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Author Topic: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.  (Read 25673 times)

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Online Pak-Man

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2006, 11:27:02 AM »
I remember an episode of Freakazoid where he went back in time in a Quantum Leap parody and tried to stop the Pearl Harbor bombing. I don't remember how it ended, but I remember him getting distracted in his mission by Hula Girls over and over again. :^)


Offline ambitiously stupid

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2006, 11:32:55 AM »
I don't have a problem with jokes about society's response to events surrounding 9/11. Zach's joke was about the event itself "that's a blast from the past".  Tasteless.
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Offline Tarantulas

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2006, 11:38:36 AM »
AGAIN, comedy is in the eyes and ears of the beholder.

There really are no more sacred cows out there.  Everything is fair game.

South Park and Chapelle have proven that.

But I agree, there are certain things that have a real resonance in our society.

I good example is on an episode of Family Guy, Brian made a joke saying "The <whatever> was lamer than F.D.R.'s legs".  Everyone gasped in disbelief and he then he asked "Too soon?"



Offline ambitiously stupid

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2006, 11:58:03 AM »
I also enjoy Dave Chappelle and Family Guy.  Yet, Family Guy in my opinion seems to be relying more and more on shock value.  I think it is a cheap way to get a laugh.  I understand there are exceptions yet Mike Nelson does not rely on shock value to get laughs.  It is truly smart and witty humor.  Comedy seems to be taking a path to see who can be the most outrageous. It is refreshing to hear someone like Mike Nelson who is genuinely funny.
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Offline ScottotD

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2006, 05:49:22 PM »
I don't have a problem with jokes about society's response to events surrounding 9/11. Zach's joke was about the event itself "that's a blast from the past".  Tasteless.

But I love black comedy and tasteless jokes, it's all perspective.  You can say '9/11 is not funny because of this and this' or 'this aspect is not funny' but that's only your opinion.

People find different things funny, I'm probably more likely to laugh at a joke about death than say 'nice' comedy like a sitcom.
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Offline Joe Don Faker

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2006, 06:08:06 PM »
I find this topic honestly "ab-so-lute-ly fess-un-a-ting" (to quote the archaeologist in Werewolf), so I hope people don't mind if I continue on it a bit.

On the one hand I agree with Tarantulas that comedy is in the ears of the beholder.

However, with that said, I also feel it's fair play for those who take offense to be able to say so, and have a chance to explain why.

In this respect ambitiously stupid makes what I think is a good point, delineating between making fun of society's reaction to an event, and making fun of the event itself.

For instance in Bill Hicks' piece questioning the Church's use of the cross as a symbol, he wonders why we should be encouraged to embrace and focus on an instrument of death.  Applying it to the assassination of JFK, he shows us the absurdity:  "You wouldn't go up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant around your neck... Hey, just thinking of John!  (clicks rifle pendant)"  Hicks questions the way we have chosen to remember our fallen leaders, but does not belittle them or make fun of their deaths.

Another instance:  Monty Python was picketed at some theaters when Life of Brian came out, because some thought it would make a mockery of Christ and Christianity.   However, the targets of humor throughout that film are actually ourselves, all of us and our own tendencies and behaviors:  the endless bureaucratic arguments that exists within groups ("People's Front of Judea!"); the arbitrary assignage of wrongdoing and gross punishment ("Jehovah! Jehovah!"); the mishearing and wild misinterpretation of instruction ("I think he said 'blessed are the cheesemakers!") ... All humanity is up for some mockery, and no stone is left unthrown.  

Lastly, in the two Onion pieces about 9/11, what is pointed up is society's shock and our collective need to cope with the event, even if it's through the junky comfort food of a Vh1 awards show and a bowl of Cheetos Paws.  But here again, the central event and the lives lost are not mocked or trivialized.

On another, perhaps lighter note, I've read that in some Medieval passion plays, a more earthy style of humor was on display.  During the orchestration of the crucifixion, Jesus looks at the soldiers clumsily assembling the cross and says, "forgive them, for they know not what they do;" a line commonly attributed to Jesus illustrating his forgiveness of those that executed him, is thus given a second comical meaning as the soldiers in the play prove to be very inept at basic carpentry -- his own trade.  

So, yeah, to return to Tarantulas' point about the ears of the beholders -- for some audiences that played well as gallows humor, whereas others would find that treatment just too irreverent and out of place.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 06:10:43 PM by Joe Don Faker »


Offline ScottotD

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2006, 06:12:34 PM »
what point are you making?
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Offline Joe Don Faker

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2006, 06:25:03 PM »
Well, it was more a further exploration of the topic (comedy and its perceived boundaries) than a singular point.


Offline LadyKenobi

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2006, 06:37:23 PM »
Quote
Lastly, in the two Onion pieces about 9/11, what is pointed up is society's shock and our collective need to cope with the event, even if it's through the junky comfort food of a Vh1 awards show and a bowl of Cheetos Paws.  But here again, the central event and the lives lost are not mocked or trivialized.

Yes.  Interesting post.

The reason why that issue of The Onion walked the line so well was that it made light of our reactions, not the event itself.  There was an episode of South Park that also dealt with this very well, showing the boys standing at the bus stop in gas masks and all kinds of riot gear.  It also took on bin Ladin in the typical Looney Toons fashion, much as the cartoons of the 40's characterized Hitler.  These were well received because they weren't along the lines of, "Hey, a smoking hole in the Pentagon!  That's hilarious!"

Someone else has raised the issue of Titantic and Pearl Harbor.  Are there Titanic jokes?  Yes, absolutely.  Pearl Harbor?  Not so much.  I think the difference is that one is seared on our national conciousness; it was the first attack on our soil in quite some time.  Titanic was more of an international disaster.  Same with the JFK assassination.  It was a traumatic event for the nation.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, and while I find "Springtime for Hitler" hilarious, I don't think I'll ever, ever laugh at sick humor at the expense of the crew.  The event jarred me too much; plus I've worked for NASA and it just made for so many dark days for the program.  So among other things I winced at during Austin Powers, I found Tom Arnold's O-ring reference in the bathroom scene beyond the pale. 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 06:38:56 PM by LadyKenobi »


Offline ScottotD

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2006, 07:15:58 PM »
Challenger jokes have been around for years, I think the conservative nature of Americans is at play here.
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Offline Tarantulas

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2006, 08:13:33 PM »
I like the way this thread has gone.  It just goes to show that the net isn't all 1337 h4x0rs and anime fans.


Offline ambitiously stupid

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2006, 08:29:48 PM »
Quote
I think the conservative nature of Americans is at play here.
Please don't simply write this off as a political issue. Please don't view it from a political perspective.  Those were not conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat towers that fell.  Make all the jokes you want about society or government?s response.  Yet, the terrorist attack itself was one of the darkest acts in the history of the world.  To find anything funny in such an event is disturbing.  I enjoy a good joke as much as anybody.  And some dark humor is funny, but this event goes way past the line.  If you can look at those events and find something funny in cowardly terrorists burning alive thousands of innocent men, women, and children....finish the sentence yourself
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Offline ScottotD

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2006, 08:46:31 PM »
I don't mean politically conservative, I meant conservative along the same lines as the national outcry about Janet Jackson's boob, people protesting movies, etc.

It's your sentence, you finish it.  I have very few constraints on comedy and a very black sense of humour.
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Offline Tarantulas

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2006, 09:22:57 PM »
Quote
Yet, the terrorist attack itself was one of the darkest acts in the history of the world.

I would hardly say that.  Its just that finaly something bad happened on American soil that shook up the fact that we saw ourselves as untouchable.

The holocaust is one of the darkest acts in history.

The crusades is one of the darkest acts in history.

The slaughter of the Tutsis in Rwanda is one of the darkest acts in human history.

Darfur, anyone?

Not to start a huge debate on the issue as that this is hardly for forum for such topics, but these sort of tragedys happen around the world every day and our news media is too busy covering issues like Britney Spear's new baby to make mention of them.  Jon Stewart makes this point quite often on The Daily Show.

Its all a matter of perspective.

And before you strike out in anger, remember that I moun our fallen heroes, just like everyone else.





Offline LadyKenobi

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Re: ZachsMind, the Universe, and everything.
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2006, 10:07:57 PM »
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Challenger jokes have been around for years

Not in the mainstream.  When you hear those types of jokes, it tends to be from friends or in such aspects as an online community.  You don't see Jay Leno cracking on it.

Quote
I meant conservative along the same lines as the national outcry about Janet Jackson's boob, people protesting movies, etc.

I wouldn't characterize this as "conservative," political or otherwise.  I think that Americans are just used to expressing ourselves when we see something we disagree with, and I think that rocks.  Yes, people are protesting the movies, but those responsible for the films aren't thrown in jail.  They wind up on The Today Show.  What's the good of free speech if you can't have a good outcry now and then?  If we choose to have it over Janet Jackson's droopy-ass boob, so be it. 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 10:12:23 PM by LadyKenobi »