is comedy inherently conservative?

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I recently reread a bio of Will Gaines, which I had read in my teens and it lead me to idolize the dude and early MAD as the unparalleled liberal iconoclasts. Which, of course they weren't. They basically wouldn't hire female humorists, wouldn't allow wives on the legendary and exorbitant annual staff international vacations, used racial slurs, made horrible (and unfunny) jokes at the expense of Prohias and Aragones for their ethnicity, etc. All a reminder that one must not have too much love for heroes, who are fallible, including my favorites such as Tina Fey.

Word of Wisdom Robots (Abbbottt), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

omg am i banaka?

xp

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

hey banaka, knock knock

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

banaka, i am sorry but you are wrong. laughter will be the song we sing as our consciousnesses are uploaded to the singularity. u didn't get the memo?

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

for real i think this used to bother me more when i was a self-styled revolutionary. it's probably a naive way to think about social change.

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

satire can be sort of conservative i guess. if everything is worthy of ridicule and scorn then why do anything differently than we do now? feel like this is often the case with british satirical humour. if you skewer everything then the subtext is to just keep going with the status quo. though you could probably get into a whole class thing about the kind of people who make comedy in britain, which is just boring imo.

zverotic discourse (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

the joke that the universe is cold + empty + meaningless > the revolutionary joke so i guess the question is whether the void is conservative or not

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

see my thing about "humorless" is that it's often slung at people who actually understand the machinations of humor (usually better than the people lobbing the accusation in the first place)

yorba linda carlisle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

doctors who understand farts better than I do can be humorless ime

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

targeted satire isn't, though, is it? i am just thinking of "a modest proposal" here. it's some next-level imagining a worse world to invoke a better one.

xxxp

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

i think humorless tends to apply to ppl who take themselves seriously

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

I fart a lot tho, like all the time, people tell me about it all the time, like I fart more than most people

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

I think a more interesting model than swift for this convo would be rabelais but then again idk

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah but not always xp

yorba linda carlisle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

in day to day life isn't the funniest person often the most irreverent one?

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

i am often called humorless when i bring this up in real life tbh. but that's p accurate.

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

in day to day life isn't the funniest person often the most irreverent one?

I know from personal experience that there is a big diff between being actually funny as a craft and getting lols because you are in a serious situation and willing to say the most dumbshit thing available.

Word of Wisdom Robots (Abbbottt), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

targeted satire isn't, though, is it? i am just thinking of "a modest proposal" here. it's some next-level imagining a worse world to invoke a better one.

xxxp

― horseshoe

yes, well this is the other side of the coin obv. satire can be qutie deliberately aimed at something and may be the opposite of conservative in any cases.

zverotic discourse (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

maybe 'comedy' is the art and 'humor' is the discourse? xp

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

didn't gabbneb have a *point of view* on comedy v. humor?

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

it wasn't what you just said, at any rate, Mordy; i am just free associatin

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

making jokes at a funeral is kinda sublime, esp if you are humiliated and frightened as you speak

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

tbh i think the world we live in pushing people to situate every fucking thing and idea and joke and object in the world on a left/right political spectrum is in and of itself kind of horrible and destructive, which is either why i should leave this thread alone or post more, i don't know

kitty shayme (some dude), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

Some of the recent revisiting of the Beastie Boys got at this -- we were all really happy that they turned out to be such enlightened dudes, but otoh it wasn't being enlightened dudes that made them fun -- and funny -- in the first place.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

I think a more interesting model than swift for this convo would be rabelais but then again idk

― puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, May 14, 2012 10:35 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

ooh la la!

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

j/k tell me about french humor!

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

can we talk about this guy?

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

tbh i think the world we live in pushing people to situate every fucking thing and idea and joke and object in the world on a left/right political spectrum is in and of itself kind of horrible and destructive, which is either why i should leave this thread alone or post more, i don't know

― kitty shayme (some dude), Monday, May 14, 2012 10:39 PM (31 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i don't really mean "conservative" like Fox News, fwiw, al. then again, i don't really know what i do mean.

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

i guess i mean "deeply rooted in/committed to the world as it is"

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

conservative: the dark impulse in humanity to call forth totalitarianism? that's a kinda of death drive.

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

reactionary?

Word of Wisdom Robots (Abbbottt), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

which, when it comes to race and gender can be troubling

xp yeah and reactionary might have been better

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

banaka, i am sorry but you are wrong. laughter will be the song we sing as our consciousnesses are uploaded to the singularity. u didn't get the memo?

― Mordy, Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:31 AM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

The "singularity" as popularly depicted is a technolibertarian fantasy. We are cyber-collectivists.

As we said, "humor" acts a release/pacification tool, a much more insidious opiate than even "religion".

When our goals are achieved, there will be no need for either.

Banaka™ (banaka), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

if i can't laugh i want no part of your cyber-collectivist revolution

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah and reactionary might have been better

Was just going to say that! Because in some literal sense comedy is reactionary, it's built around reactions to disruption.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

I know from personal experience that there is a big diff between being actually funny as a craft and getting lols because you are in a serious situation and willing to say the most dumbshit thing available.

So OTM it should be printed on a tshirt and distributed to every practitioner of comedy, professional or otherwise.

Bob Bop Perano (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

comedy is ENTIRELY reactionary i think.

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

at least if we're talking performative comedy

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:45 (1 year ago) Permalink

But I think what you do with the reactions, how you channel them, makes a big difference in what kind of comedy it is.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

bullshit. xxp

Of course if "comedy" is confined to either live mainstream stand-up or sitcoms, that might be true.

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

if i can't laugh i want no part of your cyber-collectivist revolution

― Mordy, Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:43 AM (41 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Then the "joke" is on you. There are more "fulfilling" (for lack of a better word) states of being than "joy" "humor" "fun" etc. etc.

Why must humanity be reduced to such a limited emotional palette? Can we not better than we are?

Banaka™ (banaka), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

btw being funny in a real-life situation IS NOT comedy

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

yay! dr. morbs! tell me what comedy is!

horseshoe, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. This word is not too much. Again I fancy Sisyphus returning toward his rock, and th sorrow was in the beginning. When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, when the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy rises in man's heart: this is the rock's victory, this is the rock itself. The boundless grief is too heavy to bear. These are our nights of Gethsemane. But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged. Thus, Oedipus at the outset obeys fate without knowing it. But from the moment he knows, his tragedy begins. Yet at the same time, blind and desperate, he realizes that the only bond linking him to the world is the cool hand of a girl. Then a tremendous remark rings out: "Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well." Sophocles' Oedipus, like Dostoevsky's Kirilov, thus gives the recipe for the absurd victory. Ancient wisdom confirms modern heroism.

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

morbz, i don't really feel like u and i have much to discuss re comedy

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

This discussion reminds me of one of the more ridiculous criticisms of Girls, namely that, OMG, all of the girls are white (because that's literally the first time there's ever been an all-white cast on a tv show)! There's almost an expectation that you discuss/confront issues of race/sexuality/class in comedy because to not do so is considered somehow racist/sexist/classist. Although an all-white cast is, in its own way, a comment on race. Basically, you can't win with this stuff if your material exists within the pop crit sphere, so you might as well go "edgy" and get some laffs.

Bob Bop Perano (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

"Girls" is a part of the Apatow comedy industrial complex, so it is inherently reactionary.

Banaka™ (banaka), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

which is interesting because i felt like in the other thread that 30 Rock was being held under suspicion of being racist/sexist/classist really just for discussing/confronting issues of race/sexuality/class in comedy

xpost

kitty shayme (some dude), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

making jokes at a funeral is kinda sublime, esp if you are humiliated and frightened as you speak

cf. like every wake i have ever been to!

yorba linda carlisle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

early today I loled conservatively @ a sissymanwhore post

crüt, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

i also don't particularly find the daily show very funny, maybe I am just quite tired of Jon Stewart mugging it up and thinking that's a good joke.

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:41 (8 months ago) Permalink

i don't find it funny at all, just kind of annoying and full of super obvious jokes that don't provide much insight into anything other than making the audience feel like they 'got' the joke and feeling smug

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:42 (8 months ago) Permalink

i find someone like anthony weiner deeply tragic and think an argument could be made that using him as the butt of jokes is very cruel- he is obviously a deeply damaged and broken person, as easy as it can be to mock him. does it make it okay because it is pointing 'up' the class/power structure? love your enemies, etc

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:49 (8 months ago) Permalink

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Mordy , Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:52 (8 months ago) Permalink

lol now that's some subversive shit

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:52 (8 months ago) Permalink

is it conservative when i make 420 jokes to my baby

what does ;_; mean in remorse code (m bison), Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:59 (8 months ago) Permalink

answer to op is probably it depends. If yr a wasp- yes.

Mordy , Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:07 (8 months ago) Permalink

american conservaives are authoritarian at heart, and there's nothing funny about that shit. you're either contemptuously spitting on those below you (which is disgusting) or kissing the ass of the people above you. i don't think it has the right palette to make good comedy.

Spectrum, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:09 (8 months ago) Permalink

answer to op is probably it depends. If yr a wasp- yes.

― Mordy , Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:07 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

?

horseshoe, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:11 (8 months ago) Permalink

here he is, 'bringing down the house':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUdco-_bBeI

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:12 (8 months ago) Permalink

I'd say it's pointed, but whether the arrow is pointing up-class or down-class makes a difference.

the problem is usually when people who think their arrow is pointing up-class still end up - necessarily, because comedy is inherently conservative - pointing it down-class at another group of people

lex pretend, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:22 (8 months ago) Permalink

I have no trouble believing that lex has only been exposed to reactionary humor.

Mordy , Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:28 (8 months ago) Permalink


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