A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Posts tagged "humor"
Aug 15, 2014
Because we are laughed at, I don’t think people really understand how essential [comedians] are to their sanity. If it weren’t for the brief respite we give the world with our foolishness, the world would see mass suicide in numbers that compare favorably with the death rate of the lemmings. I’m sure most of you have heard the story of the man who, desperately ill, goes to an analyst and tells the doctor that he has lost his desire to live and that is seriously considering suicide. The doctor listens to his tale of melancholia and then tells the patient that what he needs is a good belly laugh. He then advises the unhappy man to go to the circus that night and spend the evening laughing at Grock, the world’s funniest clown. The doctor sums it up, “After you have seen Grock, I am sure you will be much happier.” The patient rises to his feet, looks sadly at the doctor, turns and ambles toward the door. As he starts to leave the doctor says, “By the way, what is your name?” The man turns and regards the analyst with sorrowful eyes. “I am Grock.”
Aug 12, 2014
Aug 11, 2014
The core of all humor, the reason for it all, is unhappiness.
Mar 06, 2013
The first mistake of Art is to assume that it’s serious
Nov 05, 2012
Nov 01, 2012
Apr 09, 2012
John Cleese - “A Lecture on Creativity”
John Cleese lectures on the topic of creativity.
Per Back to Work #62: Cultural Molasses.
Seriously: this wonderful video has had a huge impact on how I think about creativity. For years.
Unfortunately, the copy I’ve had and repeatedly enjoyed “fell off the back of a truck,” so I had no way to share it.
Now, (via danforth), I can finally share and highly recommend it.
And, I really, really do encourage you to watch. Really. All the way through. It’s just terrific.
OMG this lecture. Everybody go home.
Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating.
I’d only seen this one, which I quoted in STEAL: “We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is that we don’t get them from our laptops.”
UPDATE: they took this down from Vimeo, but it’s over here for now.
Mar 23, 2012
Raymond Federman, “The Museum of Imaginary Asses”
When one thinks of the millions and millions of people who have dreamed before Leonardo’s MONA LISA, one can imagine their sweet smiles had he painted her ASS instead of her face. The ASS has captivated artists throughout the ages, and in their attempts to capture the delights of this ever changing shape they have given us an amazing collection of ASSES, for instance…
Federman was as funny as he was serious. Take two minutes to listen to “The Museum of Imaginary Asses”. A must for those who love art, wordplay, and perhaps, even, asses.
Nov 29, 2011
Triptych from Arthur Koestler’s The Act Of Creation
I tracked down this humor vs. science vs. art diagram from Koestler’s book after George Carlin mentioned it in his last interview. Here’s how Koestler explains it:
The three panels of the rounded triptych…indicate three domains of creativity which shade into each other without sharp boundaries: Humour, Discovery, and Art…
Each horizontal line across the triptych stands for a pattern of creative activity which is represented on all three panels; for instance: comic comparison—objective analogy—poetic image. The first is intended to make us laugh; the second to make us understand; the third to make us marvel.
…I shall try to show that all patterns of creative activity are trivalent: they can enter the service of humor, discovery, or art…The panels on the diagram meet in curves to indicate that there are no clear dividing lines between them.
And here’s Carlin:
The jester makes jokes, he’s funny, he makes fun, he ridicules. But if his ridicules are based on sound ideas and thinking, then he can proceed to the second panel, which is the thinker—he called it the philosopher. The jester becomes the philosopher, and if he does these things with dazzling language that we marvel at, then he becomes a poet too. Then the jester can be a thinking jester who thinks poetically.
You can read more about Carlin and the book on on page 65 of James Sullivan’s 7 Dirty Words: The Life And Crimes Of George Carlin.
May 16, 2011
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