Monday, March 30, 2009

We have ways of making you laugh...

Had to share this, a great article on the power of consensus over truth.

Having done a workshop in stand-up comedy shortly before I moved to Victoria, I am familiar with the concept of the "science of laughter". Our comedic instructor, SA funny man (apparently) Dave Flanagan, said that people will laugh at something even if they find it mildly offensive, wrong or just plain un-funny, simply from the mass laughter of others- the will to be amongst the peer group. The power of comedy combined with the power of the groupthink.

Take Good News Week 's recent little tirade against Christians and Christianity. Nothing new there, but the political and social bias of this show is now so overwhelming it's unashamedly declaring "laugh with us or you're not cool". It's not alone.

" Most comedy show audiences probably believe they possess a substantive understanding of the issues of the day...In truth, the live audience sycophants would cheer like trained seals no matter the content. Being on TV or around those that make TV is just - “cool.” Informed content is not required. Check informed opinion at the studio door. Allegiance to what is “hip” is all that is necessary. "

Yep. Include some of the TV viewing audience in that. Apologies to GNW fans, although I doubt GNW's lampooned victims will ever hear an apology from them.

Here's the article expanding on the manipulative power of entertainment, paying particular attention to how it can ruin politicians who probably deserve better, and sometimes save them when they deserve less. (Warning; lengthy)


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