This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: atholic church), the priest and nun were slyly or coarsely attacked by the humorist, and in all
times those somewhat skeptical find in religion, its ceremonials and customs, a field for joke and satire.
The most interesting of the types of humor flirts with the disagreeable. Man is the only animal foreseeing
death and disaster, and he not only quakes in the knowledge of misfortune, but also he jokes about it. It may
be that the excitement of approaching in spirit the disagreeable is pleasant, and perhaps there is pleasure in
attacking disaster, even in a playful way. The ability to joke about other people's misfortunes is not, of course,
a measure of gallantry or courage and usually indicates a feeling of superiority such as we all tend to feel in
the presence of the unfortunate, even where no element of weakness has caused their mishap. But to joke
about one's own troubles, danger and disaster at least indicate a sense of proportion, an ability to stand aloof
This propensity is remarkably manifest in hospitals, in war and wherever disaster or danger is present. The
soldiers nickname in a familiar way all their troubles and all their dangers. The popular phrases for dying
illustrate this,--croaked, flew up the spout, turned up the toes, etc. In the war the different kinds of guns and CHAPTER XV. 128 missiles had nicknames, and puns were made on the various dreaded results of injury. It was declared by the
soldiers that no missile could injure any man unless it has his name and address on it, which is, of course, a
poetical, humorous comparison of the missile to a longed-for letter. I heard a wounded man say the only
trouble was that the postoffice department mistook him for another fellow. Grim humor always is evident in
grim situations; it is a way of evasion and escape, and also it is a challenge.
When one objectifies himself so that he sees himself, his purposes and his weaknesses in the light in which
others might see him and find him "funny," then he has reached the heights in humor. Certain people are
notoriously lacking in this q...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11