The Joke By Alain De Botton Analysis
AP Language and Composition
13 March 2018
That is the Joke.
Humor takes the edge of off troubling ideas so that they can be discussed, but a good humorist requires a certain level of technique for their jokes to land. Comedians are special in their use of this skill, as without such abilities the ideas they discuss would be uncouth and even horrific. Humor lies in execution, and the main bastion between a harsh satire and an angry audience member is the wit and delivery of the jester. Author Alain de Botton insists on the social vitality of humorists, and this implies a degree of responsibility for every able comedian to use their skills to their fullest ability. When these humorists have said abilities, that is.
The …show more content…
Absolute truths number few in the natural world, but some degree of substance rings in every comedic statement worth salt. Both as a mark of intellectualism, and to ensure the satirist has enough material, half-truths and vague circumstances are just as important to the comedian as statements of crystalline truth. Anything beyond truth, though, must be crafted and shaped, such as to prerequire mastery of emphasis and juxtaposition. Clemens asserts in his short essay that instead of tell a halfhearted lie,“...you might as well tell the truth at once and be done with it. A feeble, stupid, preposterous lie will not live two years,” exemplifying the transience of mismanaged statements which are less than true(2). Brownlee, in turn, theorizes that the highest form of comedy and information in general lies in the “True-False-Funny” statement, able to be taken as fact or treated as nonsense, not offensive to anyone that sees it, and privileged a certain “Freedom from belief, [with]hilarious ambiguity]”(1). The reverse of a sloppy or meaningless lie. An assertion which could be taken so many ways is almost predetermined to crumble into unclearness without an effective speaker. Such a speaker acts to garner interest in their comedy, and maintain a dilemma between the ideas they play with, so that the two …show more content…
Humor detracts from the existential dread of any suggestion, though it must be pulled off without a hitch or awkward pause. Misfired humor is the fodder of racist propaganda and horror stories. Needing to explain how jokes work marks one not just incompetent at humor, but also useless to society. To work, comedy may be subtly emphasized, must have multiple possible meanings, might teeter near the boundary to the unforgivable, and should balance the identity of the audience & butt of the joke with