Ingredients for Humor

I feel rather disappointed in my blogging. The blog is fine – it’s serving a purpose, and lots of people have found it useful – over 60,000 according to the stats (mostly on a handful of pages, though, lol) (now that I’ve said it, I can make fun of that stat in the future). However, after looking at older posts, I realized my sense of humor has vanished a bit. I liked cracking jokes, and much of my humor is context-based. Sometimes funny things come to mind when you’re writing, but if you’re only in a serious mood or trying to be quick about writing (which, admittedly, I’ve been quite busy), you don’t get to muse as much and humorous ideas don’t readily come to mind as often. Looking back, though, I think it has made this blog slightly on the more boring end to read, at least from my perspective.

How do I fix this? I could automate my humor by spending even more time to create a generator that randomly selects a type of joke to tell and gives some keywords. And then when the project is a miserable failure for lack of creativity, I could joke about it thereafter on my blog. XD

I could also do a word-of-the-day from another language and try to guess what it means, but that takes too much time out of my week and I have no interest in boring people with such trifles like I just did with this sentence.

A few posts ago, I created some snippets for programming humor, but whenever I try other kinds of software-related humor, the result is like an overly complicated database search query for a simple result like “Column 1 = Laugh” that they don’t sound good even to me!

… Or I could just be forcing it, which doesn’t work for anyone except Bob Hope.

I suppose society in general has a hard time finding stuff to laugh about. Much of the humor I encounter is derogatory, selfish, sexual, or debasing someone, as if finding something to laugh about meant you had to be radical and take advantage of (what was some time ago) social taboos. (Not to say I’m not guilty of bending the rules.) That stuff doesn’t have wide appeal, approval, or understanding. Yes, we all have different senses of humor, and I know some people would laugh at dogs puking on birthday cakes and some people have had too rough of a life to find much funny anymore, sadly. Also, there’s the factor of being in a family/club/work place/different country and having experiences we can relate to (ok, so that’s more than one). Having something to relate to is how humor works in the first place, obviously, which is probably why self-deprecating humor is the easiest – we all know about being human and being prideful. Bob Hope could be self-deprecating, and I do it too (especially here on this blog).

I read a quote the other day by Peter Kreeft, saying “Don’t be more serious than God. God invented dog farts.” The quote itself certainly makes some people laugh, though being philosophical, it makes me wonder what God intended for us to laugh at. Laughing is a complex mechanism, and one of those that fools master where scientists struggle to understand. Rationale seems to be on the losing end here.

If you want to write a story, screenplay, plot, and it needs to be humorous, I empathize you… Sucker! XD <- Stop! How many of you laughed at that line? Would an angel laugh? Probably not. (I could ask my angel about it, but he might laugh at the idea.) Humor comes from imperfect knowledge and then stumbling on an idea so totally related but off topic, it strikes you in a magical way that lights up your face.

The third ingredient – in addition to having things in common and imperfect knowledge – would be lightheartedness. As Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Of course, Lincoln probably didn’t say that first, but he got away with it for being a historic figure, but no one cares but the poor Joe lost to history who coined the phrase first. Ah, poor Joe, or was it John Smith? Sorry Joe, er, John.

So now we have three ingredients for humor:

  • Having something in common
  • Imperfect knowledge
  • Lighthearted attitude

Now we just need the correct phrasing to connect two related ideas and good timing and we’ll be all set! Ready for the best joke you’ve ever heard?!

Too bad. Come back next week and maybe I’ll try to relate pork, Pluto, and the autobahn, or not. Ok, ok, I’ll try harder. But I’ll have you know, I prefer bars that are like my humor – cold and dry. /*badum PA!* (Audience boos.) Ok, I’ll get off the soap box now. Have a good night everyone, and try to find something to laugh about tonight. 🙂


About chronologicaldot

Just a Christ-centered, train-loving, computer geek.
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One Response to Ingredients for Humor

  1. codeinfig says:

    this post helps a lot. i find your work interesting, but just the fact that i didnt know you had that side of your personality (youre right, its not really showing) made me reluctant to have fun with you– joke around, etc. it gives the blog a formal atmosphere, which isnt a crime.

    its completely counter-intuitive, but even though i created my own blog just to talk about fig (and then, i used fig to respin not one but two gnu/linux distros– into a single respin) i couldnt stick to that one topic anymore.

    now im on deviant art and doing graphics, and finally came up with a (practically single-line) solution for 24-bit color (the language offers 16 as-is, but also inline python) so now i can do a lot of things with color i knew i would probably find a preferred way to do at some point. the code in question is: figcgapal[0] = (r, g, b) # call it, then draw in color 0. its “elegant enough.” so thats fun.

    but i always wanted to reach other people with the subject of fig, and by covering other topics, i now do that. it also mixes things up and adds some fun to the blog (fsvo “fun.”) i wouldnt put an abundance of stock in the idea if it were hypothetical– but as long as i could no longer avoid it? it works.

    whether it brings in a broader audience (as it has for me,) or you get comments on other topics from fellow coders (thats happened once or twice– and its working for you, via this comment) its certainly a chance to have more fun. thats the idea, right? good luck with it.

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