Re: virus: Humor and Memes

Eric Boyd (
Sun, 7 Feb 1999 11:47:01 -0500


George Sulea <>:

Humor has always been a way for the masses to "let of[f] steam" and have a nervous laugh about the basic, and uncomfortable, structure of this thing we call society. From the scathing dark humor of movies like "Robocop" and "Brazil", to the irreverent, but on the mark humor of "Dilbert", Humor helps to expose these patterns for what they truly are. I really believe that humor was developed as a double edged blade, to both enliven, and enlighten the masses to the real truth upon which their culture, religions, politics, and ALL systems were developed.

My own view of humour is much the same, although I would definatly exercise "developed" from the last sentence. Humour emerged (or evolved) -- perhaps for survival reasons. My fundamental understanding of humour is that "we laugh becuase it hurts so much"[1]. i.e. in every instance of humour, some party is being hurt; and the humour response is triggered by that *preception of damage done*. In that sense, yes, humour can easily be used to jab a knife into the guts of any person or ideology -- but interestingly, one can go to far. At some point, people stop laughing becuase a line has been crossed. Some of the most obvious new memes are those surrounding which types of humour are no longer funny -- e.g. racial jokes.


[1] See "A Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert Heinlein.