November 9, 2002
DROPPED BALL (via Ed Driscoll):That's Not Funny: What makes us laugh. (John Derbyshire, November 5, 2002, National Review)
P.C. has, of course, cast its great wet blanket over a lot of harmless jokes. I once made the mistake of telling a Wall Street joke in mixed company. The joke was: "Two traders are going up in the elevator to work on a Monday morning. First trader: 'Do anything at the weekend?' Second trader: 'Yes, I got a dog for my wife.' First trader: 'Hey, great trade!'" One of the company, a fierce feminist, took exception to the joke, and delivered a finger-wagging lecture about how jokes of that kind demean women. Oh, yeah, right: Guys who hear that joke are going to go home and beat up on their wives. What is far more likely is that they will go home and tell it to their wives, who will laugh out loud, as mine did.
Mr. Derbyshire is on the edge of the great truth but lets it slip away. Considerations of Political Correctness are just part of the reason that humor is necessarily conservative. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 9, 2002 9:08 PM