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21 January 2006 @ 12:55 am
something that's been on my mind...  

Is people getting physically hurt funny?

As long as they don't die.
As long as they aren't seriously/permently injured.
If it's staged (actors doing planned slapstick, for instance.)
If it's cartoons getting hurt.
If they set themselfs up and got hurt by their own stupidity.
If they deserve it for being a immoral person.
If the person who got hurt finds it funny afterwards.
Some other case I haven't covered (leave comment).
just a guy made of dots and linescrs on January 21st, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
"If it's funny."
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 21st, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
Ok, then for you answer the quiz as "I have often found this situation funny."
chenoamegchenoameg on January 21st, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
I don't know, I'm hypnotized by your rock-crushed ant. Normally I don't find him funny, but today I do...
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 21st, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
Do you have the context for him?

Greg and I were discussing this last night, because neither one of us usually finds even cartoons getting hurt funny. In the context of the movie, it's clear that when the first one gets squished, you are supposed to feel sympathy for it, not humor, but then when they find out you can get out of the work all of them, unanimously squish themselves. So clearly it doesn't actually hurt them that much and it's the willful placement of themselves in that situation that is funny, not the actual "it's getting squished under a rock." Or at least that's the conclusion we came to.
chenoamegchenoameg on January 21st, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
Ah, no, that makes a lot more sense.
chenoamegchenoameg on January 21st, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
overly long-winded answer
People getting hurt isn't how I divide my humor lines.
Let me explain. I don't really distinguish between emotional and physical suffering.

"Is suffering funny?" Rarely in and of itself. I rarely gain pleasure out of schadenfraude. If I do it's because of mitigating circumstances, like a comeuppance. I think the kind of suffering I find funniest is when something that would bother me a lot happens to a character who isn't very bothered by it.

The best mitigating circumstance is that I know the suffering is short-lived. But sometimes I find situations funny in spite of the suffering.

"Is context funny?" This is the biggest component to whether or not I find something funny. When a character in a sitcom I watch got stabbed with a sword by her fiance it was funny. Not because of her suffering. Because of how she got stabbed, and how he reacted, and her quote "I have to tell my kindergarten students -- who I tell not to run with scissors -- that my fiance stabbed me with a sword!"

Slapstick involves timing, and context, and it's a clear protocol that no one is getting hurt. While I don't find overall slapstick funny, I'm a sucker for pratfalls, and the convention that no one is actually suffering means that sometimes I do find it funny.

I'm not particularly amused by standard cartoon violence -- the only part of the roadrunner-type cartoons that I find funny is the delayed reaction, especially to gravity.

On the other hand I'm often very amused by Muppet violence. "Light the lamp, not the rat!" I can offer no explanation why this is the case. Maybe Muppets never seem like they're suffering very much, even when they're yelping in pain? Maybe because I know it always reverts to the status quo?

So I guess my answer is that sometimes situations with suffering are funny despite the suffering, and that people getting hurt is one form of suffering. Knowing that everything turns out all right greatly increases the chances I will find it funny.
chenoamegchenoameg on January 21st, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
Re: overly long-winded answer
The unexpected. I forgot to mention the unexpected.
Jadiajadia on January 21st, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
I think it's the context for me too. If the context was funny but someone got really hurt, I feel bad for the person, but I would still be able to appreciate the humor in the situation. Maybe that's doublethink. That's an extreme example.

But if it's emotional pain I don't really see the humor. I think that's why I don't really enjoy slapstick, because it usually involves someone getting humiliated in some way (pie-in-the-face).
(Anonymous) on January 22nd, 2006 01:40 am (UTC)
"Tragedy is when you cut your finger.
Comedy is when you fall down an open manhole and die."
-- Mel Brooks

I find the old Tom&Jerry cartoons mean-spirited. Bugs Bunny caused just as much devastation, and yet those cartoons are lovable. So the subject isn't as simple as it might seem.
Fashionable, but unable to tell fact from fictiontesting4l on January 23rd, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
It's a long held belief of mine that taking anything seriously is a huge mistake.

Consider, for example, my burning man accident -- I take a measure of pride that the last thought on my mind before getting hit was a joke.
Pipamama_pipa on January 23rd, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)
Interesting poll, I must say though, for myself, my viewpoint has changed considerably since having children.