Why Did I Laugh?

#1
Other night someone brought over a game they’d purchased and we decided to give it a go. The game was called Cards Against Humanity. It’s a fill in the blank game where the answers are supplied from a huge deck of cards. Some answers are quite vulgar, contain profanity or are just ridiculous. Anyway the answers given are rated for their humorous effect. 

It was my turn to read the answers supplied by the players for this comment, paraphrasing: Broadway is about to put on a new show called __________ , the musical. I’m reading and for one of the answers I started laughing well before I actually said it out loud. This answer had me in stitches and I can’t figure out why. 

The answer card had one word written on it. It was Auschwitz. There isn’t anything funny about Auschwitz but seeing it in front of the two words ‘the musical’ had me in hysterics, a real genuinely deep belly laugh. The only reason I can think of why I thought it was funny is because it seemed totally absurd to me. Who in hell would write a Broadway musical entitled Auschwitz?*

Am I alone? The only person who finds absurdity funny? 

* I checked it out later and a camp survivor actually penned a musical piece re Auschwitz but not what we might regard as a Broadway production, at least IMHO.
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#2
(Jun 3, 2019 06:49 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: . . . The answer card had one word written on it. It was Auschwitz. There isn’t anything funny about Auschwitz but seeing it in front of the two words ‘the musical’ had me in hysterics, a real genuinely deep belly laugh. The only reason I can think of why I thought it was funny is because it seemed totally absurd to me. Who in hell would write a Broadway musical entitled Auschwitz?


Who knows, deep into Hominini history, it might have been a "does not compute" reaction to "does not follow" events suddenly intruding on everyday routine (including even those of a traumatic or morbid nature). But possibly already serving other functions, too, of a social nature.

Quote:Am I alone? The only person who finds absurdity funny?

Back in its heyday, Monty Python had some observers convulsing into cackling belly-spasms with its chaotic nonsense, whereas others simply sat bored and mystified.

As for the Auschwitz direction in particular...

Mel Brooks, of course, arguably conceived the same -- albeit much broader -- territory as fuel for outrageous humor back in the 1960s. Along with the amused producer who finally funded his project.

Today a member of a population group is only supposed to opportunistically exploit their victimization via a self-pitying route, which doesn't include jocularity at all. Whereas back then Brooks seemingly tossed his own Jewish sensibilities about the subject to the wind, only preoccupied with the feasibility of the "joke" itself, elaborating it further and further into a screenplay containing a musical. It wasn't Judaic self-parody, however, so not as much "tossing sensibilities to the wind" as the Ernest Hogan magnitude.

"Springtime for Hitler" - The Producers (1967)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtime_for_Hitler

The title "Springtime for Hitler" was first coined by Brooks as a joke during the press conference for All American in 1962. [...] Brooks first envisioned his story as a novel, and changed it to a play [...] As Brooks sought backers for his 30-page film treatment, both major film studios and independent filmmakers rejected Springtime for Hitler, finding the idea of using Hitler for comedy outrageous and tasteless (with some even stating that they would consider the script if Brooks changed it to Springtime for Mussolini). This changed as Brooks's agent arranged him to have a meeting with a friend of his, New York producer Sidney Glazier. Glazier laughed so much at Brooks' performance of the script, he accepted the project by saying, “We’re gonna make it! I don’t know how, but we’re gonna make this movie!”
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#3
(Jun 3, 2019 06:49 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: The only reason I can think of why I thought it was funny is because it seemed totally absurd to me. Who in hell would write a Broadway musical entitled Auschwitz?*

Maybe tension and surprise. 

I just got back from a hike with my son, his girlfriend, and his best friend. The boys were trying to see who could hit this tree with a rock first. His girlfriend thought she’d increase her chances with a bigger rock. All of a sudden we heard this loud thud. She accidentally hit my son smack dab in the middle of his back. It took us minute to understand what had happened but then we all started cracking up when we realized that he wasn’t hurt.

My son was confused because she was so close to him at the time, he thought it was intentional, but at the same time, he was thinking there’s no way she could think that this was okay. I didn’t see her throw it. I just saw the rock hit him, but on the way back down, I couldn’t stop laughing every time I thought about it. She started laughing because I was but also because she knew that she shouldn’t since she was the one that threw the rock.

My girlfriend is a psychiatrist. I was helping her with her children when her father was passing away. He took his last breath, and she put her head to his chest to try to determine if he was gone. Then all of a sudden, she realized how odd that was. She has her medical license and knows how to check to see if someone has died. She started laughing hysterically and couldn’t stop. It really bothered her, and being a psychiatrist, you’d think that she would have understood what had happened, and why she was laughing. She felt better after I explained it to her but laughter itself is an interesting topic.

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/yw55y...u-shouldnt
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#4
SS.... she’s got a bad arm Cool. Seen it happen in tennis and soccer when you expect your teammate behind you to serve or kick the ball past you. 

Still the probable number one misfortune that usually gets a laugh from almost everyone is when a guy is hit in the groin. The Fails videos are full of them. For a woman the most popular laugh inducing event seems to be a wardrobe malfunction. Both are embarrassing for most victims but for some reason we crack up watching. The unexpected, no matter how many times you see it remains funny. Do you find that laughing at your own bad luck as it happens kind of diffuses the impulse for onlookers to laugh uncontrollably?
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#5
(Jun 4, 2019 03:28 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Do you find that laughing at your own bad luck as it happens kind of diffuses the impulse for onlookers to laugh uncontrollably?

No, not really. I don't think that we're really interested in stifling laughter. If anything we try to prolong it because it feels good. 

Neither of the boys were laughing but we tried to explain why we thought it was funny. Why? Because we wanted them to join in. Laughing is a social thing. It bonds you. You know the old saying, "You had to be there," and that’s true for the most part. Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist, who studies laughter says that laughter is contagious and that you’re more likely to contract it from somebody else if you know them. However, if you take the rock incident for example, I don’t know his girlfriend. She’s from the east coast. She’s staying with us for a week. She was really worried when she hit him with a rock. She was worried that he’d be pissed, but she said that she was more concerned with my reaction because she thought I would be upset that she hurt my son. When I thought about what she must have been thinking, what he must have been thinking, how hard she threw the rock, and about her poor aim, I couldn’t stop laughing. My laughing signaled that we all recognized that it was an accident derived from play. That simple situation actually made the entire hike a fun bonding experience for all of us. After that little adventure, she seems a lot more relaxed around me.

One thing that is interesting, though, is that both boys weren’t laughing and never did join in. They laughed when they said something funny, like an inside joke that we didn’t really care for. Same sort of thing occurs with my girlfriends. We laugh at our husband’s mishaps and vice versa. We have this thing where we share their pathetic attempts to get laid. We call it the quote of the day. Her husband hurt his knee. His last one was, "Having sex really hurts my knee." She said, "Really?" He said, "Yeah, good thing I’m a fast finisher."

So, humor is complex and probably differs between the sexes. Something that my son said stood out. He said that she has a great sense of humor because she laughs at all his jokes. Women want someone who makes them laugh, and men want someone who will laugh at their jokes, but when we're alone, it's not just your jokes that we laugh at. Big Grin
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#6
SS Wrote:No, not really. I don't think that we're really interested in stifling laughter. If anything we try to prolong it because it feels good.
I've had a few problems at funerals - maybe it's just me.
Very sad occasion but these are generally people I've known for years.
Let us remember X.
First thing that came to mind was one of his classic comments:
"Now that's what I call a real fart.".
For some reason (?) that struck me as funny. Not helped by that fact that I am surrounded by very sad people.
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#7
(Jun 6, 2019 01:19 PM)confused2 Wrote:
SS Wrote:No, not really. I don't think that we're really interested in stifling laughter. If anything we try to prolong it because it feels good.
I've had a few problems at funerals - maybe it's just me.
Very sad occasion but these are generally people I've known for years.
Let us remember X.
First thing that came to mind was one of his classic comments:
"Now that's what I call a real fart.".
For some reason (?) that struck me as funny. Not helped by that fact that I am surrounded by very sad people.

I was replying to Zinman's question about laughing at yourself to diffuse the impulse for onlookers to laugh, but we definitely try to stifle inappropriate laughter. 

Been there, done that. Mine was two-fold. You’re not supposed to laugh at a funeral or at someone with autism. 

Laughter is interesting, though, that’s for sure.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeT4XitPUkI
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#8
(Jun 3, 2019 06:49 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Other night someone brought over a game they’d purchased and we decided to give it a go. The game was called Cards Against Humanity. It’s a fill in the blank game where the answers are supplied from a huge deck of cards. Some answers are quite vulgar, contain profanity or are just ridiculous. Anyway the answers given are rated for their humorous effect. 

It was my turn to read the answers supplied by the players for this comment, paraphrasing: Broadway is about to put on a new show called __________ , the musical. I’m reading and for one of the answers I started laughing well before I actually said it out loud. This answer had me in stitches and I can’t figure out why. 

The answer card had one word written on it. It was Auschwitz. There isn’t anything funny about Auschwitz but seeing it in front of the two words ‘the musical’ had me in hysterics, a real genuinely deep belly laugh. The only reason I can think of why I thought it was funny is because it seemed totally absurd to me. Who in hell would write a Broadway musical entitled Auschwitz?*

Am I alone? The only person who finds absurdity funny? 

* I checked it out later and a camp survivor actually penned a musical piece re Auschwitz but not what we might regard as a Broadway production, at least IMHO.

agree with CC
Quote:it might have been a "does not compute" reaction to "does not follow" events suddenly intruding on everyday routine (including even those of a traumatic or morbid nature). But possibly already serving other functions, too, of a social nature.

on top of that are various numbers, sounds and words that even though the meaning may mean something interpeted,
the word construction triggers a different thought or feeling.


what you may not have noticed overtly is the lead-up to the situation
you may have read a trigger word from a previous card or part of the game being played that had you feeling something but you were repressing it for social conformity(manners)
having a socially accepted out-let for emotional release is then used.

very nasty manipulators use and notice such things to try and control groups of people though it is a fairly normal part of human behaviour.

word association might help you uncover the links to the underlying thoughts that may be attached or triggered by the word.


keeping in mind, some social pressure to find something worth a value to emotively express an acceptable valuation of the encounter may be at play.


i have observed groups where the anxiety builds to a point that something is used to laugh at even though it is not funny.
they laugh because they are all nervous and something is emotively maneuvered and body language is used to present something to exercise their social anxiety.
very unfortunate if that is a person and it is bullying/sexism/racism/bigotry, though that is very common.

(Jun 4, 2019 01:40 AM)Secular Sanity Wrote: My girlfriend is a psychiatrist. I was helping her with her children when her father was passing away. He took his last breath, and she put her head to his chest to try to determine if he was gone. Then all of a sudden, she realized how odd that was. She has her medical license and knows how to check to see if someone has died. She started laughing hysterically and couldn’t stop. It really bothered her, and being a psychiatrist, you’d think that she would have understood what had happened, and why she was laughing. She felt better after I explained it to her but laughter itself is an interesting topic.

the displacement of the self to the expereincer & the observer and as the 3rd person and group
all at the same time
a technical mind as hers being capable of processing that but having her own emotions occur would be very intense.

the high performance car at high speed needs a smaller movement of the wheel to get a larger response than normal.
even though the driver is much more highly skilled than the average, the response time to adjust is even smaller.

it took me a few years to comprehend creating lower impact crash zones for my mind.
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