Relatively new to this blog business, I’m still looking for my niche. Something to settle into. So my many, many followers (both of them) can rely on a specific delivery and move along to something else when they are not in the mood for my brand of whatever it is I settle upon. The field of possibilities narrows.
It’s not that blog subject choices are limited to either social awareness or humor1. There are more blogjects2 out there than you could easily categorize in a long (and obviously ennui-filled) afternoon. Right now though, unless you follow only cooking, love advice, introspective narrative, life-with-Bubba chronology, or devoutly religious blogs, you’re either going to be reading someone’s spin or opinion on one of the serious social issues of the day, or something completely off the wall – zany, flip, absurd, anecdotal, or light-hearted. In other words, humor. How incredibly talented the blogger who combines any of the many former with the last latter.
Social-awareness blogs often but not necessarily turn into rants, deploring the way things are or aren’t, the lunacy of one side or the other of an issue, the woe-is-me-ed-ness of life for the mere existence of an issue, and/or foreshadowing doom. All of that probably correct; legitimate in many cases. I enjoy a good rant myself. Overdue one here, I’ve been threatening one is in the wings, but it’s not ripe for picking yet. Brace yourself. But not today.
While a good rant clears one’s head of garbage, properly executed rants bear (or should bear) a responsibility on the part of the ranteur3 to his4 audience. If only in that putting a good rant together, the author is (should be) forced to seek and examine documentable facts relevant to the subject before presentation, lending an air of authority to the effort. Granted, it’s easier and more fun to just spit stuff out skewed to fit arguments, but astute readers (and there are a few out there) will quickly see the truth, if any, and reject the rant. This is the opposite of the ranteur’s goals. One hopes the process of discovery will lead a ranteur to modify his position or expose an ingenious solution to be shared with the world.
Good rants also require more time, energy, and frankly more intelligence than I can bring to the task. Ill-equipped to offer advice on romance, religion, cooking, crocheting, small engine repair, or crop and animal husbandry, and fairly-well unimpressed with creative expository showcases in horror, Gothic romance, murder-mystery, young adult, and DIY genres, I’m left with rants or humor. For blogs. With a special section from my home page set aside for rants, and because when I rant, I have difficulty minding my tongue, I’d prefer blogs stay generally un-rant. Discounting genuine rants except in rare cases, I’m left with humor.
Lest you think that immediately labels me lazy, unambitious, or completely lacking any intelligence, let me explain something of humor as I see it. A brief expository, the mildest mini rant if you will, albeit devoid of social antagonism.
Humor is the ability to laugh at events, circumstances, people, places, things, and most significantly at oneself. Writing humor, portraying a slice of life highlighting something humorous is also loosely “humor.”
Humor exists because God, however you imagine Him or Her, or the panoply of gods, if that better suits your beliefs, had a well-defined sense of humor. Look at mankind. If ever there was something laughable, ergo “humorous,” there is a fairly good argument for deities in charge having a sense of humor. A sense of humor or an exceptionally bad day at the office.
Not exclusively, humor can take the form of satire, cynicism, slapstick, pratfalls, contradiction, irony, ridicule, or surprise.
Humor can be situational, intellectual, whimsical, disguised, delayed, self-deprecating, Freudian, or conversational. It can be staged in formal or informal, real or imaginary settings, perfectly innocently or ribald sensual or sexual situations.
Humor is reflected by a twinkle in the eye, a timid smile, a broad grin, a giggle, a snicker, a chuckle, loud guffaws, belly laughs, side-splitting roars of delight, pants-wetting, tears-running-down-your-cheeks, and (shudder) ROFL, LMAO, LSHIWM5.
Humor can be embarrassing to the one partaking. Some have laughed so hard they lost control and farted. Some have wet themselves, a tiny tinkle, or an empty bladder. Caught by surprise, some have ingloriously snorted so forcefully they blew snot from their noses. Some lose control and knowing they would, they snort anyway like a horse, a pig, a Jackass, or tornado alert siren.
There are difficulties inherent in devising and delivering humor. Herein lies the difficulty of writing humor.
People think different things funny. That is rooted in culture, national origin, occupation, lifestyle, social standing, gender, sexuality, and politics for starters. Politics? Yup. (USofA) Democrats notoriously lacking much humor at all; Republicans preferring scatology. Independents are unwilling to commit.
What is funny for all the reasons immediately above is not universally understood or appreciated.
Men and women respect, project, and enjoy humor differently. I’m not certain that is all attributable to biology. It could be years of exposure to the chemicals in cosmetics. It might be brains anesthetized by sports, in early years bashing one’s head on real football (soccer) or (USofA) football arenas; in later years by watching televised displays of children past the age of eighteen playing (and being paid for playing) sports.
Men are genuinely funny. Not because they want to be but because as males, they have so many shortcomings, they either have to be funny to survive or they just are funny (in whatever way) to people, including other males of the species looking on at stupidly inept men.
Women are genuinely funny. Women have vanity far exceeding that of most men. That borders on silliness, humor ripe for exploitation. Women obviously have different ideas on what is funny compared to men. In many cases. Women are difficult audiences for humor because the female of the species has a dangerously thin, often blurred line of demarcation between what is funny and what is sad, between laughter and tears.
Humor, in written form, often requires dialogue. Writing dialogue is difficult. Punctuation is horrendously difficult to master. Given two hundred years, I hope to be good at it.
There is no public shortage of things serious, tragic, disheartening, or maddening. There is a public shortage of things, events, and writings inspiring laughter or at least smiles. That supplied by humor.
As a society, we need desperately to learn when to laugh; learn how to laugh more often; and significantly, learn how to help others laugh. We should not be afraid to laugh. Recognizing if we can’t laugh at ourselves, we have no business laughing at anyone else, real or imaginary. But boy do we need laughter!
Now and again I will trip off into a rant, or what seems like a rant. Already have a time or two. Folks weak of heart or seriously pious or prissy should recognize that what happens in this blog, just as in my “creative” posts when flagged NSFW, is adult and be forewarned they may offend based on social standing, gender, nationality, body-image, education, intellect, or preference for Dodge over Ford. If you can loosen-up and have a reasonable sense of humor, you might find diversionary value. My homepage suggests something to the effect that, if you’re really incensed, drop me a note. I will read it. I may not respond unless it is obvious you consider my offense truly egregious.
Most of the time though, my goal is to make humor part of, if not primary in my blogs no matter the individual theme. That’s the goal. We’ll see how much success I manage. Life with Bubba, reflections on the good old days, observations and conclusions will be there. There will be times sobriety and seriousness are necessary. But I sure am not going to intentionally tackle any of the many social issues begging for attention. They polarize. They anger, depress, disillusion, or discourage. Humor, for all its flaws, seeks to assuage or smooth over hurt, pain, inconsistency, and inequity. By exposing and shaming them, fairly or not. People can easily get a daily dose of ugly vibes. People need a place to get a chuckle if only briefly. Personally, and I’ve said it elsewhere6 – I’d rather laugh than cry.
Curiously, since this is a serious exposition on humor, it is not humor. I am, therefore, relieved of the responsibility of closing with something politely witty or uproariously clever.
1 – For some of my small audience that would be “humour.” I intend no slight. Bad habits are difficult to break. (Sigh) Trying to be “international” is rewarding, sometimes difficult, and occasionally frustrating.
2 – Blogjects: use your imagination.
3 – We have “raconteur.” Why not “ranteur”? Which would be by extension and conversion one who rants with great skill or artistry in an entertaining and provocative manner.
4 – I am male. He/she, hers/his and other gender-specific pronouns, if I pay attention trying not to offend someone, quickly become cumbersome, ineffective, and regardless of the care exercised will invariably still offend someone of the fifty or sixty gender/sexes out there. Therefore, I will trust the casual reader to mentally adjust text in whatever way makes them comfortable. When arguments for the “correct” way to be non-specific conclude and the winners are announced, I will conform. Until then, I will bumble along.
5 – I cannot believe I’m doing this: LMAO – Laughed My Ass Off. ROFL – Rolling On the Floor Laughing. LSHIWM – Laughed So Hard I Wet Myself.
6 – Prose, July 14, 2020 “Aspirations To champion dreams encouraging the disillusioned. To labor with optimism impressing resigned pessimists. To appear a laughing idiot among sobbing intellects.”