Heinlein Readers Discussion Group Saturday 06/19/2004 5:00 P.M. EDT. Humor In Heinlein

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group
Saturday 06/19/2004 5:00 P.M. EDT.
Humor In Heinlein

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Here Begins the Discussion

You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group Chat.”

Reilloc has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Howdy

Reilloc: What’s up?

OscagneTX: Looks like nothing.

Reilloc: You’d think an invitation to do humor would attract people.

OscagneTX: No kidding.

OscagneTX: I wonder if something happened to Pix. It’s her topic, and she wasn’t even here Thu.

Reilloc: Doesn’t look like she’s even online.

OscagneTX: Yeah.

Reilloc: What’d you think of that monkey explanation for why things are funny?

SciFiman33 has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy.

OscagneTX: R: I thought it was pretty accurate.

SciFiman33: Hello!

OscagneTX: Did you read the log from Thu?

Reilloc: Yes.

OscagneTX: I can’t think of a way to answer MajorOz’s query re the fish-slapping dance. So I’m wavering.

Reilloc: What the hell is the fish-slapping dance anyway?

OscagneTX: It’s a Monty Python sketch.

Reilloc: In Heinlein?

OscagneTX: no.

OscagneTX: But it’s fair game, because its a theory about humor in general…

OscagneTX: not just humor in Heinlein.

Reilloc: What’s the theory?

OscagneTX: All humor comes from pain. Humor is the way humans have devised to deal with it.

OscagneTX: Keep in mind… that is a VASTLY simplified version.

Reilloc: Because the fish get hurt?

OscagneTX: Basically, its the argument Michael Valentine makes when he “gets” humor.

OscagneTX: The fish aren’t slapped, they are the slapping instruments.

OscagneTX: two guys on a pier…

OscagneTX: one is prancing around with a couple of little fish, occasionally slapping the other guy with the fish.

Reilloc: I think one of Heinlein’s flaws was that he, like most white guys, look for absolute answers, particularly to big questions, and there aren’t any.

OscagneTX: The second guy pulls out a huge fish and knocks the first one off into the water.

Reilloc: That there’s “the” answer to why things are funny is mistaken.

OscagneTX: Dunno. When I first read it, it sure struck a chord with me.

OscagneTX: As you say, I don’t guess any one answer can do away with all the questions.

Reilloc: I got that VMS finally understood laughing.

Reilloc: I got that it was important to advance the story.

OscagneTX: hrm. It’s been a while since I read it.

OscagneTX: It could be that he just got laughing. But the impression I got is that the conversation after had to do with humor.

OscagneTX: “things that give you a belly laugh, not things that make you smile”

Reilloc: What’s the difference?

Reilloc: Things that make some people keel over in convulsive laughing only make others grin, a little.

OscagneTX: You can laugh at something that’s not humorous. Notably (from thu’s chat) nervousness or tension.

Reilloc: I would disagree.

Reilloc: What’s funny to you is funny to you.

Reilloc: If an observer says it’s not funny, that’s only the observer’s opinion.

OscagneTX: True.

OscagneTX: But..

OscagneTX: A person can laugh at something _they_ don’t find funny.

Reilloc: How do you know?

Reilloc: You can’t see in somebody else’s head.

Reilloc: I understand what you’re trying to say.

Reilloc: A person can laugh and an observer mistake the laugh as an expression of being amused to the point of laughter.

OscagneTX: yeah.

Reilloc: You’re trying to separate form and substance and you can’t do it.

OscagneTX: I guess I’m more talking about hysterical laughter… as in hysteria, not funny.

OscagneTX: We arrested a guy a couple weeks ago. An “Emotionally Disturbed Person”. He was either crying or laughing, and couldn’t control either one.

OscagneTX: If something was humorous to him, it must have been inside his head.

Reilloc: Isn’t that where all humor is?

OscagneTX: Something we couldn’t see, because the behavior switched back and forth without a change in stimulus.

Reilloc: Tears of joy aren’t called that because you squirted the dishwashing liquid in your eyes.

SciFiman33: Towards the end of Chapter XXIX Jill “..said grimly, “Apparently the pratt fall is the peak of all humor.”

OscagneTX: Right.

OscagneTX: Isn’t that about when Mike asks her if she can think of something that made her laugh that didn’t have root in someone’s pain?

Reilloc: That’s a question like “are you still beating your wife?”

OscagneTX: how’s that?

Reilloc: My 15-year-old son likes to have such discussions, contending that anything can kill a person.

SciFiman33: Laughter was a late ability “grokked” by Mike.

Reilloc: If you look hard enough, and strain you can identify some sufferer, no matter how remotely situated and sometimes not even physically present.

OscagneTX: It seems pretty straightforward to me, perhaps I’m dense. Because… Oz’s example is an answer to the question.

Reilloc: What was his answer, again?

SciFiman33: “Death isn’t funny.”

OscagneTX: There is an example… the fish-slapping dance. Nobody’s really hurt, the laughter is the result of the absurdity of the situation.

OscagneTX: Death can be funny.

OscagneTX: It’s just not always funny,.

SciFiman33: “Then why are thereso many jokes about death?”

OscagneTX: Ah… missed the quotes.

pixelmeow has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Howdy, Pix.

pixelmeow: wow, I made it!

Reilloc: Hi, Theresa.

OscagneTX: LTNS

pixelmeow: hello, all.

pixelmeow: sorry I missed Thurs.

OscagneTX: Did you see the log?

pixelmeow: I tried to reply to the posting of the log, but it didn’t make it thru

pixelmeow: thanks for posting that, LN

pixelmeow: So what’s going on tonight?

OscagneTX: Have you ever seen Monty Python’s fish-slapping dance skit?

pixelmeow: no, that was one of the questions I asked in my post that went nowhere

OscagneTX: ok…

Reilloc: He described it earlier.

pixelmeow: ah.

Reilloc: It didn’t sound very funny.

Reilloc: A couple of guys, smacking each other with mackeral.

pixelmeow: I think many funny things don’t sound funny, out of context

pixelmeow: oh…

OscagneTX: That’s about it, yeah.

pixelmeow: well, what’s so funny about Ni, and shrubbery, either?

Reilloc: Agreed.

OscagneTX: Yeah…. it’s the absurdity that gets the laugh, not the pain of the situation.

SciFiman33: I agree.

Reilloc: Is it absurdity or surprise?

pixelmeow: but I find myself laughing, and then my daughter laughs, and I wonder if she’s laughing because she sees me laugh

Reilloc: Is it surprise or uniqueness?

pixelmeow: I think the surprise, the absurdity

OscagneTX: Have to be absurdity, because it’s funny everytime I see it. I’m not surprised anymore.

SciFiman33: Comedians who used slapping a lot were expected to do so.

pixelmeow: okay so when thinking of this in relation to VMS,

Reilloc: The Ni Knights don’t still get the same level of humorourness our of you, do they

pixelmeow: are the monkeys absurd to him?

pixelmeow: well, not the next time

OscagneTX: I don’t know. But in his discussion he focuses on the pain, doesn’t he?

pixelmeow: yes, and that’s a little confusing.

OscagneTX: R: pretty much. I only see the movie every couple years, so it’s not wearing thin yet.

pixelmeow: there’s talk about laughing because of someone getting hurt

Reilloc: It’s confusing because it’s put forward as completely explaining humor and I don’t think it does.

pixelmeow: YES.

OscagneTX: Neither do I, anymore.

pixelmeow: there’s the absurdity

pixelmeow: and puns,

OscagneTX: puns don’t count…

pixelmeow: nobody gets hurt in a pun except the person who hears it, or so you guys said

Reilloc: Why don’t puns count?

OscagneTX: according to VMS

pixelmeow: hey, who said!!! I’m the one asking the question here!

OscagneTX: because that’s not a “belly laugh” joke, it’s a “groan” joke.

pixelmeow: true, but do people in other cultures have their own puns?

OscagneTX: Says so, right there in the book somewhere…

Reilloc: If I said, watching the fish-slapping thing, “Wholly mackerel,” would that not count?

SciFiman33: Mike said..”They laugh because it hurts…because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting.” Is this what RAH meant?

pixelmeow: LOL!!!

OscagneTX: *shrug* it’s still a groaner, for me, anyway.

OscagneTX: a good groaner…

pixelmeow: Yes, SF, but it’s still “humor”

Reilloc: I don’t buy this “pain” explanation.

pixelmeow: so is it all about not hurting, or about stress relief?

pixelmeow: Any of you have an episode with a friend where you’re just talking, and then something happens, and you howl with laughter for 10 minutes or more

SciFiman33: I personally do not like slap-stick humor!

Reilloc: It’s tension relief, to an extent, but “pain’s” melodramatic.

pixelmeow: neither can stop and it just keeps getting worse every time you see each other laughing

Reilloc: Yes and it’s remembering and the snowball effect.

pixelmeow: until you both collapse in with the tears streaming but still giggling and no one knows what the HELL just happened

OscagneTX: yup

pixelmeow: had that happen to me in a Wendy’s one day, forget who with (either Stephanie or Rich, two of my best friends)

pixelmeow: everyone just looked at us very strangely

OscagneTX: I think it explains one facet of humor, but not all.

agplusonesub has entered the room.

pixelmeow: does that happen to just anyone?

pixelmeow: hello david!

agplusonesub: Hi, it’s me.

OscagneTX: howdy sub. %^)

Reilloc: Again, trying to explain all humor is like trying to say that you know everything that’s painful to everybody.

pixelmeow: true

Reilloc: Dave, what’s up?

OscagneTX: agreed

agplusonesub: AOL somehow took it in its so-called mind to cancel my account, so I had to reregister.

OscagneTX: Eiw

agplusonesub: midnight last night, without warning

pixelmeow: we can say that cutting the skin will hurt anyone, right?

agplusonesub: Since my wife started the account they can’t do anything until she calls. She’s a little busy, working

pixelmeow: so long as they have the pain receptors and all.

Reilloc: You should never have sent that hate mail to Steve Case.

agplusonesub: I know. Maybe Vance is really Steve

pixelmeow: do we have “humor receptors”?

Reilloc: Let the record show that I was not the one who invoked the name.

agplusonesub: Someone please send me a log, if there’s one.

pixelmeow: is there some something that “everyone” will see as funny?

Reilloc: No.

agplusonesub: The record will so reflect

OscagneTX: Ok, Dave..

OscagneTX: Give me a minute

agplusonesub: I think there is …. Pix, everyone who’s human.

agplusonesub: or at least a class of things

Reilloc: coughweaslwordscough

pixelmeow: okay then lets try to find a class of things that everyone will think is funny.

agplusonesub: We don’t know what non-humans think is funny, that’s excepting the gods we created, of course. They think what’s funny is what we think is sorta funny.

Reilloc: Sex is funny in the US and some other places.

pixelmeow: In SiaSL, Mike laughs FINALLY at the monkeys

pixelmeow: true

OscagneTX: It’s waiting on you, David.

OscagneTX: do you want Thursdays?

Reilloc: What’s everybody’s favorite joke?

pixelmeow: I’m not so good at remembering jokes…

OscagneTX: It changes from time to time, for me.

pixelmeow: there was one, though, that passed around in email a few years ago

Reilloc: Nobody like the reframed Heinlein joke I posted.

pixelmeow: it was about a guy in a very fast sports car

pixelmeow: he’s at a light, next to a guy on a moped

pixelmeow: the light turns green, the fast car zooms away

pixelmeow: he looks in the rear view mirror and sees the moped catching up to him

pixelmeow: then the moped passes and speeds ahead

pixelmeow: a few seconds later, he catches up to the moped, and passes it


pixelmeow: then he sees the moped coming up again, wonders what this guys problem is

pixelmeow: speeds up, passes moped again

pixelmeow: finally stops to ask moped man what’s the problem

pixelmeow: totally not good with punch lines, here.

pixelmeow: moped man is totally exhausted, and just wants his suspender strap back from fast car’s mirror

agplusonesub: so what’s the punch …. ah.

OscagneTX: *grin* Yeah, I remember that one.

agplusonesub: It’s the shock, incongruity, the surprise, or the pain …. that makes it funny.

pixelmeow: yep. and I laughed right the hell out loud in the office at that one.

pixelmeow: so funny that I actually remember it.

pixelmeow: so does humor take at least one of those things?

agplusonesub: A juxtaposition of a purposive mindset we’ve superimposed with the humorous, or playfull reality that really exists, sometimes painful, sometimes perhaps simply a reminder what we think is reality, isn’t.

OscagneTX: If you stipulate the guy’s fear counts as pain, it fits within the SIASL theory.

pixelmeow: for something to be funny, it has to be shocking, absurd, surprising, or painful?

Reilloc: For something to be funny, it has to be funny to somebody.

agplusonesub: sometimes merely out of place with what we think is supposed to be in place.

pixelmeow: okay, so what’s funny, what’s guaranteed to be funny, to “anyone”?

Reilloc: Nothing.

OscagneTX: Just thought of something. Laughter from joy (which I discounted in the lead-up thread).

pixelmeow: that’s where the monkey thing comes from, I guess

agplusonesub: something that makes someone foolish, perhaps our ownselves

OscagneTX: I remember as a kid, being pulled behind my dad’s boat on an innertube…

pixelmeow: if it’s funny to Mike, does that mean it’s universally funny?

OscagneTX: nothing humorous about it, but I was laughing like a fiend because I was having fun.

pixelmeow: okay, that hasn’t happened to me, really…

agplusonesub: maybe your fun was the shock of it, Joe?

OscagneTX: I don’t know how you mean shock. I wasn’t surprised… I was exhilirated.

Reilloc: No, it’s not shock; it’s happiness that’s just a thing called “joe”

agplusonesub: That could be. A feeling of ‘aliveness’ can produce laughter, but is that funny or is that simple joy?

Reilloc: Simple joy?

agplusonesub: joy of being alive and realizing it. I enjoy sex, I might laugh. I enjoy the taste of steak, I might laugh again.

OscagneTX: Well… we go back to Reilloc’s question quite a while back… *are* we talking humor, or laughing?

agplusonesub: Laughter isn’t limited to humor … at least ‘funny’ humor.

pixelmeow: alright, is there humor from other cultures EXCEPT British that we can talk about here?

OscagneTX: Pix, did you read my Iraqi joke in the thread? That’s the only “foreign” humor I could think of.

pixelmeow: I missed it, I guess

SmnJester2076 has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Howdy.

Reilloc: Humor examples from the USSR were almost always bleak.

pixelmeow: you mentioned it in the chat but I never saw it

pixelmeow: hey guy!

SmnJester2076: HIya! MIss me?

OscagneTX: Two Iraqi men are riding on a bus (pre-invastion).

pixelmeow: Of course, always!

agplusonesub: There’s a joke in Spanish I know … it’s a dirty one.

OscagneTX: Miss you, I didn’t even shoot at you.

SmnJester2076: Thbbpt!

SmnJester2076: Watch it, or I’ll calling you ‘prance’…

agplusonesub: It’s also an insult, depending on word order.

OscagneTX: anyway… one man turns to the other and asks, “Are you releated to Saddam Hussien?” “No.”

OscagneTX: “Are you related to anyone in the Republican Guard?”

Reilloc: Let the record show that I wasn’t even the second person to invoke the name.

OscagneTX: “No.”

agplusonesub: so stipulated

OscagneTX: “Are you related to anyone in the military at all?”

pixelmeow: start name calling and you go in the pool!!!

pixelmeow: ROFL!!!

OscagneTX: “No.”

OscagneTX: “Then would you please get off my foot?”

SmnJester2076: Heh…

pixelmeow: LOL!

agplusonesub: Ah, yes, but is that a joke to Iraquis. It’s certainly a joke to us.

pixelmeow: but is that an Iraqui joke, or is it one we made up?

Reilloc: It could be an Ashcroft joke.

agplusonesub: In Mexican Spanish there’s a phrase: means usually “the third old lady”. la tecera vieja

OscagneTX: I don’t know. The article where I read had it as old to our troops from grateful Iraqis. But I can’t cite the article.

SmnJester2076: My Russian teacher told me that Bulgairians think they can speak Russian, so one time she heard a Bulgarian ask, in what he thought was Russian, “How much does the Red Arrow cost?”

SmnJester2076: Meant to ask “what time does the Red Arrow leave/”

agplusonesub: but if you say, la vieja tercera, it’s both a joke, and if applied to a woman specifically, it can be a vile insult. It means whore house purveyor, or “madam” as we might use the word.

pixelmeow: Huh. I don’t get either of them.

agplusonesub: It’s an idiom, depending on syntax, in a culture.

pixelmeow: ah.

Reilloc: cough

agplusonesub: And it’s both funny and an insult.

Reilloc: Yeah, Dave.

Reilloc: That was hilarious.

agplusonesub: Hey, it’s not my joke.

pixelmeow: LN, don’t choke on your laughing, there…

agplusonesub: Do you know how to say “Put it there” in Spanish.

pixelmeow: nope

agplusonesub: Ya lo puse.

OscagneTX: *point” aya.

pixelmeow: ewww!

Reilloc: How do you say “I like going up better than coming down” in French?

pixelmeow: *shy of trick questions from lawyers*

Reilloc: J’aime mieux mon the que de cindres.

agplusonesub: no idea … but if you use the yellow pussy expression to a Mexican who doesn’t speak or understand English, he doesn’t think it’s funny at all.

pixelmeow: I don’t see it…

agplusonesub: If I could pronounce French …

Reilloc: Somebody’ll read the log, get the bilingual pun and I’ll be proclaimed a master plagairizer.

OscagneTX: or a cunning linguist.

pixelmeow: oh you are bad.

SmnJester2076: It’s easy the ‘eff’ sound, followred by the ‘arr’ sound….

pixelmeow: verrrry funny.

pixelmeow: now would SOMEBODY explain that one???

Reilloc: He’s a swishbuckler.

agplusonesub: But the point is, some idioms exist in all languages, and some word combinations in languages can ound like verbotten expressions in others. A ‘swish’ bucker can be funny.

pixelmeow: Boy, isn’t that a *pretty* airplane up there…

SmnJester2076: I oncve posted a pun in Callahans… Talked about the open trade in Europe. How Russian horsedrawn carriages are all the rage in France. The Paris Troika is all they talk about…

agplusonesub: aggh

OscagneTX: groan

SmnJester2076: Helps if you know some Russian…

pixelmeow: well, got that one…

agplusonesub: Randy Willie Winkie is what Wee Willie grew up to be, after he met J. Caesar.

SmnJester2076: My childhood images of Willie will never be the same now…

agplusonesub: Or what the Brit with the lisp said to his Latin teacher.

SmnJester2076: “Upstaris and downstairs, in his nightgown”

agplusonesub: Yeah, veni, vidi, venci

pixelmeow: venci?

agplusonesub: not very good

agplusonesub: vici

agplusonesub: vinci

pixelmeow: the original is vici, if you’re asking..?

Reilloc: I came, I saw, I conked out?

agplusonesub: [erase it from your memories

agplusonesub: something like that

pixelmeow: so I guess we have no “universal funniness”, eh?

SmnJester2076: So, all the time those French were complaining about the ones who liked the Germans during WWII, they were really quoting Ceasar?

agplusonesub: Are language puns universal?

SmnJester2076: Three Stooges; Universal funniness.

agplusonesub: Is there some form in all languages …. I dunno.

SmnJester2076: Banana peels = funny.

pixelmeow: David, I asked that earlier, what do you think?

OscagneTX: Any universal funniness would almost have to be a sight gag… language carries so much baggage.

pixelmeow: Jester, I think you may be right

pixelmeow: but it is right back at the monkeys.

agplusonesub: Too little experience with all languages

OscagneTX: Hell… monkeys are funny.

agplusonesub: I’d suspect ‘funny’ sounds are though.

SmnJester2076: I’ve often thought that all humor involves pain. At least on someones part.

agplusonesub: unexpected result … shock, and some are wholly inappropriate so much that people might laugh.

SciFiman33: Like a Pie in the Face!

OscagneTX: Simon… this is the poser that MajorOz got me with Thu… if that’s so, what’s funny about Monty Python?

agplusonesub: Yoki Kondo tells bad puns about language and he knows quite a few.

pixelmeow: what’s a funny sound, a sound that resembles a bodily function, right?

SmnJester2076: Cats are funny. When one rolls over and thinks you are going to catch her, and she winds up on the floor, the look of “I meant to do that!” is hilarious.

pixelmeow: a cat with a bit of tape on each paw.

agplusonesub: I’d agree … and I don’t care what RAH said. I laugh at the idiot.

OscagneTX: THAT is funny, pix.


SmnJester2076: Osc… Well, the pain of stoopidity I would suppose.

SmnJester2076: Or a sock on her head…

pixelmeow: Oh YES!!!

agplusonesub: Why are cats funny? Is it that we anthromorphize them to appear dignified to us?

pixelmeow: maybe so.

SmnJester2076: Yeah…

agplusonesub: phisize

pixelmeow: cats, kittens, babies,

pixelmeow: they all can make you laugh so hard

agplusonesub: And how does a cat know you’re laughing at him, rather than just expessing high spirits … telepathy?

pixelmeow: I have always wondered about that.

SmnJester2076: I don’t know if it’s because they are being lift up by our opinions of them or if they really learn a few tricks to look more appealing to us, but cats CAN learn to be a little bit human.

agplusonesub: Or is it, “My pet the human just did somthing stoopid again and I’ll set here with my back turned until he does something interesting, such as bring me food.

pixelmeow: that cute little bit of fluff that is puffed up and bouncing sideways at you…

OscagneTX: My cat has considerably less dignity than that.

agplusonesub: Do cats laugh, or dogs laugh?

OscagneTX: Galileo likes to chase stuff, and has figured out that if he brings it back he gets to chase it again.

OscagneTX: So he plays fetch, just like a dog.

pixelmeow: I know the dog I live with now smiles, at the least.

pixelmeow: laugh, as in thinking something’s funny?

pixelmeow: No clue.

agplusonesub: I don’t think we can say whether any other living thing laughs.

agplusonesub: except humans (and gods … they laugh a lot … at us)

SmnJester2076: The dogs in my house, is it because I live with them and know them well that I think I can see facial expressions on them?

SmnJester2076: hyenas laugh…

SmnJester2076: Dolphins…

agplusonesub: yeah, well, then they come in and eat the prey

pixelmeow: I don’t think anything we know of makes the noise we do, but maybe they have a different “something” that is the same reaction

pixelmeow: one of the authors I read says that for wolves, tongue lolling is laughter.

agplusonesub: Does Lucy the ape laugh … do we know?

SmnJester2076: Pix… Isn’t that the case with monkeys? When they ‘smile’ that is a sign of agression.

OscagneTX: Eddings?

pixelmeow: I think that some animals have a “smile” that is aggression

agplusonesub: I looked at every animal, alien or terran, protrayed by Heinlein. Couldn’t find one that had a sense of humor.

pixelmeow: Osc, I can’t remember if it’s Eddings or Jordan

agplusonesub: Our laughter is aggression.

pixelmeow: it is???

OscagneTX: Can be…

agplusonesub: Sure. Would you like me to tell a dumb blonde joke to prove it.

OscagneTX: but also familiarity.

agplusonesub: Or you can tell a lawyer or Jewish joke. Take your pick.

pixelmeow: wait, telling a blonde joke as aggression is different from laughing as aggression.

SciFiman33: A lot of Jokes have a negative bend.

agplusonesub: but when you laugh at the joke a third party tells in the presence of the object of the joke …?

OscagneTX: That’d be the pain aspect.

agplusonesub: or the butt of the joke

pixelmeow: oh, right.

agplusonesub: And telling it to provoke laughter by the non-butts

pixelmeow: that’s a whole nother aspect of humor that I dont’ like

SmnJester2076: Exclusion…

agplusonesub: uh-huh

SmnJester2076: Is that sucha wrong thing to do?

SmnJester2076: And why IS it wrong?

agplusonesub: you mother might say she doesn’t like it

pixelmeow: hm, non-ethical humor…

pixelmeow: what’s ethical humor, then?

OscagneTX: well… aggressive doesn’t mean wrong, either.

pixelmeow: well…

OscagneTX: You could have a solid and reasonable rationale for excluding someone.

OscagneTX: Would it be ok to exclude them some other way?

SmnJester2076: Yeah, like they’re being Jewish?

pixelmeow: it gets into the “making fun” thing, I guess

SmnJester2076: Or black?

OscagneTX: No, like they’re being an asshole.

SmnJester2076: Or female?

pixelmeow: who defines asshole?

agplusonesub: Frex, OJ alluded to LN as something, and Rufe asked OJ if nutball was an adjective with a referent other than its modified noun. That was hillarious, and vicious.

SmnJester2076: The one making the joke…

pixelmeow: and who says it’s funny:?

OscagneTX: whoever’s getting bothered, I’d imagine.

SmnJester2076: Bothered as in by having the mere pressence of a Jewish person is his neighborhood?

pixelmeow: things like that tend to make me uncomfortable, more than anything

agplusonesub: Yes. It’s a fine line.

OscagneTX: Being exclusive != being evil. How about a group of well-adjusted people having a conversation interrupted by the office racist?

Reilloc: OJ alluded?

OscagneTX: So they ridicule his racism until he goes away?

pixelmeow: hmm, I see

SmnJester2076: Osc… They effective exclude his then…

agplusonesub: But a common element … Shylock is played as funny … the pound closest to your heart is humor, very broad humor.

SmnJester2076: Grr… Typing part of brain not working…

SmnJester2076: And Scrooge is humorous and scary in his own way. Unless you’re Scots…

OscagneTX: Would it be more laudable for one of them to just say, “Piss off, we don’t like you’re racism.”

OscagneTX: crap..

agplusonesub: Tragi-comic, comic-tragedy … and all that. flip side of humor is vile insult.

OscagneTX: your

Reilloc: The opposite of humor is insult?

agplusonesub: So we’re back again to humor as hurtful, and laughter as a reaction to relieve it.

SmnJester2076: I like puns. People tell me that is ‘low humor’. I can’t see that, in reality, there is a ‘high humor’.

OscagneTX: hrm. The compliment of humor is insult?

Reilloc: Who’s on first?

agplusonesub: Just the flip side, a twofer.

SmnJester2076: Exactly.

SmnJester2076: Making fun of miscommunication.

Reilloc: Who’s on first is played absolutely straight.

agplusonesub: Right. or rather, Rice.

SmnJester2076: Yeah, but Costello is th brunt of the joke.

Reilloc: No…

Reilloc: Abott is.

OscagneTX: You sure about that?

SmnJester2076: No, Costellos frustration and anger is the thing that inspires the laughter.

agplusonesub: Because it’s Abott who is driven crazy by it.

SmnJester2076: Abott is the short round one.

agplusonesub: Lou Costello is the fat guy.

Reilloc: No.

Reilloc: Dave’s right.

agplusonesub: Bud Abott is the skinny handsome straight man.

Reilloc: Go ahead and back uip.

Reilloc: up

SmnJester2076: Erm… Right… Hey Abott! FROM the short round one…

SmnJester2076: And Costello is the brunt…

OscagneTX: agreed.

SmnJester2076: I had it right the first time…

Reilloc: Neither is.

OscagneTX: Every version I saw had Abott staying calm while Costello flipped out.

agplusonesub: Good-night Gracie. George Burns is the straight man Gracie drives to distraction.

OscagneTX: Difference, there, David.

Reilloc: Gracie was the genius, there.

SmnJester2076: Yeah, Abott is the tsraight man.

OscagneTX: In Gracie’s case, she KNEW it’d drive Burns nuts… Costello (officially) didn’t get it.

Reilloc: She did not know.

Reilloc: She was just Gracie.

OscagneTX: Well, before my time.

SmnJester2076: Osc… How old are you?

agplusonesub: Yeah, but Abott gets frustrated by Costello’s continual non-sense replies. “Who’s on first?” “Yeah, who’s on first.”

OscagneTX: Was she being smart-assed, or air-headed? %^)

OscagneTX: 31

SmnJester2076: Tsk… I’m only 35 and I know the CLassics… *G*

agplusonesub: George thought he knew, but maybe he didn’t, and she was jerking his chain all those years.

OscagneTX: I recognised the gag, but only by reputation.

agplusonesub: You’ve got two possibilities: either Gracie’s a bubble head, or she’s jerking his chain. Maybe what’s funny is we don’t know.

Reilloc: Which one’s the straightman is the question.

agplusonesub: Or George doesn’t know … he thinks it’s a joke on Gracie’s bubbleheadedness he and we get, but he’s wrong, it’s a joke on him, that we and Gracie get.

agplusonesub: Or pick your side.

OscagneTX: I’d have to see it.

agplusonesub: Geo: Say goodnight, Gracie.

agplusonesub: Gracie: Good night, Gracie.

Reilloc: Rowan and Martin stole it years later.

OscagneTX: Yeah, I know that gag… but I’d have to see her face, hear her inflection, etc.

agplusonesub: Oh, she plays it dumb … or ditzy.

OscagneTX: ah. ok.

agplusonesub: And Geo turns to us, and grimaces and shrugs.

agplusonesub: “Take my wife, please.”

Reilloc: That’s Henny Youngman.

OscagneTX: The pain of a husband enduring a shrewish wife, or the pain of a wife being betrayed by a jerk husband?

agplusonesub: Yeah, but that is the expression on Geo’s face.

Reilloc: If Nathan Hale had been Henny Youngman he’d have said….

Reilloc: Take my life—please.

agplusonesub: The pain of a patient husband with a ditzy wife.

Reilloc: Gracie was never a shrew.

Reilloc: She was perfectly innocent and honest.

OscagneTX: David, I was referring to the original Youngman gag, not the George/Gracie thing.

SmnJester2076: Or how about the pain of patients? One flew East, one flew west…

Reilloc: Pain?

OscagneTX: In the original “Take my wife…” gag. Where’s the pain there?

agplusonesub: And one flew over the cukoo’s nest.

OscagneTX: Yeah… that was the premise we started with… pain is the root of humor (or laughter).

SmnJester2076: Yeah, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. In a way, used mental patients to generate humor.

agplusonesub: And nurse Cratchett is funny.

Reilloc: Are mental patients in pain?

SmnJester2076: No, but is it okay to use them as the source of your enjoyment?

Bookman99R has entered the room.

Reilloc: Why not?

OscagneTX: howdy.

pixelmeow: hey rusty!

SmnJester2076: Nurse Ratchett? HOw is she funny? Sort of funny you have when you avoid wrecking your car by inches and start laughing?

Bookman99R: hiya

SmnJester2076: Fear generates humor too.

agplusonesub: is it okay to use them to learn, because the laughter doesn”t remain funny

Bookman99R: sorry I’m late

pixelmeow: s’okay

agplusonesub: Hi, Rusty

Bookman99R: howdy

pixelmeow: want a transcript, rusty?

pixelmeow: you can catch up

Bookman99R: have we discussed various forms of laughter & their relation to humor?

agplusonesub: Depends on whether you think fruit cup is funny … that’s what’s she’s left with as a threat, ultimately … at least so far as the movie’s concerned

pixelmeow: yep, lots of it

Bookman99R: dunno how long I can stay, Pix

pixelmeow: okay

Bookman99R: company for dinner

pixelmeow: I’ve been lurking for the last half hour myself

SmnJester2076: Yeah, but isn’t there terrible pain in the fact that these people only HAVE a fruit cup in their life to be threatened WITH?

Reilloc: Pain to people who hate fruitcup?

SmnJester2076: Fava beans and nice Chiant?

agplusonesub: Well, there is the hospital food joke … a genre of humor in itself.

SmnJester2076: And airline…

SmnJester2076: And public schools…

agplusonesub: Right up next there to Army food … and definitely airline whatever it’s really.

OscagneTX: brb

agplusonesub: And food at truckstops named “Mom’s” just like Mom made whenever she was blown away the night before.

Bookman99R: those are more like bad jokes 😉

pixelmeow: we’ve told a few of them!!!


agplusonesub: Fry another egg that hard, and I’ll nail it ot the wall as a warning to new customers.

agplusonesub: Who said that? Steve from Job, or the trucker from Starman Jones?

Bookman99R: fried promises, the usual limp salad?

agplusonesub: Are windsprint chicken, the favorite dinner in boarding school, when I was 13.

agplusonesub: Are = or

agplusonesub: Only time in my life I actually saw dark meat on a chicken.

OscagneTX: b

agplusonesub: Back to your question, Pix?

pixelmeow: yes?

agplusonesub: What’s universal to other species?

Bookman99R: breathing?

pixelmeow: other species, other culture, they’re about the same since we don’t have other species to question

pixelmeow: no aliens here.

agplusonesub: Anything except the knowledge that we all die, the final joke, appear to be humorous, assuming other species die?

pixelmeow: except rusty.

Bookman99R: gee, thanks, Pix

pixelmeow: no prob.

OscagneTX: Better be more specific than species… %^) amoebas don’t laugh.


agplusonesub: Yeah, there’s him, but what about other races. Would they think it ultimately funny or tragic or both that we all die?

pixelmeow: is that why we laugh, because we know we’re gonna die?

Bookman99R: can’t be all of it

pixelmeow: when I say species I mean aliens, Osc… sorry!

agplusonesub: To an extent perhaps. “Death, where is thy sting?” and we walk past the graves ….

agplusonesub: Cyrano … “a house fell on me”

OscagneTX: I don’t think so. There’s a lot of funny stuff that has nothing to do with death.

agplusonesub: Hah-hah.

OscagneTX: Not that death can’t be funny… but it’s not exclusive.

Bookman99R: yeah, but does it lack pain. Osc?

Reilloc: There was this guy, who used to post in afh, who thought he said something funny…

Reilloc: It was about death.

OscagneTX: death, rusty?

agplusonesub: But maybe we use lesser forms of humor, less dark forms, as Mithradates used poison, to inure ourselves to the pain.

Bookman99R: no, the “other laughs”

OscagneTX: depends on whether you’re right before or right after, I’d imagine.

OscagneTX: yup. Oz and Reilloc convinced me.

OscagneTX: Absurdity doesn’t necessarily involve pain, and I laugh at that.

agplusonesub: It’s a practice jump, from the 38 foot tower.

pixelmeow: david, isnt’ that just basically saying that we laugh because otherwise we’d cry?

agplusonesub: Yes

pixelmeow: but surely that isn’t all that humor is?

Reilloc: It isn’t.

agplusonesub: I don’t know you can take it much beyond ‘play’ or substitution for pain.

agplusonesub: It’s a transfer of emotion from pain to pleasure.

OscagneTX: I thought you were describing innoculation against pain, David.

agplusonesub: However guilty and foreshadowed …

OscagneTX: Or perhaps, tolerance.

agplusonesub: Sure. We whip ourselves into a frenzy of joy.

agplusonesub: Just like the anchorites

agplusonesub: Or those idiots who know they’re getting to Paradise where they’ll find all those virgins.

pixelmeow: so where does absurd humor fit in?

Bookman99R: “absurdity” – do you count embarassment a form of pain?

agplusonesub: Only to the butt.

agplusonesub: Unless we emot his pain ourselves by witnessing it.

Bookman99R: but that puts the pain back into the equation

OscagneTX: Specifically, as the past examples we’ve already used, I’m thinking of Python. The fish-slapping dance and/or the NI! skit.

pixelmeow: and the coconuts, and the conversation of the weight of the swallow

Reilloc: So, you’re mostly saying that there’s an objective definition of pain?

SmnJester2076: You are laughing at the characters. They are absurd, so you think them of being less than you. If they were real, you would cause them pain by laughing at them.

agplusonesub: What’s funny about whipping out a huge fish and wacking out a guy whose been tapping you up to now only with a little fish?

LanaiHoward has entered the room.

pixelmeow: hey howard!

LanaiHoward: Hi all. Better late than never.

pixelmeow: very true.

OscagneTX: howdy, Howard.

pixelmeow: would you like a transcript?

LanaiHoward: That would be great if you can, Pix.

agplusonesub: Better Mr. Lever than Nate.

pixelmeow: done, in a sec.

SmnJester2076: Quick aside; any one else LJ?

Bookman99R: really when you get right down to it, why is anything funny?

pixelmeow: on the way

OscagneTX: SJ, I don’t think I’m looking down at them, because I’ve done silly stuff like that myself.

pixelmeow: LJ?

pixelmeow: and agreed, Osc

pixelmeow: and that’s a very good question, rusty

SmnJester2076: Osc… But, is it in all seriousness, or are you able to laugh at yourself?

OscagneTX: We used to go to a public park dressed in make-shift fantasy-genre clothing and whack each other with padded pvc. Pretty absurd to outsiders, but fun to us.

LanaiHoward: One can twist that…

OscagneTX: Sure I can.

SmnJester2076: Whacking…

agplusonesub: Short of tickling a baby who then laughs and giggles and eventually chokes up his milk, what’s laughter do? I think laughter is wholly a shock reaction and we condition ourselves to do it when others do it … because we’re told,

agplusonesub: “It’s funny.”

OscagneTX: I remember a time I was leaning on the back of a chair in High School… the thing slid out from under me and I knocked down three rows of chairs set up for band rehearsal.

LanaiHoward: I was at Balticon, and going up in the scenic elevator. All were in garb, except for one woman, expensively casual Lord & Talyor look…who kept sniffing at us….

SmnJester2076: Then you have a developed sense of humor. I would suppose someone who DIDN’T have a good sense of humor would dervive pain from your laughter.

LanaiHoward: at the top floor, I inquired, “Madame, not to be overly familiar, but may one inquire why you are dressed so oddly?”

OscagneTX: Horribly embarrassed, I just set my arms up on the peices of chairs around me and didn’t say a work, simply trying to exude “I meant to do that.” like a cat.

OscagneTX: The laughter happened, and it didn’t hurt.

agplusonesub: And wondering how these ‘profane’ you were talking about were, Howard?

SmnJester2076: Lania… BWAHAHA!

OscagneTX: hehehe

agplusonesub: or is it “mundane”

LanaiHoward: Now, SOME cats I have known have the ability to laugh at themselves and say OOOPS.

agplusonesub: different fraternities …. fen and Masons.

SmnJester2076: Anyone who can use the word ‘garb’… *shaking head*

LanaiHoward: Mundane, usually

Bookman99R: for my part, I pretty much avoid sit-coms – they are not funny to me any more

SmnJester2076: I think I want ot be a Mason….

OscagneTX: me too, rusty. I used to love Night Court.

LanaiHoward: If I want sitcoms, there are always political news conferences

OscagneTX: It’s hard to watch now.

OscagneTX: And Cheers.

OscagneTX: same thing.

SmnJester2076: Cheers.. Remember the episode where everyone bought wing-tipped shoes?

Bookman99R: in some cases, the embarassment is painful to me

pixelmeow: yes, rusty, me too.

Bookman99R: wasn’t that M*A*S*H?

pixelmeow: sitcoms are so easy to predict

pixelmeow: that sounds like mash

SmnJester2076: No, Cheers. They all squeaked.

OscagneTX: doesn’t ring a bell for me.

Bookman99R: M*A*S*H did it to.

Bookman99R: I think Radar was selling them?

agplusonesub: Still, I’m laughing about the thought of it.

pixelmeow: don’t recall…

pixelmeow: anyway, I’ve gotta go pick up dinner…

OscagneTX: maybe the one was an homage to the other?

pixelmeow: I’m going to leave this on so I can catch up later

OscagneTX: later, pix.

Bookman99R: bye, Pix!

SmnJester2076: And the dark haired woman, the one that replaced Diane, had some big exec come in and everyone was running back and for in squeaky shoes.

agplusonesub: Can you imagine me in court pacing in front of the jury with my wingtips squeaking ….

pixelmeow: and in case anyone is here in an hour or so

SmnJester2076: Yes, I can…

pixelmeow: later everyone!!!

agplusonesub: see you Pix

SmnJester2076: And I’m laughing at you too! *G*

pixelmeow: {{{all}}}

LanaiHoward: {{{later}}}

Bookman99R: “Style-Rite Wingtip shoe company of Walla-Walla Washinton”

Bookman99R: that was the mash gag, IIRC

Reilloc: Aren’t Heinlein novels individual, free-standing, situation comedies?

agplusonesub: Let me die now, please Lord. And these damned things cost $200 a pair.

agplusonesub: To me many of them are.

Bookman99R: some are

OscagneTX: Now I’m laughing at you, too, David.

Bookman99R: but RAH didn’t write for laughs

Bookman99R: If you know what I mean

Reilloc: So, why did he call them “comedies?”

agplusonesub: That’s really why in federal court the judge nails you to the podium (don’t move out from behind it without my permission, counsel). It’s the inherent kindness of Federal District Judges.

SmnJester2076: http://experts.about.com/q/1367/3401418.htm

agplusonesub: I think he did, often, Rusty. Especially later.

SmnJester2076: Comedy and Tragedy. Wasn’t Clytemnestra (sp) a comedy according tot eh Greeks?

Bookman99R: I disagree, David. I think he wrote for chuckles

agplusonesub: Irony and satire is very funny.

Bookman99R: which is a slightly different thing, IMO

agplusonesub: Yeah, but his cousin Chuckles never paid very well.

OscagneTX: Don’t tell Doc Krin that.

agplusonesub: ‘kay

Reilloc: So, you think Heinlein would have been offended if somebody got belly laughs out of his writing?

agplusonesub: No.

OscagneTX: Nope.

Reilloc: I know you two don’t.

Bookman99R: RAH put humor into his books, certainly, but evoking belly-laughs didn’t strike me as central to his work

Reilloc: He “put humor” in his books?

agplusonesub: As I said about MiaHM, I think the scene when Prof and Stu are proposing the monarchy is deliberately hilarious.

agplusonesub: Darkly so, but belly laughs a plenty.

agplusonesub: Since everyone knows that bomb-throwers and Stuarts do such a great benigh job when they take over as kings.

Bookman99R: it didn’t strike me that way.

agplusonesub: MMV 😀

Reilloc: It’s probably a mistake to conclude that the thing that gets the biggest laugh, out loud, is the funniest.

Bookman99R: not at the laugh-out-loud level, anyway

Reilloc: See, humor’s about timing.

agplusonesub: how do you spell be-nign

Reilloc: B9

agplusonesub: right much easier than B52

agplusonesub: especially if you’re on the ground below

LanaiHoward: Is it more B9 if one refers to it as BUFF?

Bookman99R: so then the funniest stuff doesn’t involve laughing out loud?

SmnJester2076: think b4 you spell…

Reilloc: To some.

agplusonesub: doesn’t have to … it’s all in the mind, and how many teeth your grin shows

Bookman99R: back to MMV, then

Reilloc: If any.

Bookman99R: 2B + !2B

agplusonesub: If you get back to the second bicuspids, if you have any left, it’s usually hillarious.

Reilloc: To you.

agplusonesub: that too

Bookman99R: but I don’t see that RAH wrote “make ’em laugh” books

Reilloc: That’s regrettable.

Bookman99R: not in the sense of humor writing, anyway

Reilloc: Then, neither did Mark Twain?

Bookman99R: he wrote SF books, and used humor as one of his tools

agplusonesub: Well, if make ’em laugh because othrwise they’ll cry is part of humor, he and Mark Twain wrote a lot of humor

Bookman99R: different question

Reilloc: Really?

Bookman99R: yep

Reilloc: That’s funny.

agplusonesub: But isn’t humor a reaction against pain, embarrassment, shock … et al.?

Reilloc: Sometimes.

Bookman99R: laugh it up, fuzzball

agplusonesub: xactly

agplusonesub: What fools these mortals be. Laugh clown laugh.

Reilloc: What do they call the Dermatologist’s office on a battleship?

OscagneTX: wet?

Reilloc: The Itch Bay.

Reilloc: Mine’s here.

OscagneTX: hehe

agplusonesub: ew

SmnJester2076: HOw’s scruffy looking?

agplusonesub: I hope not.

SmnJester2076: Who’s…

OscagneTX: with his eyes?

Bookman99R: who’s scruffy-looking?

Bookman99R: GMTA

SmnJester2076: Fools seldom differ…

LanaiHoward: Not on a battleship, but what’s the sign over the shared office space of a psychiatrist and a proctologist?

agplusonesub: If I had to scrub floors for two years, my eyes would be red too, but not from poor lighting.

Bookman99R: NUt’s & Butts?

LanaiHoward: Odds and ends.

OscagneTX: Rusty wins that one.

Bookman99R: eh, it went around the e-mail

Reilloc: To some.

LanaiHoward: Rusty, IIRC, the New York Post did run a headline about a mental patient that escaped after a sexual attack: Nut Screws and Bolts

agplusonesub: Close tho

Bookman99R: lol

OscagneTX: hehe

agplusonesub: is someone’s humor ever not a flip side to someone’s pain

Bookman99R: “Can you cache’ a small Czech”?

Reilloc: Back when, I asked whether you all were saying there’s an objective definition of pain./

agplusonesub: ?

Reilloc: That is, are you ready to write that legal memo for the Busch administration that okay’s torture.

Bookman99R: puns & word play, OTOH… Do they fall under the pain/surprise header?

OscagneTX: I still think you have to separate the groaners from the gaffaws.

Reilloc: How?

agplusonesub: no, pain is subjective when it’s words alone, but can be both when there’s conduct, e.g., big monkey beats littlier one.

OscagneTX: purely subjectively, no doubt.

Reilloc: You can feel what the little monkey feels?

OscagneTX: you can imagine what the little monkey feels.

Reilloc: I can’t imagine what any monkey feels.

agplusonesub: Some do. If I call your wife a madam, and everyone laughs, and I manage to get away alive after doing it, it’s a word play.

OscagneTX: you can’t imagine what it would feel like to get pummeled?

Bookman99R: there’s a good though, LN – can it be funny to someone without empathy?

Reilloc: Funny’s what you make it, Rusty.

Bookman99R: is it?

Reilloc: That’s why I agree with part of what you’re saying about what Heinlein wrote.

agplusonesub: Only if infliction of pain gratifies the witness enough to laugh.

SmnJester2076: Slapstick monkeys can get, puns they can’t. Therefore, puns are High Humor?

agplusonesub: Which means there are some weird ducks out there.

Bookman99R: or low humor?

Reilloc: How do you know monkies get slapstick?

OscagneTX: cuz they slap each other with sticks?

Reilloc: If you laugh at death is it because you’re amused or because you’re full of bravado or because you’ve always wanted to say, “I laugh at death”(?)

agplusonesub: I’ve never seen, for certain, a monkey laugh. Mostly I don’t know what the moneky is doing. When a monkey performs a self-gratification sexual act in front of a human, is he laughing at Mrs. Grundy, or does he really know it offends

LanaiHoward: In real cases, people have laughed at their tormentors to show utter contempt.

Bookman99R: Speaking of funny, I’d like to plug _Black as Blood_ by Rob Chilson

Reilloc: To make their captors believe they’re held in comtempt./

agplusonesub: Or as a guise, dissembling by saying, “this doesn’t hurt me.”

Bookman99R: I found it funny in a similar mode as say, _Teh Rolling Stones_

SmnJester2076: Ag… Once read a story about one of the experiemental monkesy for NASA who would punch the monkey when nervous. Played havoc when they took him out in front of a large crowd of reporters…

agplusonesub: In stones, aside from the enjoyment you get at laughing at the twins whenever they get caught in their machinations, what’s funny?

LanaiHoward: Some of the debriefings of Asian POWs, in both Korea and Vietnam, suggests that laughter was one of the most confusing things to the Communists

Reilloc: That line in “Monkey Man,” that goes “…I hope we’re not to messianiac or a trifle too satanic…” is funny.

Bookman99R: the dialogue, IMO. Not belly-laugh funny for me

LanaiHoward: David, the flat cats, in and of themselves? Great visual image of Roger wearing a hat…worked better for me than the Trouble with Tribbles

agplusonesub: That’s because the Communist society is always supposed to be purposiveful.

Bookman99R: but amusing, smile-making, chuckling

agplusonesub: “Nuts”? Vas ist “nuts”?

Reilloc: How about another Slim Jim?

SmnJester2076: Didn’t really say ‘nuts’…

SmnJester2076: But understood…

agplusonesub: There’s a debate. Some swear that McAuliffe never used profanity.

Reilloc: Nuts is profanity?

OscagneTX: Balls is.

agplusonesub: “nuts” was as bad as he ever got

Reilloc: McAuliffe or Gavin?

OscagneTX: Of course that was just an iference…

agplusonesub: McAuliffe.

OscagneTX: in…

Reilloc: The Black Forest.

agplusonesub: Gavin had the 82d. McAuliffe was ADC of the 101s.

Reilloc: I thought it was Gavin.

LanaiHoward: There were some elegant euphemisms in France and Germany…”Mot de Chambronne” from Waterloo, and “I say to you what Gotz von Berlichengen said to the Bishop of Bamberg”

agplusonesub: no …

LanaiHoward: Divisional artillery commander, IIRC

agplusonesub: Yeah, but the two-star was left behind in Paris or wherever he was when they moved up, so McAuliffe commanded at Bastogne.

agplusonesub: But “Nuts? Vas ist ‘nuts’?” is funny.

OscagneTX: yup

agplusonesub: What kind of a serious response is that?

SciFiman33: Time for me to leave. Thanks to All for an interesting afternoon.

OscagneTX: ‘evening

Reilloc: Later, SFM

SciFiman33 has left the room.

agplusonesub: Good evening

agplusonesub: Are there any human cultures we know where people don’t laugh?

Reilloc: RNC meetings.

Bookman99R: never heard of any

agplusonesub: Besides ones where it’s drummed out of them, because everything is serious, Puritan, etc.

LanaiHoward: I can testify that RNC Campaign Management School was full of laughs.

Reilloc: My family reunions.

LanaiHoward: (understand that I am a Recovering Republican)

Reilloc: You laugh, you’re a target.

agplusonesub: 100 % purposive, such as More seemed to say was an utopia.

agplusonesub: Malvolio never laughs.

Reilloc: Who he?

agplusonesub: But the very sight of Malvolio is the butt of humor to everyone else.

agplusonesub: Character in Twelfth Night, by Willy the S.

LanaiHoward: Thai culture is a little strange on humor. It’s quite offensive to have public displays of anger, or strong affection — and there is also a custom of respect (the wai gesture). Yet practical jokes are very popular…

OscagneTX: just picked up a 1932 Complete Shakespeare.

OscagneTX: $25

Reilloc: I just got one on CD ROM since I can’t read anything not on a monitor anymore.

agplusonesub: The ominous minister who plays against all the revelers who were going out of style, as Liz died and the Puritans were making their deal with one of those benign Stuarts we were talking about.

LanaiHoward: When I’ve visited Thai friends, they sometimes would try to shock westerners by straight-faced servings of a very hot dish…I’d confuse them by asking for extra peppers

OscagneTX: That’s got to suck. You truly have my condolences. I love books.

Reilloc: It’s no big deal.

agplusonesub: And do they laugh when you ask for water.

Reilloc: I still get shit in the mail I have to read.

SmnJester2076: NOT on a monitor?

Reilloc: Yeah.

SmnJester2076: Oh, one of those viewers?

Reilloc: Nah.

agplusonesub: Or just hide their smiles behind their hands.

SmnJester2076: Enlarges?

Reilloc: Nah.

Reilloc: I keep buying books, too, and never read them.

OscagneTX: Oh, are you talking time restraints, or something?

Reilloc: No, not really.

Reilloc: I waste lots of time otherwise.

agplusonesub: Chinese serve a special very bland, very distasteful chicken dish at weddings. They smile behind their hands when Occidentals start to taste it.

OscagneTX: Well, I won’t pry.

Bookman99R: our dinner guest is here

agplusonesub: Take care, Rusty

Bookman99R: good evening, all

SmnJester2076: Well, use salt on him.

OscagneTX: ‘night rusty.

Reilloc: Have a pleasant dinner and evening.

Bookman99R has left the room.

OscagneTX: he might already be salty.

OscagneTX: or she…

Reilloc: This thing ending at 7:00?

OscagneTX: Usually just ends when everyone gets tired of chatting.

agplusonesub: in about twelve minutes?

OscagneTX: We could, if that’s what y’all want to do.

LanaiHoward: David, are you thinking of congee (also called jook)?

SmnJester2076: You’re all trying to get rid of me, aren’t you?

agplusonesub: Has anyone ever read a SF that had humor perceived by aliens, or animals …

agplusonesub: except for the beast tale fable?

Reilloc: SiaSL

OscagneTX: Niven’s Kzinti have humor.

agplusonesub: Yes, the Man from Mars named Smith.

LanaiHoward: Almost any SF I’ve read involving serious interaction between humans and porpoises has a lot of humor…

OscagneTX: But I haven’t read any of those in a while.

Reilloc: Destroying the planet had to have been funny to the Old Ones.

agplusonesub: But he was a god, or an angel … or a Martian.

OscagneTX: Oh, yeah… Hitchiker’s Guide.

SmnJester2076: Real SciFi? Or Hitchhikers Guide sort?

OscagneTX: Or did you mean serious SF?

agplusonesub: I always thought destroying the planet was funny to Michael Holmes, too.

SmnJester2076: Erm…

LanaiHoward: Don’t know if it counts, but there was a great piece called “The Exalted”, where the Mad Scientist develops an intelligence enhancement — and winds up with a bear as his chief assistant

agplusonesub: Bear thought that was funny?

Reilloc: I really don’t understand “why” the topic. We’re surrounded by aliens.

Reilloc: My jokes fall flat, yours fall flat, others’ flop.

agplusonesub: Other humans with whom we “have a failure to communicate”?

SmnJester2076: What about Spider Robinson?

LanaiHoward: Oh, the personality of a gentle bear was just right…he was the straight…man. When the scientist took is own drug, things really got weird

Reilloc: There is no universal humor within our own race.

LanaiHoward: The bear was vaguely amused by humans…ISTR he felt the ability to hibernate put it all in perspective

agplusonesub: Pixel the Cat, Robinson version, or that dog that hangs around the bar in Key West?

SmnJester2076: They are both native to Earth. Would they be considered aliens?

agplusonesub: Alien to homo sap

OscagneTX: Mickey Finn’s not. Did he ever get humor?

OscagneTX: The Clauricune got humor. Does he count?

agplusonesub: Dunno. Haven’t read enough Robinson.

agplusonesub: But, the bear, Howard, is it a beast fable?

Reilloc: This “Heinlein” book he’s writing, what’s the deal with that?

OscagneTX: Mike Callahan was human, but wasn’t of terran origin…

OscagneTX: You know the story already, LN? Or are you asking for an update?

agplusonesub: He was at Torcon when James mentioned they’d found a fully laid outline. Someone piped up from the audience, why don’t you let Spider write it. Dula decided to let him try. They made a deal. Some of the royalties to the estate,

LanaiHoward: no, the bear is mostly in the role of a furry human philosopher. The story, incidentally, was uncanny — from the fifties, with an almost engineering level design of an RF-pubped laser

LanaiHoward: pumped

Reilloc: I see.

Reilloc: I can’t read his stuff.

SmnJester2076: Speaking of Engineers… Anyone heard of the Kiersy Personality Test? Meyers Briggs?

agplusonesub: some to Robinson. He’s cleared out his desk, and waiting for the contract Baen was doing up so he said in April. Probably wtiting it now.

agplusonesub: Sounds like Travis McGee’s friend Meyer.

LanaiHoward: Meyers Briggs, not Kiersy

agplusonesub: “Someone” = Kate Gladstone.

SmnJester2076: Just curious if anyone knows which one Heinlein would have been?

SmnJester2076: Haven’t seen her in ages…

agplusonesub: I get email from her. She’s relentless in tracking down infringing sites. Send to me, andI forward to Dula.

SmnJester2076: Infringing?

agplusonesub: site with RAH novels or stories copied

Reilloc: Wants the estate to sue Iron Maiden and Moses.

agplusonesub: Usually a letter from Dula gets rid of the copy

OscagneTX: hehehe

Reilloc: Moderator, may I be excused?>

agplusonesub: They go underground, pop up again sometimes somewhere else.

SmnJester2076: Hmmm… just curious… The only bad reviews I ever got on Redpaper were froma user named Kategladstone…

OscagneTX: There is not excuse for you…

Reilloc: Then, I’ll take my leave.

agplusonesub: Me too, Osc, kin I, kin I …

OscagneTX: %^)

OscagneTX: I’m just treading water myself.

SmnJester2076: My excuse involves a faulty condom…

agplusonesub: Sir, no excuse, sir; but I have a reason.

OscagneTX: hehe

Reilloc: Thanks for the free entertainment and stimulating discussion, guys.

OscagneTX: Well, shall we just call it a night and close the log?

agplusonesub: Got log?

OscagneTX: yup

agplusonesub: M/Adjourn

SmnJester2076: Okay, I’m outie… See ya all in the newsgroup…

SmnJester2076 has left the room.

Reilloc: Later, all.

OscagneTX: sustained.

Reilloc has left the room.

OscagneTX: Log closed.

OscagneTX: have a good night, all.

LanaiHoward has left the room.

agplusonesub: G’nite all, Howard, LN, Joe, Pix


End of Discussion

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