This week: Oppositional Defiant ComedyEdited by: Robert Waltz
More Newsletters By This Editor
1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions
When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.
It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.
Humor and seriousness are not in opposition to each other.
Several years ago, I first heard the term Oppositional Defiant Disorder. (I'll bet you never expected to see a link to the Mayo Clinic website in a Comedy newsletter editorial.)
I heard the phrase and immediately went, "...Otherwise known as Being A Kid."
Now, in fairness, this seems to be a legitimate psychological diagnosis that is, indeed, way beyond the scope of this editorial, and it's not my intent to make light of actual mental illness, which can be serious.
Disclaimer aside, though, has anyone else noticed that for a lot of people, ODD continues well into adulthood? Or maybe it's suppressed in middle age and then returns as Grumpy Old Fart syndrome later in life?
I'm guilty of it myself. "Waltz, you should drink less." *chugs beer* "Waltz, you should lay off the bacon." *fries up an entire rasher of delicious piggy parts*
Some people being contrary probably served some evolutionary purpose way back when. But speculating about it would delve into evolutionary psychology, which is something I rag on every time I see it. Because it's largely unverifiable and unfalsifiable. So I'm not going to do that.
What I am going to do is talk about how contrariness can be funny. Because, as I noted above, this is actually a Comedy newsletter editorial.
My personal syndrome usually manifests as me finding exceptions and contradictions whenever someone posts a cringeworthy "motivational" quote. For example, "When one door closes, another opens." Me: "Unfortunately, I'm on an airplane." Or, "That which does not kill you makes you stronger." Me: "Tell that to a double amputee without prosthetics."
And sometimes I have to rag on motivation itself. One of the funniest memes I saw recently featured a picture of a mountain, presumably Everest, with the words, "Every corpse on Mount Everest was once a highly motivated person."
When it really gets meta, though, is when I talk to someone else who also finds a reason to reject everything. Then they contradict my contradictions, back and forth recursively, until we both give up and start drinking.
Which is about when I have to show them this.
But I'm aware that people who contradict everything get really tiring really quickly, which is one of the reasons I'm single (in addition to looks). It can be frustrating to deal with someone who you know will always do the exact opposite of what you say. But there's a simple workaround: reverse psychology.
"Waltz, whatever you do... don't take out the trash!" *takes out the trash* "Waltz, please please please don't get up early to go do that thing." *gets up early to go do that thing*
Until we catch on, anyway.
Some funnies. Or not.
Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!
Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!
Don't forget to support our sponsor!
Last time, in "How To Be Funny" , I talked about... well, it's right there in the title.
🌓 HuntersMoon : "two Band-Aids and a tongue depressor..." Was that a humourous reference to No. 1 "Expose Yourself?" By George, I think you've got it!
Yes, absolutely that was intenti- ah, dammit, you caught me; that was entirely unintentional. But hey, unintentional comedy is still comedy, right?
Prosperous Snow writing poetry : I would like to know how to retell a joke without committing Jokicide.
I have a lousy memory, and usually can't remember all the details of a joke. My trick was always to work backwards: one has only to remember the punchline and have at least a vague idea of the setup. Then you make sure all of the elements are there when you tell the joke. Disclaimer: I've flubbed a few, myself; it's just an occupational hazard.
So that's it for me for July! See you next month. Until then,
To stop receiving this newsletter, click here for your newsletter subscription list. Simply uncheck the box next to any newsletter(s) you wish to cancel and then click to "Submit Changes". You can edit your subscriptions at any time.