Sturgis: Is humor at the expense of others actually funny?


Courtesy photo: Paramount Pictures

Physical comedy might be one of the most appreciated laugh producers for folks today, but fact people are frequently harmed for the laughs brings to mind whether it is really that funny.

Molly Sturgis

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” has really improved modern-day culture. What other humor could we possibly take from this life if not for observing the unfortunate happenings of others?

The only other things capable of making me even chuckle are “Jackass” and observing Wal-Mart shoppers. I truly believe if it were not for observing hard objects forcefully hitting male genitalia and people tripping, my life would be completely void of all happiness.

No longer is intelligence necessary to comprehend humor, a previously pompous concept reserved for the elite. Who needs to be able to read or write or know anything about modern events?

Step aside, Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well,” hello “Jackass.”

Humor has been brought to a level that can be enjoyed by anyone, even the most idiotic person. The only thing needed is the ability to put one’s self above somebody else.

We have evolved humor to trim out all the bells and whistles until only the most primal aspect is left. The humor and superiority felt while watching another suffer is obviously the best kind.

There is a reason the previously mentioned things have not only survived in today’s culture, but thrived to popularity. Slapstick humor, rude jokes and the misfortunes of others have grown to be the staple of today’s comedy.

We even watch others in crowds, picking and prodding, looking for the strangest outfit, the ugliest face or the person whose gender is most ambiguous. That’s the best part of any state fair. There are more than a few comedians who devote their entire repertoire to the belittling of others. And it is hilarious.

I am not the only one who has noticed such developments. Even those whose livelihood is not in comedy are using such techniques to gain popularity and further their ideas. All my favorite political commentators know the most effective way to convince others of the superiority of their ideas is to compare the opposition to Hitler or socialists.

Modern culture loves and respects the ability of one person to push others down and stand on top of them.

In previously unenlightened periods, such a person might be labeled as a bully, but now we are smarter and know they really should be admired and followed. People like that have the take-charge attitude required that could put Americans back on top, and if that’s at the expense of the planet or other people — well, it’s a good thing we’re not nature or other people.

The evolution of comedy to the basic instinct of laughing at the misfortunes of others is a reflection of what society today needs more of: The primal desire to be better than others.

Not the fastest? Push others down! Win at all costs, and the means can always justify the ends.

Some might say this is an exaggeration and absurd. So what if modern society’s taste in humor is mean? That is not a reflection on modern society.

These people are lying to themselves. Some people work hard all their lives and get little or nothing. Others work little or not at all and have much.

Life is cruel, and society is mean. However, most people are not.

Some are. Some people push others down stairs. Some people help them up after they’ve fallen. But most stand on the side and laugh. Because that’s funny, right?