Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I Am Not Funny

Another category in the Koufax Awards has been posted on Wampum: Most Humorous Post. I have nothing there. I am just not funny.

But go there and read the others. I remember several of those posts from before, when they first came out, and will check out the rest over the next couple of days. Also, do not forget to keep checking out the nominees in other categories posted so far: Blogs Deserving Wider Recognition, Best New Blogs, Best State And Local Blogs and Best Post.

Writing in a foreign language is not easy. One can learn to write well. One can learn to do excellent technical and scientific writing. But it is hard to write with flourish (which may be good - simpler language has its benefits in clarity), and almost impossible to write satire.

Satire requires not just a good control of the language, but also an ear for the culture - something that is not easy to gain. Perhaps one needs to be born into and raised within a culture in order to be able to do effective humor and satire in that language.

Humor depends on coming very close to an invisible line between appropriate and inappropriate, yet never crossing it. I do not have the confidence to try. Either I won't come close enough, and the attempt at humor will fall flat, or I'll cross over the line and insult someone. I admire and envy bloggers who routinely write posts using the F-word three times per sentence yet NOT ever being insulting and vulgar. That's an art.

I have another thought, or is that a question... As you read the nominees for the Most Humorous Post, do you find them funnier if you are already familiar with the author? Is the humor-factor of a post by Jesus General or Fafblog or Rude Pundit dependent on us knowing who they are and our familiarity with their entire output? They write humor and satire every day, each in their own style. If you've never been to their blogs before or never even heard of them, do you find their isolated posts funny?

That goes also for other bloggers who may be serious most of the time, though perhaps snarky, and have their own characterisitc voices, so once in a while when they write something satirical we know what to expect and thus find it funny. How important is the context and the familiarity with the person?

So, do not expect great humor and satire from me - I am way to cautious. On the other hand, if you want a funny rant in Serbian....Jebo ti ja pas mater....

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 11:18 PM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink