes, or making jokes, wisecracks, etc... is a social activity, even if they're sarcastic or black humor. It doesn't matter. All jokes are designed to be to told to someone else, sometimes several someone's else. Humor is a social activity, even if the people who engage in it are putatively anti-social, or a-social. If you live on a rock some place in the middle of nowhere and you tell jokes on a blog that other people read and appreciate, you're engaged in a social activity. I don't think that people ever really tell jokes, or think up jokes just for themselves, even if they never tell them to others.

All of which brings up a point that I'll talk about in a future post, one that Andrei Codrescu made at the beginning of his theoretical writing "The Disappearance of the Outside". That point is that writers often write because they're alienated, but through writing they eventually overcome that alienation, for example through getting recognition for their writings based on alienation. The therapy eventually leads to the cessation of the circumstance that made it necessary to begin with.

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