This is making me feel like I’m living in the Truman Show
you might almost be led to believe that each individual in modern society had independently and by his or her own original effort arrived at the conclusion that humour is a good thing.
Ludovici finds something sinister in laughter. Would you be upset if laughter were “taken away from you”?
I’m going to try to do that.
Only because it’s so counter-intuitive. He claims a sense of humor is the most exalted Anglo-Saxon virtue. He’s kind of right. So this is going to be a tough sell. Is it possible for you to be convinced that humor should be abolished from society? I can’t imagine anyone ever persuading me of that. Let’s see though.
He says Luther wasn’t laughing. Napoleon wasn’t laughing. Christ didn’t laugh.
He contrasts humorousness with earnestness. I can relate to this with my talk of my irony-poisoned generation. Everything is such a joke, not even anything serious can be taken seriously.
Just goofin off
it requires more courage to face a question squarely and to deal with it seriously than to treat it frivolously and flippantly; and indolence because, if the convention were, as it should be, that people must talk interestingly and helpfully or not at all, there would have to be either much more silence than there is, or else much closer consideration of the questions concerning which most people claim to hold opinions.
Humorousness is laziness and vanity to him.
It does seem like a popular defense-mechanism. Out of 100 pressing issues to bring up many often will opt for a semi-funny escape.
Seriousness is vulnerability, while telling a stupid joke bestows upon one the aura of being above it all.
Not in all cases of course- I can think of plenty of scenarios where humor is deadly serious.
He thinks that if you’re the one joking around then you are invincible from being joked about yourself
He makes it his business to convince his hearers that he is not in earnest. He advances with his weighty proposals in his mind, but with a broad smile on his lips
Whether he’s right or wrong he does seem to have a point that believing humor to be good is a product of the standardization of opinion, i.e. that people who believe that didn’t arrive at their opinion independently. Thus, in my view, it is something that should be scrutinized.
He uses weeping in public as an example of seriousness. That IS kind of true, you never see that, even digitally. There would be something sublime about that, in certain cases.
It’s world-bending to think of progs as having the seriousness of Luther and his Theses. “So that’s why you ban people…” So serious about their mission. “Yeah, we care.” Fair enough, I can respect that. The further question is whether you care about the right thing. Of course what they care about is another one of those “products of the standardization of opinion”. They’ll respond saying they don’t care if it is. Something about that makes their seriousness undeserved. You can’t expect to not cause laughter if your opinions are so conformistic. Thinking of them as Luther, one can better understand their hurt, too. “Stop laughing at us!” This is the standard way the modern person “puts themselves out there” and is vulnerable, so it hurts them when people make fun of them. That’s part of what “banning” is secretly about. It’s brave of you to be vulnerable in that way, it just seems like a lazy form of vulnerability. You’re just going through the motions of seriousness. If you were truly earnest you’d risk more hurt, so you avoid that.
There’s something nice about witnessing a meltdown, isn’t there? You don’t ever really see those. Someone finally being real and not seeing life as a joke. And we saw previously that “aggressive” emotions are almost universally normatively regulated.
There seems to be a question of religiousness related to all this as well. The highest principles aren’t a joking matter, and not many are willing to defend them, preferring instead to remain in the realm of unseriousness. That’s a poor excuse for a human being in my opinion. They don’t defend those ideals because they don’t believe in them themselves. The ideals they tend to defend might as well not be ideals at all, because they require no sacrifice. It’s just too easy, they can be expected to “catch no flak” for defending them. I challenge you to step outside of yourself today for a moment and say something serious.