I don’t know and I don’t care.

Posted on September 20, 2007. Filed under: EFT, Musings, Spirituality |

I saw this joke somewhere on WordPress recently:

“There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who know binary, and those who don’t.”

And this one:

“A professor responds to an incorrect answer from a student: ‘Are you ignorant, or are you just apathetic?’ The student replies ‘I don’t know and I don’t care.'”

I have to wonder why I think the above two are hilarious. I realize that not everyone reading this will share my opinion. I think I like humor with a little “twist” to it. Of course, all humor relies on surprise in order to get a reaction or laugh. These two jokes have that. But they also cause me to think. They’re not immediately obvious. I had to consider the punchline for several nanoseconds before I got it, in these. I realize I enjoy cleverness, pun, and using my native English language in a compelling way.

There is all kinds of humor, geared to almost any kind of demographic we can think of. I tried doing a little research for this topic, but only got as far as a) rather simplistic dictionary definitions; or b) long essays, theses, or dissertations on the scholarly analysis of humor. Neither of these did much for me. I wanted a little more insight than the dictionary gave me, but over-analysing humor leaves me cold…brrrr!

I’ll just have to ask myself, and answer myself. Maybe I’ll get some good insight that way!

One thing I did read is that humor comes out of pain (or humiliation, loss, misfortune, or any of many other so called “negative” experiences). In fact, nearly every source mentions this. The problem with definitive, declarative, perhaps self-congratulatory statements like that is they tend to become an accepted part of cultural reality which then defies people to oppose them.

I think much humor does come from using past unhappy experiences to try to allow ourselves to feel better. In fact, much of stand-up comedy I’ve seen revolves around such themes as “I was such a dorky kid…”, or “My neighbors or my family are such idiots…” This can relieve stress, I suppose, but that sort of humor doesn’t ultimately feel uplifting, long term, to me.

I’m more of a “dry wit” or “goofy, off-center” fan. I think that Monty Python‘s “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch is just the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I still nearly fall off my chair when it comes ’round. But, people I care deeply about will roll their eyes at the mere mention of Python. Why is that?

Humor is a form of Energy Therapy, just like Emotional Freedom Techniques, or massage, or deep breathing. Careers have been made on this claim (see here, and here, for instance). Authentic laughter releases energy blocks, and restores well-being. It’s highly individualized, though. Each of us has their “funny bone” in a different location.  Dr. Norman Cousins says, “Find a way to laugh. Find what makes you laugh. Do what it takes, and you CAN heal.

I may not Know—but I do, in fact, Care.

“…so, this blogger walks into a bar…”


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10 Responses to “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

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i prefer the second joke though i found both to be funny! i like dirty jokes too, even if it’s sexist or racist or whatever. the kind of jokes i don’t particularly enjoy are practical jokes which can make fools of people who don’t appreciate the humour.

I think that you and I think alot alike as far as humor goes. I too prefer the second joke more. I’ve never thought about humor much. I guess I was mildly surprised to hear that it mostly comes from some “pain (or humiliation, loss, misfortune, or any of many other so called “negative” experiences”. I don’t know why that surprised me since it’s fairly obvious. Thank you for posting this. I’m going to have to come back and check out the articles at some later time since I’m running this morning (there’s a rummage sale today!).
Peace and laughs.

~ RS ~

sulz: I agree. I think sexism or racism is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder, and if such things are funny without making us think we’re exploiting someone, well, alright. And I also don’t enjoy making others uncomfortable in the process. Thanks for your insight.

Ruby: Imagine, someone wanting to go to a Rummage Sale instead of sitting home and reading my posts! 😉 I, too, found my research somewhat “painful”, and, as I’m always looking for ways to feel better, will try to come from a place of respect and/or goofiness in humor. I’m glad this was interesting for you!

The jokes you cite, especially the first one, requires a bit of thought to be caught. That’s why I like them and maybe why you like them.

Monty Python generally appeals to a certain kind of geeky intellectual cynic. I’m sorry if that description doesn’t fit you, but it fits most of the Monty Python fans I know, including (to some extent) myself. I think that their humor requires one to be unorthodox, irreverent, and a bit naughty.

Hmmm…”geeky intellectual cynic”. “unorthodox, irreverant, and a bit naughty”. I think you’ve pegged me, rg 🙂
I embrace your description, but am looking at one word, “cynic”. I know what’s generally meant by the word, but, being me, I looked it up for this response. Here, from Merriam-Webster:
Greek kynikos, literally, like a dog, from kyn-, kyOn, dog.
1 capitalized : an adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophers who held the view that virtue is the only good and that its essence lies in self-control and independence.
2 : a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest.
As for definition #1, I don’t really hold with notions of ‘virtue’ or ‘good’, and am not sure how much self-control I exhibit, but do champion independence. And for #2, I’ll say I don’t think we’re motivated “wholly” by self-interest, but even if we were, that’s not necessarily a “bad” thing. I don’t find it pleasing to find fault. Perhaps I’m dog-like?
Delightfully mentally stimulating. Thank you for your words!

The Greek Cynics were known for pointing out the hypocrisy of others. When I use the term for myself, I am referring to my urge to laugh at my own foibles (and the foibles of others). It might be too strong a word for that purpose. Do you know a term for somebody who doesn’t take himself too seriously?

Well, the only one I could come up with is: flippant: marked by disrespectful levity or casualness; pert.
I don’t think either of us is disrespectful, do you?
Actually I’m fine with the word cynic as it’s generally used. These sorts of things just compel me to examine understanding. I have a great appreciation for my (and others’) foibles (arch: The weaker section of a sword blade, from the middle to the tip.) Sorry, couldn’t help myself 🙂
I appreciate your contributions to my consciousness, and I enjoy the wide-ranging subject matter of your blog!

Ah, humor, one of my favorite topics 🙂 I love to laugh. I almost never watch TV anymore (no cable), but when I do it’s invariably some type of comedy. I loved Monty Python, SNL, Madd TV, and I think it was called “Friday’s” (lol, Seinfeld’s Kramer-guy was on there and “Elaine” … geez, can’t think of their names in this moment). I could talk about favorite skits/characters for hours, heh 🙂

I don’t “get” people who don’t like comedy — and I’ve met some, it’s just plain weird, lol 😉

In asking myself why I like comedy so much (love Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Ellen Degeneres, … ), I’d say, other than the sheer joy of laughing, it’s kind of a connection to others. We see ourselves or people we know in comedy. It makes us “light,” a release, because this makes us okay, like other people… If others are laughing, ya’ know, just like you, they’ve been there, done that, get that…been in that elevator, lol

Yep, it’s the not taking ourselves or any of it so seriously in those moments. Laughter makes ya’ lighter, it’s such a rush. And when you’re in a group of people laughing, you can feel the “lightness” of the energy. It’s like our guards are dropped and souls are intermingling 😉

dovelove, what an interesting perspective on the lightening of energy with laughter. That “release” you mention is probably responsible for much of the healing attributed to laughter. You mentioned many of my favorite funny people too 😀

[…] lot of these are meant to be humorous. For example, I posted a joke some time ago that has a little different take on the form: “There are 10 kinds of people in the […]

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