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raniali
10-14-2003, 02:04 PM
Seriously - this has been bugging me for awhile and I can't come up with any theory that encompasses all the reasons we laugh. Why does one laugh when someone else trips and falls - and in the same circumstance another feels concern for the victim's well being?? Why do we laugh at comedians telling stupid jokes? although I don't usually find too many stand-ups funny.

I understand people laugh to dispel situation/social unease. But that doesn't seem to cover all the reasons. For instance, you read something on the internet that just makes you cackle uncontrollably often resulting in protein shakes to be spit out (as many of you often describe). WHY?!?!?!? Why is it funny?

Someone help me (and don't laugh) but this is causing me consternation.

Reinier
10-14-2003, 02:07 PM
There are a lot of things we do and nobody knows why.

raniali
10-14-2003, 02:15 PM
but i MUST know. it is my nature.
plus it keeps me from sleeping my normal 10 hrs and we can't have that.

rpffly
10-14-2003, 02:20 PM
Whenever I see /pwned it cracks me up to no end. I have no idea how it started, but every time man...............

APE.
10-14-2003, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by raniali
but i MUST know. it is my nature.
plus it keeps me from sleeping my normal 10 hrs and we can't have that.

Now thats odd;preventing you from getting sleep.

I kinda think of it like an emotional release;just as some ppl can't help but cry;some can't help but laugh about certain things.

Saint Patrick
10-14-2003, 02:24 PM
I laugh at the misfortune of others.

raniali
10-14-2003, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by APE.


Now thats odd;preventing you from getting sleep.

I kinda think of it like an emotional release;just as some ppl can't help but cry;some can't help but laugh about certain things.

things i ponder roll around in my mind and i end up thinking about them in lieu of sleeping like the dead horse i usually mimic at night.

yes - i agree that laughing is an emotional release ...but what emotions is one releasing??

the closest i have come to defining this is that something funny usually has some sort of PERSONAL emotional appeal. i mean, he who laughs at others misfortunes may project his own discomfort or embarrassment onto the other and laughs to compensate for that weakness within himself. for me, i wouldn't laugh if someone fell but then again, i wouldn't be that embarrassed myself.

Tru
10-14-2003, 02:54 PM
Definitely not TV, definitely not most people.

Has anyone seen comedy central lately? Damn that is sad. Especially the manshow, I could write a better show than that by myself. American's just keep getting more and more unoriginal.

Hatred
10-14-2003, 02:57 PM
Raniali...
Your query has caught my attention and started the wheels a-turnin. I have no Idea why things are funny. I watched someone plow into another's vehicle lastnight attempting to back into what they thought was an empty spot. I laughted hysterically.
I believe things that are so absurd, or things that you believe you are too smart to do cause the reaction. When I find things hilarious the image plays over and over again in an endless cycle until normal thought takes over.
When someone hurts themselves in a manner that I have and have survived and is not serious I usually explode into a fit of laughter. I too laugh at the misfortune of others. In all this mindless drivel I have managed to answer nothing. Dammit.
The things that I find most funny are the events I watch from the very unfolding stages to conclusion. These are usually things that are not the norm and occur at a different speed than normal life.
example:
I was going to the bank, it was raining. I was heading down a 35 mph residential road. there was a ford escort coming the opposite direction immediately followed by a ford Expedition. Now this is where the alternate speed thing comes in. Form a side street I saw the oddest thing. A 13 yr old kid with no shirt Flying like a bat out of hell for the intersection. I slowed down to a crawl as he squirted out into the street directly behind the escort and DIRECTLY in front of the Expedition. He hit it so hard that he flew out of his shoes, and hit the ground directly in front of the truck and rolled into my lane. He got up and ran around in little circles holding his ass which prompted me to begin laughing instantly and to drive around him and leave. I was probably the best witness there and should have stayed. See now it wasn't funny til I knew he was alright, which spawned memories of all of the times I busted my ass in a bloody heap on my bike and got laughed at, but it did not permanently alter my life (cept for a few scars )so even in retrospect my own experiences are funny.
I believe funniness is the transition from a negative or mundane thought to a positive one in a rapid period of time and that is the reaction we have to it.

So if you don't like it go milk a squirrel.




and have fun catching it.sicko.

Budiak
10-14-2003, 04:05 PM
Fart jokes are pretty funny.

buffzilla
10-14-2003, 04:14 PM
It's merley a reality check we use to keep things in perspective. We find the absurd amusing, and humour is usually a community thing (Certain cultures find certain things funny).
Its a non violent form of social conditioning, allowing the maintanence of a collective common sense.

raniali
10-14-2003, 04:14 PM
do u laugh to mask your farting insecurities, budiak?

and - i will have to give your conclusion some thought, nevermind. thx for playing.

raniali
10-14-2003, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by buffzilla
It's merley a reality check we use to keep things in perspective. We find the absurd amusing, and humour is usually a community thing (Certain cultures find certain things funny).
Its a non violent form of social conditioning, allowing the maintanence of a collective common sense.

but the people who laugh or instigate laughter are NOT those who are trying to control the populace in any matter of social conditioning. for instance, back in your school days, the teacher would be turned around at the board and someone would pull out a squirt gun and spray someone across the room and the entire class would bust out laughing. the teacher would turn around confused. who was doing the social conditioning here? and WHY was that funny?

Big o Boy
10-14-2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by raniali
Someone help me (and don't laugh) but this is causing me constipation.

LOL.... sorry, that made me laugh. :D

btw, wtf is /pwned?

Rock
10-15-2003, 01:43 AM
a friend of mine and I once took the subway, he had with a megaphone for a school project, I was farting like a sour buffalo that day and he said on the subway, oh yeah listen to this, and he actually farted in the megaphone, the whole subway wagon got quiet, and then everybody started to laugh, grown ups too, but still why do we laugh

Reinier
10-15-2003, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by Rock
a friend of mine and I once took the subway, he had with a megaphone for a school project, I was farting like a sour buffalo that day and he said on the subway, oh yeah listen to this, and he actually farted in the megaphone, the whole subway wagon got quiet, and then everybody started to laugh, grown ups too, but still why do we laugh

LMAO

Dedicated
10-15-2003, 06:10 AM
It depends on your current environment whether something will be funny or not. But basically...
Funny = Offbeat

Hatred
10-15-2003, 08:00 AM
Jaialai....neverMORE never MORE think edgar allen poe...

-TIM-
10-15-2003, 09:26 AM
I'll tell you what's NOT funny. I spent 15 minutes going through member pics and haven't found a single one of Raniali. What's with that?!?!

-TIM-
10-15-2003, 09:27 AM
...and no I'm not a perv

buffzilla
10-15-2003, 09:51 AM
but the people who laugh or instigate laughter are NOT those who are trying to control the populace in any matter of social conditioning. for instance, back in your school days, the teacher would be turned around at the board and someone would pull out a squirt gun and spray someone across the room and the entire class would bust out laughing. the teacher would turn around confused. who was doing the social conditioning here? and WHY was that funny?

Such things are still group based. The childern form their own conditioned society hostile to outsiders (The teacher). It works on many different levels.

aidano
10-15-2003, 10:09 AM
We laugh at imperfections in ourselves and others: stupidity, ignorance, clumsiness, lack of self-control...I think most of what we laugh at comes down to one of those things in the end.

raniali
10-15-2003, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by buffzilla


Such things are still group based. The childern form their own conditioned society hostile to outsiders (The teacher). It works on many different levels.


HUMOR is cultural. LAUGHTER is not. laughter is found in all cultures by all people, just not animals. what one laughs about, though, is based on cultural ideas.


nevermorte - i decided that people can have negative/mundane thoughts which quickly turn positive WITHOUT laughing. such as, i am now thinking of death and destruction then (at this moment) i imagine a beautiful delicate flower and red balloons. i don't think that's funny. do you?

MrWebb78
10-15-2003, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by Tim Nissen
I'll tell you what's NOT funny. I spent 15 minutes going through member pics and haven't found a single one of Raniali. What's with that?!?!

shes constantly emailing me new ones of herself...along with love notes.


i think we should ask why dont we laugh more.

WiNgS
10-15-2003, 01:02 PM
back in high school there was this guy taking a dump in one of the cubicles but the cubicles were like 5ft tall and had no locks so a big group of my friends dragged his school bag under the cubicle door along with his trousers and then got wet toilet paper and threw it at his face....the fact that he was so embarassed and the fact that we caught someone actually doing that was what i found hilarious, i was laughing at his misfortune...i was also laughing for the next hour as he couldnt do "sh*t" about it....excuse the pun :D

MrWebb78
10-15-2003, 01:04 PM
heres something ironic......there is nothing funny about "americas funniest home videos".

raniali
10-15-2003, 01:21 PM
webbie - i told you part of the deal about the pics u were begging for was that you couldn't share or let others know i had them. thx. now they will have to stop.

but webbie does bring up a good point - that what is supposed to be unexpected, comical misfortune of others just isn't really all that funny to the general public. WHY? WHY? WHY?

MrWebb78
10-15-2003, 01:27 PM
perhaps its shock value. using that god awful show for example. it was a hit when it first came out, cuz nobody had seen anything like it. a half hour of grown men getting nut shots by golf balls, people falling off of roofs, animals acting silly.
and now, 10 years later it's all been seen and it isnt funny anymore. less stimulating, de-sensitized.

now that could possibly be compared to normal circumstances. 10 years ago i would laugh if i saw someone fall in the mud. now i would ask them if they are ok.

raniali
10-15-2003, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by MrWebb78
10 years later it's all been seen and it isnt funny anymore. less stimulating, de-sensitized.


but it is still funny when you witness it personally. or it is to some people. i don't usually laugh at the misfortune of others but that's because i am out to save the world and solve all the problems of humanity while i am at it.

MrWebb78
10-15-2003, 01:33 PM
on that note, im going to get a double western cheeseburger combo, large sized with a raspberry nestea, and watch the red sox lose attempt to shock the world and beat the yankees.

Hatred
10-15-2003, 01:59 PM
Ranamok.
You were forcing the thoughts to occur unnaturally and at a much slower rate than by an outside influence. Someone falls off a ladder...Your first reaction will be anxiety and concern and will remain as such until they either get severly injured in which you either go into panic or assist the person but laughtwer will be the farthest thing from your mind. However if they hit the ground and let out a squeak or fart then the tensionis relieved and what could have been a idsaster is now a humorous event.Think about what makes you laugh. What happens in your head at the exact moment when you realize something is funny and you invlountarily laugh? Instead of playing the part of the interrogator and picking apart everyone elses theories why not hypothesize something yourself and see how it stacks up?

raniali
10-15-2003, 03:44 PM
neverwhore --

don't u think i have put a lot of thought into this before posting? i have come up with several theories of my own but since i couldn't find one that really fit correctly, i came to you guys to see what your minds could conjure up. i am not picking apart theories trying to be malicious but because i have yet to find one that makes sense on the very innate level behind laughter.

i think you have come close by saying that we laugh when the tension is relieved. but in the same sense, why does one laugh when no one is present and there is no apparent tension, like reading the comics or a funny part of a book? is it that we project ourselves into the situation and imagine our own emotions/tensions/nervousness/weaknesses in said moments?

ace dogg
10-15-2003, 03:47 PM
your face is funny.

besides that, i'd say that there is no real answer to the question. depends on an individuals experiences and upbringing. for example, some people find retards funny, some people find people who find retards funny to be offensive. and some retards find them to be funny. but they're still retarded.

depends how you were raised i guess.

Reinier
10-15-2003, 04:04 PM
Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation. -- Mark Twain

raniali
10-15-2003, 04:24 PM
i found this from some undergrad paper. it is somewhat interesting :
I believe that laughter serves a combination of roles, however, it does
have one universal duty, the expression of pleasure. Only one form of
comedy can be called upon to perform the ìcorrectiveî role, sarcasm.
However, the other forms of comedy and laughter normally merely serve the
pleasure function. This statement is not meant to mislead, there are
obviously other forms of pleasure expression, this is merely one.
Unfortunately, due to its dependence on social values, laughter can really
show a personís true regard for others, example: someone tripping with a bag
of groceries. While those with a ideally formed conscious are instantly
concerned for the safety and welfare of the individual, others may find the
situation comical, I unfortunately, would probably be in the second group
described, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise. I also
agree with MíDougall in his assertion that a smile and a laugh are not the
same, because laughter is more complex and can again be used as a corrective
tool, while a smile can only express pleasure.
But I do agree with Darwin that they are both universally meant to express
pleasure. While he did not see characteristics for each in monkeys, there
are distinct attributes that can be seen easily in humans.

Reinier
10-15-2003, 04:30 PM
Humour is a means of dealing with pain.

Humourism is a branch of romanticism, where one flees from the world hes in because he doesnt like it.

raniali
10-15-2003, 04:32 PM
pleez elaborate your first point -- i am not sure i fully understand the context.

raniali
10-15-2003, 04:34 PM
some humor theories:
http://web.macam98.ac.il/~ochayo/what.htm

many of which still dont answer the basic underlying question of what emotional response was provoked and we are expressing with laughter

MrWebb78
10-15-2003, 04:35 PM
nobody understands renier, he either tries to sound smart, but ends up sounding dumb; or he just finds quotes and passes them off as his own thoughts.

PizDoff
10-15-2003, 06:00 PM
I find it odd how much I agree with raniali.


Want to get married?
:)

Podium Kreatin
10-16-2003, 12:26 AM
if it bothers u that much, why don't u take some psychology classes of it. i'm sure its more complicated than one would think, i took pyschology, and they have some ppl study things for years which we think are very simple (such as depression, many ppl think its caused by personal problems, but its the most common mental disorder in the world)

Podium Kreatin
10-16-2003, 12:31 AM
if it helps, humans can talk voluntarily. dogs, for example, may bark when they are alarmed, and they have no control of it. however, tehy also bark when you walk in the door, and they are glad to see you. laughter, just like barking, is involuntary. in fact, laughing is also contagious, and is considered a type of communication that precedes the human ability to talk. babies laugh before htey can talk, and this lets them know they are happy. of course, its more complicated than what i have explained

Rock
10-16-2003, 12:37 AM
Humor is not cultural, I met a japanese student, couldnt speak a word english or norwegian, I asked him names and words on japanese, and he taugh me some, and I said them back in funny situations, and he laughed like mad.

Bam Bam
10-16-2003, 10:36 AM
can you put the avatar of your boobs up again ?
:p

raniali
10-16-2003, 11:09 AM
bammer - now THAT made me laugh. and i still don't know why.


Pizd - i've got about 2 hours today for the nuptials. otherwise you will have to wait.

MrWebb78
10-16-2003, 01:32 PM
what really makes me wonder....is why is one thing funny to one person, yet offensive to another?

aidano
10-16-2003, 02:13 PM
guilt?

raniali
10-16-2003, 02:50 PM
past experience or beliefs or emotional capacity
if one was jewish, jewish jokes are not usually funny
but also people with greater social sympathy would also not find those jokes funny. again - i really think that humor (what one finds funny) is cultural.

Reinier
10-17-2003, 11:38 AM
I disagree. I find some jokes about social demographics i belong to funny. Then again i often make a joke about myself

raniali
10-17-2003, 01:01 PM
they do say that "if you can laugh at it, then you can live with it."
so now laughter is an expression of acceptance? or perhaps still the unease of voicing a weakness?

actually - reinier - i find that mark twain quote fits in to the majority of humorous circumstances i can think of. the prime example being the rabbit with a pancake on its head.

Big o Boy
10-17-2003, 01:02 PM
I disagree. I find some jokes about social demographics i belong to funny. Then again i often make a joke about myself

:withstupi

I love all the white boy jokes. I laugh at myself constantly. I look in the mirror and :hello: sometimes I start laughing.

That's just me tho

Reinier
10-17-2003, 02:50 PM
I hate it when people whine about "offensive humour".

Most of the time people whine about it, its actually a very good satire with a meaning thats true and they just can`t or won`t see it. (Example: South Park)


Originally posted by Big o Boy


:withstupi

I love all the white boy jokes. I laugh at myself constantly. I look in the mirror and :hello: sometimes I start laughing.

That's just me tho

I`m kinda prep, but few things crack me up as much as real good artists doing preppie student impersonations. There is a tv satire trio in Holland, called "Jiskefet" theyve been on for years and theyre good but theyll never top their episodes where they did
a bunch of preppie uni student roommates in an elite frat.
They actually got so big with that many of the phrases they used there became slang.

Reinier
10-19-2003, 05:22 AM
Tell me some white boy jokes. never heard any

Reinier
10-19-2003, 05:35 AM
Check this out. so recognisable, its scary. a pic of the student sketch