The Weekly Stripe – 05.04.19
In the cruelest of months (according to T. S. Eliot) we are at least given the opportunity to celebrate the Fools' Day. This week’s Weekly Stripe takes a serious look at jokes and humour.
Anthropologists have tried to understand the social role of jokes. For Mary Douglas, a joke is ‘a play upon form.’ Jokes subvert control and structure, making them appear arbitrary. She even suggested that ‘the experience of a joke form in the social structure calls imperatively for an explicit joke to express it.’
Freud wanted to know why we can’t resist telling jokes and need others to laugh at them. Jokes are the ultimate memes. Read this eight-part series by the MIT Professor Henry Jenkins to understand what makes jokes and memes sticky and spreadable.
Jokes are always crossing one line or another but what if a joke goes too far? This article offers an interesting perspective on humour in the context of the 2016 US election. Did South Park get things right?
The saying ‘comedy equals tragedy plus time’ suggests that, along with tragedy, time plays an important role in humour. This article explores the art and science of comedic timing.
And now for something … actually funny – the oldest collection of jokes, which dates back to the 4th century Greece, contains the ancestor of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch