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1.25 - Tocqueville

1.25 - Tocqueville - American Humor Constance Rourke 1930's...

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American Humor , Constance Rourke – 1930’s, 3 forms/styles of expression. How do you be funny? Yankee, western and black. - Western – exaggerated, Paul Bunyan. Mohammad Ali – bragging – I am the greatest! American athletes – look at me, I’m amazing! Infectious confidence – second confidence. - Black – Minstrel shows – white people putting on blackface, dressed as black people, and expressing that sense of what the world is about. Black humor. You don’t have to be black to be black in this cultural sense. - Also Jewish humor. Seinfeld, even though it doesn’t name itself Jewish. Pain – How do you express it? Degree of pain is universal – everyone feels the same having their leg taken off. Each one takes on an expressive form, and shows how to enact it. Putting on acts even though we don’t know it. Death-mourning – Mothers of recovered heroes interviewed on TV. How do you play that? How do you behave in a situation like that? Jewish left-winger mom – Of course
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