Re: Har Har

1

Not having read the article, I'm surprised to see it described as "a bold new theory." I've definitely heard that idea before.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:18 AM
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1: Yes, definitely one of the theories mentioned by Ted Cohen. He convincingly demonstrated that none of the theories of humor explain all kinds of humor. Actually, it made me feel better about how often I fail to amuse, as it seems humor is all a big mystery anyway, (WARNING -- Banned Analogy Alert!) so it's sort of like shooting at a dart board in the dark (not a good idea, kids!).


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:24 AM
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I thought that was a joke, especially given that in the article he links to an article from almost three years ago taking issue with the thesis.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:24 AM
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3: It can't be a joke. It's not funny.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:25 AM
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none of the theories of humor explain all kinds of humor

And that's why it invites little bitchery, and why I think this theory is just as good as any, and not just totally right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:26 AM
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3, 4: Now that I read the article I'm pretty sure it's not intended as a joke at all.

It was with the goal of developing a new, more satisfactory comedic axiom that McGraw launched HuRL. Working with his collaborator Caleb Warren and building from a 1998 HUMOR article published by a linguist named Thomas Veatch, he hit upon the benign violation theory, the idea that humor arises when something seems wrong or threatening, but is simultaneously OK or safe.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:33 AM
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I think "bold" is a joke. You really can't prove otherwise. Accept defeat.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:35 AM
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My favorite definition of humor came from this old apiarist I used to hang around. In that kind of work you end up collecting a lot of royal jelly just incidental to getting the honey, so he'd fill up these little containers with it, label them according to when they were harvested, and every once in a while drain one for some quick energy on the go. Well, obviously lots of people have heard of the rejuvenating effects of royal jelly, so they would always steal his stash. To make matters worse, they would always take the freshest jelly, in the vial marked A, whereas the wise apiarist would drink the oldest jelly that was still good, to keep the stash turning over. Well, this was frustrating, so he hatched a plan: the jars of royal jelly were arranged by the queens of the various hives: "Bee 1" was from the hive of the first queen, "Bee 2" was the second, and so on. So he secretly arranged that the first vial from one of the later queens would be filled, not with royal jelly, but with concentrated lemon juice. So every once in a while somebody would try to sneak in and grab one of the fresh jellies, but they'd accidentally get the super sour lemon juice, and cry out! It was hilarious! He called it the ol' "Bee 9 Vial A shun".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:36 AM
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Why am I so funny?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:36 AM
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You're an apiarist!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:37 AM
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when something seems wrong or threatening, but is simultaneously OK or safe

Or vice versa, like Dick Cheney with a shotgun.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:37 AM
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/martijn-konijn/460034327


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:38 AM
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9: Because your pseud seems anti-semitic, but the rhyme makes it harmless?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:43 AM
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Also, I have once again accepted defeat.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:44 AM
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I buy the benign violation theory. In light of evolutionary psychology, drawing your lips back and baring teeth is a typical response to a threat.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:47 AM
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Christ, what an asshole


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:53 AM
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I'm curious how it explains jokes for which the humor is entirely in the timing. The first example that comes to mind is Red Dward. The jokes are generally predictable, and wouldn't sound clever if you described them, but the pleasure is in the delivery.

I understand that the article deals with that, but I find the "tension/release" theory more intuitively satisfying. In that case the tension is only partially caused by the characters and the situation that they find themselves in, but also by the fact that you know that they are telling a joke, and are just waiting to see how and when they are going to land it.

Yes, "benign violation" makes sense as a theory of humor, but I'm not convinced that it describes all humor.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:54 AM
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"Red Dwarf", of course.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:54 AM
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What about a pleasant chuckle made while watching your enemies suffer?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:56 AM
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I dunno, I told my girlfriend a shaggy dog story (the one with the missing shaggy dog) and she didn't seem to think it was very bening.

You can decide for yourselves whether the point of this comment is really to dispute the theory.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:57 AM
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Ha ha ha you are on fire.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:57 AM
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Thanks!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:57 AM
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17: Cryptofascist


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:58 AM
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she didn't seem to think it was very bening.

Shouldn't that be "ben-ish" rather than "ben-ing"?

</Standpipe>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 10:15 AM
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Really it should be "benign". Sigh. Cruel age!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 10:22 AM
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My favorite jokes are dasein violations.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 10:32 AM
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There is a section on this theory in this music book at around page 20:

http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Anticipation-Psychology-Expectation-Bradford/dp/0262582783


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 10:33 AM
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26: My favorite vegan jokes are casein violations.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 10:37 AM
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||
One may continue masturbating to Magda Olivero, who is 104 years old today! I just discovered this by accident while googling her to make a sarcastic point about things nobody cares about. When I am her age, I hope to be long dead.
|>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:27 AM
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It's so obvious who wrote that I'm not even gonna.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:28 AM
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Speaking of really funny things, this mudslide is something else. 176 people! Jut sitting at home!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:40 AM
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31: Is this part of that experiment to find out when is "too soon"?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:47 AM
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Random shit thread? Will Saletan: really fucking stupid. Between him and Yglesias, philosophy majors in journalism have a lot to answer for.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:48 AM
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Thanks to whoever provided 29, because I might not have known and missed the opportunity.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:49 AM
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The "puns can be seen as linguistic violations that still make grammatical sense." line puts one in mind of PI §14: "Imagine someone's saying: "All tools serve to modify something. Thus the hammer modifies the position of the nail, the saw the shape of the board, and so on."—And what is modified by the rule, the glue-pot, the nails?—"Our knowledge of thing's length, the temperature of the glue, and the solidity of the box."—Would anything be gained by this assimilation of expressions?—"


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:51 AM
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36

I thought the pun explanation was pretty stupid, which is why I made fun of it, in such a manifestly funny way.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:52 AM
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34: Don't mention it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:55 AM
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31: 176 includes duplicates, and also reports about people who might have been in the area but not just sitting at home. Still, holy shit. The photos are dumbfounding. Of course, the ones of the pyroclastic flows after Mt. Rainier erupts will be even more so.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 12:02 PM
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33: I would really love to have a version of Slate without Saletan's articles. His headlines are really clickbaity for me and you often can't see the byline on the front of Slate, so I click through on the hope that it might be written by someone else. He's the worst.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:12 PM
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39: Check the status bar. His name is in the URL for articles on his own blog (not sure if that's all of them, I avoid his stuff).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:17 PM
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All human emotions and responses can be defined in perfectly discrete, non-overlapping ways, and once categorized each can be explained by reference to one and only one theory which covers all cases within the category. So of course a theory of humor is possible and its discover a worthy endeavor.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:55 PM
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42

y


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:55 PM
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43

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:59 PM
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44

aaaaaaaaaaa


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:04 PM
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45

43 was my telling myself to sleep instead of arguing and playing Doge 2048.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:06 PM
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