Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diagnosis of our Joke culture

Diagnosis of our Joke culture
Some boys show a good sense of humor to girls only to have some more fun. ! Humor, then, is mark of their cunningness, not intelligence.
A joke is a playful and entertainment activity done by human. In most cases, it is a narration done with intentions to invoke laughter. A Wikipedia search shows the antiquity and kinds of joke. But apart from what ever is documented by the Wikipedia, Jokes , in my observations, serve other purposes as well.
Humor , in human beings , is a unique gift to the species, and in a sense depicts our intelligence. Jokes are a sub classification of the larger emotion, the Humor. In the classic socio-anthropology, intelligence is the pre-requisition for being a good at 'Providing' work by males. Thus, Jokes can also be taken as an approximate indicators for a good Intelligence, and thereby a good Provider. Females of human species very often succumb to the charms of a good humourist, -- read -- a good joke-cracker. Owing to this nature, Jokes have slowly risen to become the mark of a good and nourished status of person in his society. A person good at joking is a person- smart and trendy.
Jokes have thus moved into the field of mutual competition between males for courting the females. Thereby, jokes have now adopted the form of acute criticism, Sarcasm, hurled at the fellow competitor, aimed with reducing his popularity among the females. One can notice clearly that -- "jhela di' culture rising, or that 'de ghooma ke' one. The smartness is now measured, unwittingly, by promptness of reply to a statement, by promptness of cross-questioning, -- promptness being the word.
Humor is everywhere. One can hear jokes all through the day :- in the television, on radio FM, on emails, on mobiles, --everywhere. When I attempted the net search on Jokes, there were a thousand sites, but it was hard to find one which could provided the scientific aspects of the practices of Joking among humans. My actual concern, while doing this search was to look for reasons for lower IQ as reported by Dr Richard Lynn through his researches. The jokes and their insightfulness, as I attempt to assess, among Indians is no where inferior to what the best  of high-IQ nations have.
Then, what signs are there for the low IQ among Indians, our galores of troubles which are attributable to us only, no external agency being the reason in the post-Independence era. I felt that the Jokes, in themselves, are supposedly not deep-delving means of analysing the cases. Surely, as the wikipedia put it, Jokes are a method to carry an inconvenient message across without getting confrontational, but they in themselves don't go too deep to help proper diagnosis. Thus they only open the door to the route on which a person himself has to walk a long way down through personal enquiries.
And then comes the path crossing aspect as well of the Jokes. While it is possible to have a joke to enlighten someone on some aspect, it is equally easy to have another joke, in the form of sarcasm, to lighten away the whole questioning self in that person. The cumulative effect could be that the person will stay un-awakened.
Perhaps this can explain the lower IQ case, despite a good Joking culture amongst us.
In a sense, the Jokes enlighten us about something, but the excess of it makes sure that we remain shallow in our thoughts, putting our energy to the job of fighting the sarcasm from our fellow being. A good analytical diagnosis does not happen for any issue with us people.
The newspaper writings, report-making, --everything attempts to become popular by adopting what is mostly accepted by the people-- the humor. A serious, but discerning, write-up matter hardly attract any readers for it.
While applying the above proposition to the heavy philosophical culture of Benaras (aka, Varanasi, my ancestral home town), I felt that the knowledge  of the East has also dissipated away in the mirthfulness of the West. Over here , I am comparing the cultures of eastern UP with that of western UP. Eastern UP is the land of Rama, Hindu god, who was supposedly an Ideal Man, an obedient son, student, brother, husband, father, and a ruler. That makes the actual native culture of eastern UP to be more serious, and thoughts-filled to achieve the standards set by their ideal god.
In western UP, in comparison, the land of Krishna,( centered in Mathura), he is playful, romantic, questioning, smiling, clever, --the more popular, and supposedly more pragmatic, Hindu god. The culture of western UP, thus , is that of joking-- trivialising, playful, non-ideal, --read (realistic and practical) people.
             Jokes, in another broad view, are a sub-culture of the modern Fun-loving-ness Culture. The modern generation is all about being fun-loving. We are looking for fun everywhere. And a continuous flow of fun comes , among other sources, from the jokes which are on all means of public and private communications. Entertainment has become the theme of public gathering. And Entertainment is understood to be specifically Hilariousness. I love to imagine how was it like in the days of the Raj, when some bunch of Indian people would gather-up at some place. Would those also talk the pleasure-triggering things??? I mean they had a larger purpose to look up to. The philosophy was more surmounting than today's. The devotion to god and spirituality was still very much a part of life styles. Where could Jokes adjust themselves among all these??
As the new age philosophy of Hedonism started to take us over, money-earning became our theme, the middle-class life style of 'Work Hard and Party Harder' began to take us over. The consequence is the sub-culture of Joking-ness,- everything and every talk has to have some joke-- purpose or the point don't matter.