Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wired article struck a cord and so I am copying and pasting the whole thing...

Ok. I am not really going to do this. But I just want to do something about this article: Scott Brown's "Gag Reflexes" in Wired (April 2009). The online edition has a longer title: "Scott Brown on Stand-Up Comedy, Lingua Franca of the Wired World" which sums up Mr. Brown's theory.

Maybe crumple up the page and eat it. But I already promised my husband that I will refrain from wrinkling up any magazine pages before he's done with them. (Ok. I am attempting to be funny here. If you read Mr. Brown article, you would understand why I feel exposed, caught in the act of trying to be funny. To earn more currency in this new economy...)

Is it wrong to want to quote an entire article really? Ok. Maybe not 100%. I don't really care for the examples Mr. Brown gave to support his argument. But the insights sprinkled in-between, those struck a cord.

I am no writer, and I am too tired (not to mention lazy), and here is my journal (i.e. I will do what I damn please), so I am going to jott down sentences that particularly resonate with me, and be done with it: (Thank goodness for Ctrl + C & Ctrl + V !!)

"... everything is 'material,' and life is one big writer's room, a massive clusterchuckle of witty one-upsmanship"

"More than that: Everyone must be funny. Because 'funny' is becoming a language unto itself, the lingua franca of the wired world."

Always feel this way since I got hooked on Twitter. Sometimes it feels almost like a comedy show writers' room, the pressure is on to be the next funniest. hence wisest, person in the Twitter stream that you can see.

"Humor saturates the infosphere, for at least two reasons: First, a successful joke implies insight, and insight, especially if it's pithy and self-explanatory, is the basic currency of a high-speed information economy. Second, the fundamental tools and techniques of that economy—memory, annotation, contrast, collage—are also the fundamental tools of comedy."

I absolutely agree with #1. Feeling grateful that someone actually voiced this murky concept so clearly in one single sentence. Everyone is a guru of life, and the shallow shall be deep again. Not so sure about #2 since those are the fundamental tools of storytelling, upon which human history has been, and will be, passed on. What we don't see in the histories in the past is IRONY and self-awareness, imo, which, well, make intelligent comedies.

Moreover, it has always been my one belief that a great sense of humor indicates a great presence of intellect and tolerance.

And this final quote may sound like an accusation "Gotcha!"

"If the references are flying over your head, no worries: You can zip over to Wikipedia and be back in time for the punch line."

Like I said, Google is Your Friend! Raise your hand if you have NEVER done this... Thankfully Mr. Brown provided hyperlinks to all the references he cited for the article.

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