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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
The Best Part of Comedy 
3rd-Nov-2001 07:54 pm
Trevor baby stare
So... I haven't read rec.humor.funny for a while. I found the following disclaimer before the Seuss version of the 9/11 attack. Please read this disclaimer before reading any of my non-pun humor.

All tragedies inspire jokes, of both the regular and sick type, and the Sept 11 terrorist attacks are no different. In many cases the jokes provide release from the horror, for many they provide nothing but offense. To understand why, one has to understand a bit about the nature of comedy. Most comedy derives from the combination of presenting something we find frightening or embarassing in a context where we are safe, combined with a cleverness of presentation. Cleverness without the fear is mostly the province of puns.

The first comedy can be seen in the laughter of small children hung in the air or twirled by their parents -- scary, but safe.

In some cases, if a subject or tragedy touches you deeply, it's not
possible for your mind to find the safe context necessary to see it as humour. The result is nothing but the original fear, or horror, and a bewilderment that anybody saw comedy, because for you there is none.

This is no less true for the RHF moderators, who must read through a myriad of jokes whenever any disaster strikes and decide which are "good" jokes. Note that the first WTC jokes appeared in the RHF queue on the evening of the 11th. Even with the horror, people often find comedy even in the face of personal tragedy, the realization that something is not serious providing a relief.
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