Saturday, October 20, 2007

Talking About Christian Humor Blogging: Me!

As threatened, here are my answers to end the series (unless my two interlopers respond to the interview). The problem with closing this up is that all the good answers have been taken!

What is the role of humor on your blog?
No (attempted) humor, no blog. I have a job where I get to hash out and speak to the serious stuff everyday. This blog is mostly a release for me. Having said that, I have to reign in my serious instincts all the time. And I do hope that inviting people to laugh at themselves (as I am) is a spiritual virtue of sorts.

I mostly try to do affection-based humor. The more pointed stuff I reserve not for individuals but for the culture of death, because the devil, proud spirit, cannot stand to be mocked. (Milton, right?)

Why is "Christian Humor" not an oxymoron?
It may be moronic, but not OXYmoronic. (rim shot)

Laughing is one of the joys of life. I have no idea why some people think Christians are humorless. They must be thinking of Puritans instead (although even they may have laughed at the lobsters: "what? we're supposed to eat this red spiny junk"?)

Are you funny offline?
Often I get that comment on my student evaluations. A few years ago, I got a number of evals that said I reminded them a lot of Jeanine Garafalo (who was then popular for the movie "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," not being the rather humorless liberal wag she is now). I do bear a passing resemblance, but I think it was the dry, self-deprecating humor thing they were referring to. Most of my students don't want to take the courses (they're required), so a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Then again, some just say I'm boring and why the %^&* do they have to take a theology requirement?

I have met a few bloggers offline and I imagine they think, gee, she's a lot more serious in person.

Are there "BIG POINTS" in your humor posts, or are you just goofing around?
Ah, I think I come across as a little preachy sometimes. Sorry. So yes, often there are big points (teachable moments, as we like to say). The two posts I most enjoyed writing were completely silly, though (Snakes on an Altar and Talk Like A Pirate During Confession).

What makes something humorous, in your opinion?
It's always the contrast between the expected and unexpected, mixed into the ridiculous, wry, and thoughtful, folded with humility, baked into wit. Such a recipe often flops.

What kind of humor crosses the line in your blog, if any?
Personal attacks. I just read a fantastic piece by St. Francis de Sales on this...I'll find it and post it later.

What humorous post did you create and really like that just flopped?
Hmm. Quite a few, I'm guessing. I thought the Kill the Passions! lecture by the hermit opening the college school year was kind of cute. If there was response, it wasn't communicated to me! I liked the Gasoline is Liquefied Mammon piece too.

Are there any humorists (written or on screen) you really like?
My kids, Mark Twain, Monty Python, Chesterton, The Onion (when they aren't being obscene), Stephen Colbert, Garrison Keillor, and Kierkegaard when he's having a good day.

Humor: evangelization, frivolity, or neither?
D. all of the above. Context is everything.

How do you keep it up online when you don't feel funny?
Uh, I write bad posts. I have a 30 minute rule with this blog--posts need to be done in 30 minutes because I have a busy life. I do sometimes break the rule, but I try not to. So if it isn't up to snuff...I usually post it anyway. I have no shame. After all, it's an anonymous blog!

I am well acquainted with the Flickr search functions and Odd News sites as well. Honestly, the original posts take some thought before writing, and I've been too busy to do as much as I would like.

Name one thing Jesus probably laughed about.
Look, Jesus loved his friends. They had to laugh together sometimes. My vote for best laughable moment is the story about the Samaritan woman at the well: "Yes, you answer rightly that you have no husband, because you have lived with five men and the one who are living with now is not your husband." I mean, Jesus' affection for this woman is evident. I can't see Jesus uttering that without smiling and even chuckling a bit.

See the whole series by clicking the About Humor Blogging tag below.


Jeannine said...

I believe it was Thomas More who said, "The Devil, that proude spirit, cannot endure to be mocked," but I only know because of The Screwtape Letters.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Thanks Jeannine!