Re-posted from Shakesville:
One of these things that astonishes me about these comedians is that they seem to have gone through life without realizing that humor is Subjective, not Objective. IOW, they don't seem to know the most basic thing about their craft.
I'm reminded (as I am with all things) of Twilight. We talk a lot about Subjective Beauty in my Twilight deconstruction, because the author S. Meyer seems to believe that beauty is Objective: she states on more than one occasion that Bella is objectively more beautiful than (most) of the girls in her high school. Personal preference does not apply; ALL the "human males" lust after her on her first day of school.
I personally believe that some people absorb cultural standards of beauty so thoroughly that they don't realize those standards are subjective and may vary according to personal taste. You see this particularly strongly with people who insist that current American standards of beauty are universal and timeless. (Research fail!)
I wonder if something similar is going on with these comedians. They think that the Dudebro comedy that they've shared together, watch on television, been immersed in at college, etc. is UNIVERSAL and don't consider a need to tailor their act for a larger audience.
And yet, a part of me rebels that anyone would be so foolish as to NOT realize that humor is subjective. Do we not all of us have "in jokes" with family and friends that outsiders wouldn't get? Do we not, here at Shakesville, have things like "maybe a vestment!!" which will ensure laughter on the boards and incomprehension from a new lurker? Is it not therefore OBVIOUS that this "joke" about a fictional "game" might be funny to Bob-who-knows-you but not to a larger audience who doesn't? (And who collectively probably have more children than Bob and more experience with abuse than Bob?)
But, then, I would have thought "beauty is subjective, people" would be self-evident, too and apparently it's not.
Lately it's been apparent to me that there are subjective preferences in our society (beauty, humor, hetereosexual attraction, etc.) that are treated as objectively valuable, often in a very timeless and universal way. Preferences that go against the grain -- like, for example, being attracted to Fat People or not caring for X food -- are treated as serious deviancies to be to be "corrected" rather than just, you know, preferences.
What else have you noticed that is treated as Objective and yet you think is more Subjective?
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