Saturday, September 07, 2013

That Darned Elusive Funny Side

Re-run of a 2009 post, as apt now as then:

It's not easy to find real-life stuff to laugh at these days. Most of what's in the news frustrates, angers or saddens, rather than amuses us. Yet there's supposed to be a funny side to almost everything.

It's undeniable that infectious laughter and bright smiley faces light up life, make us feel better immediately, even in the face of dire circumstances. We are sometimes told that it'd help to be more child-like in our approach to life. Children laugh easily, I guess because they have little or no responsibility. We have to somehow strike a balance between child-like appreciation of the bright side of life with the serious responsibilities that arrive with maturity and a clearer understanding of the ways of the world.

Perhaps a person's astrological blueprint governs where their funny-bone lies, and how sturdy and resilient a bone it happens to be. A well-respected British astrologer. C.E.O. Carter wrote a little on the topic of humour in his "Encyclopedia of Pyschological Astrology". He states that:

"Each sign has its special kind of humour, but the general astrological indications of this gift are Venus and Taurus, Jupiter, Neptune, Sagittarius and Pisces, Moon Cancer and Uranus. Humour in the strict sense, I put under the Moon and Cancer.

Venus and Taurus seem to have to do with laughter and amusement generally; Moon, Neptune and their signs with whimsicality (which is also noticeable in many Virginians (
I think this must refer to Virgoans rather than inhabitants of Virginia); Uranus with incongruity and unexpected effects; Jupiter and Sagittarius with fun and satire. Mercury must, of course, be prominent where the power of humourous expression is involved. Humourous persons, unlike witty ones, have not always the gift of speech.

Wit depends upon a strong Mercury, the quality of wit being determined by the chief aspecting planet. It is often found aspected by Mars, Jupiter or Uranus.

The signs which most commonly lack humour are Leo, Scorpio and Capricorn, as these often produce persons with a strong sense of personal dignity, not to say self-importance. They can seldom appreciate a joke at their own expense, as the Jupiter person can. It is probable that Saturn afflictions to the Moon tend to destroy humour, while Martian ones coarsen it, and incline to horseplay."

I dare not, and should not, argue with Mr. Carter but I do wonder about one or two things he has written, especially in the last paragraph quoted above. I've found that it really is not possible to accurately categorise people by their Sun sign, or by a planet, as in "a Jupiter person", as Mr. Carter appears to be doing, but perhaps I'm misunderstanding him, if so, I apologise profusely.

A person with Sun/ascendant and more in Leo could have all kinds of aspects pointing towards humour in their chart, which would completely overcome any over-developed sense of self dignity. In fact, a good dose of Leo is very helpful in presenting humour to an audience.

I've found people with a lot of natal Capricorn to often have well-developed dry humour, which could combine easily with any sense of self-dignity. As for Scorpio - perhaps black humor (dark in content, not skin color) which seems to be gaining popularity, might be a genre natural to a Scorpio-heavy person, or one with Pluto (ruler of Scorpio) prominent.

As far as I can see (and perhaps that's not far enough) nothing in astrology should be taken "cut and dried" for every individual. One man's hilarious joke is another man's yawn, or even obscenity. And come to think of it, isn't that word "hilarious" vastly over-used these days, at least in the USA where exaggeration seems to be the norm? I've lately heard the most inane or trivial stuff described as "hilarious", which makes me wonder if my own funny-bone is suffering from osteoporosis. When someone is poking fun at a serious situation, via cartoons, jokes, skits, I'm inclined to see good examples as clever rather than funny - but that's just me. I guess that humour has several different categories, "clever" being one of them.

Back to my original thought about seeing the funny side of things that in reality are not at all funny. It's a special talent, probably inborn and not easy to cultivate. As the wise old saying goes "if we don't laugh, we'll cry"; for sure laughter and sorrow are close together, on either side of that cusp dividing the normal from world shattering events, personal or communal. I'm going to guess that those people with Sagittarius and/or Jupiter well prominent and without blight from Mars, Saturn or Pluto are those who are most likely to be able to laugh in the face of disaster, with an ability to see through the gloom and into that elusive funny side.

A couple of very old cartoons from husband's scrapbook of favourites:


mike said...

Well, Twilight, I certainly found humor in the Ted Rall cartoon you linked yesterday! I'm sure some would find the humor dark and offensive.

Humor takes two...the presenter and the listener. Humor is in the ear or eyes of the beholder.

I've known a number of Sun-in-Leo people and they have never failed to entertain me...they love their audience's adulation. Generally speaking, of course.

A friend of mine that had too many problems at times always saw the sunny side and was full of anecdotal observations that brought-out the laughter in everyone. I asked him about his gift of positive outlook and humor. His response was: suppose there are 1000 attributes all humans share as important and distinctive in our lives. Most people focus on the five current attributes that are NOT operating correctly...these attributes are in flux and change daily or monthly. He said that he tries to always focus on the 995 attributes that are not requiring his attention.

“One just needs a little alertness to see and find out: Life is really a great cosmic laughter.”

Twilight said...

mike ~ Humour is a funny thing - hmmm....

Humour comes in several flavours, not all make me laugh, or even smile, but I can acknowledge there's humour involved. Ted Rall's cartoon was one of those which made me think rather than laugh - it presents a very serious point in a comical way.
But I couldn't laugh, though I do appreciate it.

I prefer harmless humour, clean or dirty, for laughing out loud, as long as it's harmless, not cruel to anyone.

Maybe I'm a bit of a puritan or bleeding heart left-winger in this respect, can't help it. Don't like nasty jokes about women, minorities, people with disabilities, etc.

George Carlin was a favourite of mine, both his early weatherman madness and later crankiness. So clever and insightful, yet funny at the same time. Robin Williams makes me laugh. Most English comedians I loved have shuffled off long ago, sad to say.

Seeing the funny side of dark stuff - not easy for me, at least until long after the darkness has past - then I can laugh at it.

Osho may be right. God or the gods certainly had a sense of humour - and not a particularly kindly one!

mike (again) said...

Twilight, I've never put much stock in this "life". It sure feels, tastes, looks, and seems real, but I've never been convinced of its authenticity. I take it seriously, but I can't help feel that it's ersatz fluff. A cosmic joke that I won't understand until I'm off this plane of existence.

Have you read any of Gore Vidal's novels? He touches on this (as many other authors, too) particularly in his novel, "Duluth":

One of the experimental texts Vidal refers to as his "inventions", Duluth describes both a novel written about Duluth (that, bordered on one side by Minneapolis and on the other by Michigan, bears scant resemblance to the real city) and a television series of the same name; when residents of the city die, they end up as characters in the TV show, who can in some cases continue interacting with the living through the TV screen. When members of the cast of Duluth, the TV show, die, they become characters in Rogue Duke, a romance novel serialized in the pages of Redbook, the popular women's magazine.

Twilight said...

mike ~ That's an unusual take of yours on it all, but, I guess, no more so than a few others out there. The pity is that once we find out the truth we'll not be in any position to pass on the knowledge. :-(

I haven't read anything by Gore Vidal, no. Oh my! That's another unusual and imaginative take on life then - that we shall forever be actors in dramas of some kind, for the entertainment of others. :-)

I'll see your Gore Vidal and raise you William Shakespeare (I don't know poker by the way but it sounds good!)

All the World's a Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.