May 15, 2007
On online dating sites, everyone wants to be known as having a good sense of humor. In fact, OKCupid specifically suggest not making one of your 3 main self-descriptive adjectives be "funny" because it's such a cliché. (I'm trying to think about the phenomenon, but I'm hardly above it... actually I was grateful for OKCupid's suggestion as a reminder to try and "show, don't tell" when it comes to being funny.)
But...why is that? Why are we so instinctively drawn to being funny? Why is "has a good sense of humor" such a huge prerequisite? (Isn't there some list of the three things I guy will never admit to: being a bad driver, being lousy in bed, or having a bad sense of humor? Of course, they also claim that when a guy says he's looking for a gal with a great sense of humor, he really means he's looking for someone to laugh at his jokes... I don't think that's a fair accusation, but I see where it came from.)
Is it just because it's fun and relaxing to laugh? And healthy, the stress relieving aspect of it... Is it a correlation with intelligence? I guess to answer that, you'd have to understand humor's role in society in a broader sense. Being able to joke about something can be empowering, whether it's cruel teasing from someone who already has the upper hand, or the dark humor that sees us through tough times. By making a funny joke about something, you're shaping the perceptions of others.
Alright... I suppose a risk of analyzing something too much is taking the humor and joy right out of it, so I'll end this here...
Quote of the Moment
"...A deification or divinization of humankind may have been attractive to Feuerbach, to Victorian England, or to German thinkers early in the twentieth century, infused as they were with the fiery certainty of cultural superiority. But the twentieth was, by any account, a bad century for the so-called infinite goodness of Man."
--Phillip Clayton, "Mind & Emergence"
Video of the Moment
--Its been said that I look like this guy, the lead for "Death Cab for Cutie". Could be, maybe even more so than the Barenaked Ladies singer! Still, my claim to fame, or infamy, will always be the Nazi guy in Indiana Jones who gets the medallion burned into his hand, and then his face melted. Lucky me!