Published in Editorials

Technically Serious Silliness

by on01 October 2011 1627 times

JelloAfter reading a somewhat serious review on an iPhone/iPad app that features jiggling Jell-O, it occurs to me that techs are odd characters when it comes to silliness.  They can also be a little unreliable in the humor department, but I think that depends more on who made the joke.




I actually have some personal experience with geeks and this sort of thing. A couple of years ago I forwarded an email about a silly calculation with letters and numbers and corresponding words to my dad, something I thought was hilarious and worthy of sharing with an analyst and statistician. He proceeded to check the work, find a flaw in a calculation, and correct it. Then he made a few of his own (correct) calculations to make another silly but clever joke, and sent it back to me.

Nerds live for that kind of thing, they seem to love the complicated stuff. And silly complicated stuff, like well-written apps depicting accurately jiggling gelatin: definitely. In my own house, where geek has ruled for years, humor and silliness are very odd things. There is no family, not anywhere, which pauses movies more often to recap or compare notes after comedic scenes. We pretend it’s so we don’t miss the next line or two, but it often lasts into thorough re-creations and performances – all of which are judged for accuracy and delivery. I’m serious. The last time we watched Snatch it took at least four hours, even though some of us were already doing our best voiceovers in sync with the characters. (I am not part of that some, and those who are know it makes me crazy, which is why they now pause the movie.)

My own seventeen-year-old son, who I absolutely adore, spends more time over-complicating even the most basic of the silly things. He has actually described to me why a particular Bugs Bunny skit is funny. While I have always appreciated the whole Werner Brothers crew and their use of thought-provoking antics for humor, I think I appreciated my son’s take on it more that day. And I wondered if my dad ever explained Bugs Bunny to my grandmother.

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Last modified on 01 October 2011
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