Supertition in Media

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Humour as a Substitute

   I believe and I'm not the only one who does believe that humour plays a key role in social development and the way we relate to the world around us. Humour is a product of our intelligence and while laughter isn't, humour is unique to human society as far as we know. Throughout our social history humour has played an important role in expressing political opinion, winning verbal exchanges, providing consolation in difficult times and displaying dominance.These things, consolation, politics and dominance are familiar bedfellows and organized superstition has been both associated with and justified by the need of them. I put it to you that humour is not only a more gentle and humanistic option to fill these needs, it is a more natural one.


   Recommended Article: Getting A Laugh: Gender, Status, and Humor in Task Discussions
   Newspapers, Journals and Magazine have used cartoons to express political opinions for hundreds of years. The cartoon listed above was originally published in 1871 in ``The Hornet`` magazine. I used this as an example because I remembered it. I sought out this image because I am familiar with it. I'm not a historian and although I have a mild interest in historical events I`m by no means a connoisseur of political media. I wasn`t even born until more than a century after this publication, but I remember it. I found my own personal contact with this picture in an old text book that hadn`t been opened in 20 years. When I would have read this, I would have had not any appreciation of Darwin or any reason in particular to remember it. The only memory I have is that I laughed when I saw it. The image was funny to me and that laugh lasted 20 plus years. That is a powerful image and as far as icons go what could be more obvious. This image shows how a powerful political, social and ethical point can be expressed through humour.
   Consolatory humour is something I`m very familiar with. I grew up in a very close multi-generational British family. Characters from history were not only romanticized for but idolized by their use of humour. When I learned about the second world war and life in England shortly there after the many amazing events and people that dominate the memory of that terrible time were those of humour. They are the best stories primarily because they are the ones I remember but as a secondary effect they are the ones I will reference and pass on as this work continues. They are are memories which will survive.
 Humour is increasingly recognized as a source of consultation and has proven to positively impact psychiatric disorders and the general wellness of patients in numerous studies.

Please review: Europe’s Journal of Psychology August 2010 Issue

We can plainly see how the human need for consolation, order and even power and be addressed positively and completely by humour. If appropriately handled humour gives us a tool of self empowerment, a way to understand and interact with all of reality that is better and more human than any superstition.