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Old 03-11-2014, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Waterville
332 posts, read 432,714 times
Reputation: 775

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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I love jokes that are told in story form, so the suspense builds and the punchline is a killer. Some of the ones that come to me through email are particularly funny, and many of these are poking fun at old age. I guess we as a demographic should be offended, but we so often see ourselves in the joke we can't help but laugh.
Humor always mocks. Whether we mock ourselves or others, humor provides a communal catharsis that allows us to expose our flaws and foibles. We are, among other things, a ridiculous species. And we know it. Comedy creates a save space for us to share imperfection and awkwardness. Laughing at each other and ourselves loosens the divide between us. In some strange contradictory way we are actually suspending judgment even as we are mocking.

Is it not generally accepted that tragedy is the basis of comedy?
And that the 'tragedy' is the fragility of our human condition?
Humor makes us feel good about ourselves despite whatever pitiful character flaws afflict us. I think humor is a great love-fest. And those who get hung up on whatever ethnic or professional group is screwing in the light bulbs are totally missing the point. (anyone remember Penelope Keith's portrayal of Margo Leadbetter in the Britcom, Good Neighbors?)

The hillbilly joke, if it is okay to mention, did not elicit a chuckle response from me. It is supposed to be a visual punchline, but I got so hung up in the awkward construction of that clause about the eyes that the humor escaped me. Delivered as a live line it might work better for me, but.......

Where I come from 'Canuck' can be taken as a slur and there's lots of Canuck jokes that are just like all the other ethnically-slanted jokes. Usually it's a Canuck who is telling them. And I'm Canuck and take no offense at these jokes. Ultimately, ethnicity is never the real point.

Sometimes I wonder if it is hyperbole to claim that comedy in its present incarnation is a new artform. I often will describe a comedian or a particular performance as brilliant. Brilliant? Hmm. Tintern Abbey is brilliant. Kiri Te Kanawa is brilliant. Hawkings is brilliant. But comedy? I can't defend it, but I still feel it.

 
Old 03-11-2014, 04:17 PM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,958 posts, read 1,028,803 times
Reputation: 7259
Sometimes humor is cruel. I don't think the person who posted this joke meant to be cruel. I just don't think he gets why its supposed to be funny, and why, to me, it's not, but I've most likely said just as bad or worse at one time or another.

The word hillbilly doesn't bother me. I am proud of my heritage.

I apologize for my outburst. Let's put this to rest.

It was 78 degrees today in my part of Tennessee. A beautiful day!
 
Old 03-11-2014, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,759 posts, read 4,272,824 times
Reputation: 6869
Default Words Matter

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogie'smom View Post
Sometimes humor is cruel. I don't think the person who posted this joke meant to be cruel. I just don't think he gets why its supposed to be funny, and why, to me, it's not, but I've most likely said just as bad or worse at one time or another.

The word hillbilly doesn't bother me. I am proud of my heritage.

I apologize for my outburst. Let's put this to rest.

It was 78 degrees today in my part of Tennessee. A beautiful day!
Aye, let me post my thoughts before putting this to rest.

"Hillbillies" and "white trash" are the two remaining groups for whom folks in "polite" society are still allowed to ridicule.

My daughter, who at one time conducted research in Appalachia, wondered why it was deemed acceptable to ridicule poor people who had no access to dental or health care and little, if any, access to real grocery stores. In addition, as Maryland natives, we also discussed the irony that Maryland allows first cousins to marry, while West Virginia and Kentucky do not.

A couple years ago, one of my sons observed that people who are called out for making inappropriate or hurtful comments frequently take the offensive and say "I was only joking/kidding" and "You have no sense of humor". I try to keep that in mind when I hear the inevitable "You have no sense of humor" or the ever present "P.C." garbage.

It's nice to know a real mountain girl is on the retirement forum. Are you still living in or near your hometown?
 
Old 03-11-2014, 07:09 PM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,958 posts, read 1,028,803 times
Reputation: 7259
Oddly enough, my hometown is Watsonville, CA. I grew up in Wyoming. My dad was from Tennessee and I visited here all of my life until my family moved back in the '60s. I always loved coming here as a child.

My academic interests are sociology and anthropology. I wanted to be Margaret Mead. Studying Appalachian history and culture and relating what I learn to my own heritage is a continuing interest. I am amazed at how old ideas hang on, but then, that was an old joke.

When I retired, I moved back to the small town where I first attended college. We are not in the hills here. We are on the Cumberland Plateau.

I feel foolish now, lol , but for a minute there, I was filled with indignation.

Lenora, what sort of research did your daughter do?
 
Old 03-11-2014, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,166,556 times
Reputation: 15656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
YEs - the main being time. I am so thankful that I am not juggling the trip prep/home sale prep and working. I use to be able to do that - I don't think I could pull it off anymore.

When I get tired I curl up in my big rattan chair and zzzzzz - any time of the day. Just wonderful.
Does gaining perspective rate?
 
Old 03-11-2014, 08:00 PM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,667 posts, read 11,120,907 times
Reputation: 19463
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogie'smom View Post
My academic interests are sociology and anthropology. I wanted to be Margaret Mead. Studying Appalachian history and culture and relating what I learn to my own heritage is a continuing interest. I am amazed at how old ideas hang on, but then, that was an old joke.
Have you ever read Horace Kephart's Our Southern Highlanders? It's a chatty and sympathetic recounting of the denizens of Southern Appalachia. He mentions the pained and sour expressions of the mountain people, then attributes it to the awful cuisine of the area.

I just brought it up to post the link and found out that an abridged edition is free for your Kindle.

Our Southern Highlanders: Horace Kephart: 9781463590925: Amazon.com: Books

I have this edition. Read the reviews for both.

Amazon.com: Books
 
Old 03-12-2014, 07:12 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,958 posts, read 1,028,803 times
Reputation: 7259
I've read about 2/3 of Kephart's book online. This is a good reminder to go back and finish it.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,977 posts, read 7,471,322 times
Reputation: 16359
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Does gaining perspective rate?
Gaining perspective on what?
 
Old 03-12-2014, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,166,556 times
Reputation: 15656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
Gaining perspective on what?
Gaining perspective on anything, in old age. (I was asking about things we seniors are gaining, not losing). You can interpret "perspective" any way you want, LOL. It might even mean zoning out.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Waterville
332 posts, read 432,714 times
Reputation: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Whether it's humor, movies, music, novels, poetry, or art, we all have our preferences and tastes.

What is wrong with us if jokes are taboo? Humor is the spice of life...
In my opinion, the grim, ultra-serious, puritanical crowd represents the crabgrass on the lawn of life. I hope I never join that crowd no matter how long I live.

Discussion?
'tis disheartening that this invitation to discuss a topic was subverted and fell flat. Sheesh. Or should I say "shh, don't talk about it"?

Tra la la la-la
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