Saturday, April 2, 2011

On Humor

New Liturgical Movement had a post today with some clip from a French movie that was purported to be humorous. I didn't actually watch the clip, so you can judge for yourself. What I thought was much more funny was the disclaimer that Shawn Tribe felt the need to write at the beginning of the post:
I asked a friend in France if the film in question had any anti-clerical or anti-Catholic elements, and I was assured it did not and that the same actor would not tolerate such in his films. From the experience of other Catholic blogs and sites, I realize that publishing clips of humour set within this context is risky at the best of times, because it can be interpreted by some as mocking the Church, or at very least irreverent.
It's so sad what the conservative Catholic world has become, that now we need to start making disclaimers about humor because someone might construe it as "anti-Catholic" or irreverent.

And since when is "anti-clerical" bad? What good Catholic culture hasn't loved anti-clerical humor? These ridiculous rad trads and neocons would probably burn Chaucer at the stake for The Canterbury Tales!!

How sad that the conservative Catholic blogosphere is such that people now feel the need to conduct such background checks about the films that clips are from and even the actors themselves just to make sure none of them are tainted with "anti-Church" history or reputations. Yet, if they were, who cares? Even if the film or actor did have anti-Catholic biases, the film might still be entertaining or have artistic merit, the clip might still be funny!

There is a humorlessness among all ideologues, Right and Left, whereby they cannot laugh at themselves or their chosen ideology. Of course, this leads to a lot of dishonesty and inauthenticity; we can't help what we find humorous, it's just a reaction in the brain related to a gap between expectation and reality. Protesting "I don't think that's funny!" just because our ideology tells us that it "shouldn't be" funny...doesn't change that it might be.

I think this is part of the same dynamic whereby people act differently around their "church friends" compared to when around their "real friends" with whom they feel comfortable "letting loose." A very sad dichotomy and compartmentalization.

1 comment:

Who Am I said...

I heard your voice in my head reading this.I couldn't help but laugh.