Barking Marxists Don't You Know the Gagster Laughs at You?
Now, as it so happens, my doctoral dissertation was on just this subject, i.e., the patterns that permeate nature, from matter to mind. The Raccoon is born searching for the damn key to the world enigma, i.e., the "unity in the diverse manifestations of human thought and emotion."
Now, this is already funny, because humor, as we shall see, always involves an unforeseen clash of two frames of reference. We will return to this idea shortly.
If not now. Take the last sentence of paragraph one. I won't say that the conjunction of "fertilized egg" and "fertile egghead" is LOL funny, but it is mildly amusing. Why? Because we have the surprising conjunction of biology and human intelligence via the dual meanings of "fertile" and "egg."
And it's even funnier if it hits you that the fertile egghead is and must be ontologically prior to the fertile egg, which reveals how humor is woven into the very fabric of being. You might say that in the absence of verticality -- i.e., different planes of being -- humor would be strictly impossible, since there could be no clash of planes. An old lizard finds nothing amusing, Larry King to the contrary notwithstanding.
In short, in a horizontal world, nothing is funny. And that's a threat! One can't imagine ISIS members, or USSR commissars, or sensitivity trainers, or liberal activists, chuckling at the irony or absurdity of their beliefs. When the higher is dragged down to the lower -- or the lower subsumed into the higher -- laughter is no more.
Which, as we shall see, goes to the Incarnation, or let's just say incarnation, i.e., bodies-in-souls. Oddly enough, you can't laugh without a body, right? Laughter is a physical release. Why physical? What is the body doing when it laughs? After all, bodies don't get jokes. The mind gets the joke, but then somehow shares it with the body, which discharges the guffaw.
The same thing happens with crying: the mind is sad, the body releases. One can imagine this having some sort of Darwinian utility, some marginal survival value, but not so with humor.
In any event, both activities involve a clash of frames of reference. The awful or tragic or traumatic represent a sudden or violent intrusion of one reality into another. Humor can involve almost the same thing, but provokes a very different reaction.
For example, my son was watching the Three Stooges movie the other day, and there's a funny scene were a church bell lands on a nun. The Stooges aren't sure who it is, but her face -- of course -- rings a bell.
And even prior to that, the whole idea of the Stooges growing up in a Catholic orphanage sets the stage for an extreme clash of frames of reference, with piety at one end, slapstick at the other. True, it's lazy humor, but it hits the spot for a nine year-old.
Koestler suggests that "all patterns of creative activity are tri-valent," in that they may "enter the service of humour, discovery, or art." This largely depends upon the "emotional climate," as in the joyfully violent climate of the Three Stooges.
More generally -- referring to the triptych below -- the climate "changes by gradual transitions from aggressive to neutral to sympathetic and identificatory," or from the "absurd through an abstract to a tragic or lyric view of existence":
Remember, the lefthand column belongs to the jester (or wise guy), the center the sage (or wise man), and the right the artist. For example, if Newton were viewing the clip below, he might see evidence of the first Law of Motion. An artist might see a tragic misunderstanding, or perhaps an ironic statement about the dangers of religion:
A Raccoon notices that that's Larry David in a nun's costume, the very idea of which is a laugh, albeit on the cheap.
But just as there are cheap laughs, there must be cheap discoveries and cheap works of art. You will have noticed that this cheapness permeates the low-rent worldview of the typical MENSA atheist. They love nothing more than a cheap laugh at the expense of religion, oblivious to the howls of derision coming from above. But again, since the atheist lives in a horizontal world, he knows nothing of that deeper mine of comedy gold.
You could almost say that the scientistic atheist/materialist engages in a form of reverse punning, whereby bi- or tri-valent terms are reduced to their most concrete expression. It reminds me of the old joke:
Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: That's not funny!
In other words, the flatlander refuses to participate in the joyful world of multivalent meaning, and cuts you off at the pass if not knees. You don't want to know where Muslims cut you off.
Say, how many atheists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Hmm. I would say none, since they prefer to curse the darkness.
So: in reality, i.e., here and now, "there are no frontiers where the realm of science ends and that of art begins..." Nor is there any place where the humor begins and ends, or in other words, Creativity is alphåmega.
To be continued...