Cupids Health

You’re Mad as Hell, and They’re Laughing…at You!


If you’re like most people, your emotions sometimes get the better of you. A driver inadvertently cuts you off in traffic, you contend with one too many interruptions while trying to meet a deadline, or a kid won’t stop kicking the back of your plane seat. Try as you might, feelings of tearful frustration or menacing anger bubble up to the surface.

In what seems an odd, and perhaps infuriating, transposition, such outward expressions of despair are sometimes met with laughter. It’s the exact opposite response you might hope for in that moment, namely understanding, sympathy, perhaps some empathetic irritation, or even rage—certainly not dismissive laughter.

Why does this happen? Why might people respond to negative emotions with laughter? Is it an indication of callous insensitivity?

The simple answer is no, or at least not necessarily. Fortunately, the newest theory to explain why we laugh provides insight into what might be motivating such a reaction.

According to the Mutual Vulnerability Theory, we emit this distinctive vocalization to communicate a sense of shared limitations or shortcomings. It reminds others that we all have vulnerabilities, ones that can be broadly subdivided into four types: physical, emotional, cognitive, and social.

Emotions are the drivers that motivate us to behave in certain ways and so each ultimately has physical consequences. When they are properly aligned with whatever physical and social environment we find ourselves in, they help ensure our survival. They bring us closer to our objectives and take us farther from potential threats. However, when they are seen as inappropriate in kind or in strength, they are can be interpreted by others as counterproductive, and thus fodder for giggles and guffaws.

We see this play out in much of the formal humor we enjoy. It comes in positive, negative, and even neutral “flavors.” It appears as over-excitement or jubilation, excessive pride, sensorial ecstasy, or uncontrolled attraction. It might manifest as irritation, alarm, disgust, jealousy, embarrassment, sadness, or guilt well beyond what the situation calls for. And it’s also found whenever emotions are stifled, such as with boredom, apathy, and lethargy.

I found a wonderful illustration of this comedic variety in one of the many Mr. Bean videos available on YouTube. Even if you’re not a fan of the Mr. Bean character, you should appreciate the brilliant way actor Rowan Atkinson morphs from tender, childlike innocence to near homicidal maniac in under a minute. I’m betting there is something in that rapid devolution that you will identify with…and find amusement in.

You can find it at timestamp 13:54 in “Hair by Mr. Bean of London.” Take a quick look, just until timestamp 14:56 (for now, anyway), then return here for a brief analysis.

The Mean Bean

Setting the Stage—The Mr. Bean character is a generally harmless individual, on the surface quite cordial and mild-mannered, but also immature, impatient, easily frustrated, prone to taking shortcuts, mildly devious, and rather curt to those who stand between him and immediate gratification.

The Scene—Mr. Bean makes an impromptu stop at a small, school charity event in the English countryside. After having failed at one game (one he eventually cheats to win), he finds himself at the “Hit the Headmaster” sponge toss where patrons pay a coin to throw a few soaking wet sponges at the principal of the school.

We see a young girl tossing her four sponges, missing slightly, but nevertheless giggling and thrilled for the opportunity.

Mr. Bean sees her and, finding the game interesting, happily offers up a coin to take the next turn. His first tentative throw misses his target but results in only some embarrassed, self-lifting Laughter. He misses again with the second and third sponges in quicker succession, getting slightly more irritated after each. After missing with his fourth, and now hearing some gentle laughter from the headmaster, Mr. Bean becomes somewhat agitated.

The TV audience is drawn in, feeling his embarrassment and frustration, identifying with his plight. Except he now goes beyond anything one would find appropriate. First throwing the food cans that would, if landed, cause substantial injury to the headmaster (with whom the audience, now, also identifies), then a cereal box, and in apparent desperation, even as he is being restrained by a worker, another can.

Finally, after being released, Mr. Bean loses all sense of proportion by attempting to take a chair to the headmaster’s head, stopped only at the last second. This rapid transition from magnanimity and smiles to embarrassment, impatience, frustration, disdain, and eventually murderous contempt is highly exaggerated to be sure, but the audience recognizes each emotion and understands the way one can bring about the next. They know, too, they are watching a comedy, so the actor playing the headmaster never faces any actual physical danger.

Note the context which inspires the audience to become invested in the players, each helping to raise money for a good cause. Observe how the prelude with the young girl supplies a baseline of normality with which to contrast Mr. Bean’s subsequent outburst. Appreciate how emotional vulnerability is immediately and directly tied to physical vulnerability (the headmaster’s) in a way that adds to the need for lifting laughter by the audience.

In all, it’s a wonderful example of emotion-based humor.

© John Charles Simon



Source link

10 thoughts on “You’re Mad as Hell, and They’re Laughing…at You!

  1. I am curious to find out what blog system you’re utilizing?
    I’m having some small security issues with my latest
    site and I’d like to find something more secure. Do you
    have any suggestions?

  2. This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a
    reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved
    to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
    it. Too cool!

  3. Hello I am so happy I found your blog, I really found you
    by accident, while I was browsing on Google for
    something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it
    and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep
    up the fantastic b.

  4. Lacerte nube webhost is expense effective solution to any
    service seeking tax solving studio help. Although initially, some help
    from a practiced and experienced accountant may be required.
    All Tokens earned perro be converted to these crypto-currency for
    withdrawal to Faucethub. Minimum withdrawal amount: 0.004 Bitcoins or 0.04 Ethereum.
    The formato of the Bitcoin client released by the core development team, which perro be used
    to send transactions, has fee minimum rules by default. If you invest for example $15,000
    for 100TH/s (100,000 GH/s) then you could earn more then $4241,72 per week
    after the Week 10 and the original investment according to the current bitcoin price that got calculated by preev.
    Thus, the info ‘s presented to educate personnel during the transaction screens
    they are domestica with, improved with new information to make them more effective at their labor.
    Recently make a java account and wait! There are a number of companies which make exploration equipment.

    If ever there was a good date to slow down and do a proper amount of vendor science, it’s
    before you toss all your critical info up into the nube.
    So, in the worst of cases, if the host crashes ever, there is a team at
    the ready to assist you and retain normalcy
    within the least possible era. Authorized
    users of the company can login to work at once sharing the graphical usuario
    interface software to deliver project on period. Hola!, this ‘s xbox one of these questions that get asked all the date.
    One of the most popular and reliable ‘s Moon Cash. During this beginner’s guide, you will see how you perro start earning
    your first gratis bitcoin cash if you are interested in learning more about this en formato digital currency, its network
    and the opportunities it offers. You can increase your earning more and more by
    sharing referrals and earn commission from them. Earning crypto-currency sales en linea has become increasingly popular
    for more people round the world.

    Feel free to visit my web site :: verizon cloud sign in

  5. Hi would you mind letting me know which web host you’re utilizing?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a fair price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  6. What i do not understood is in reality how you’re no longer really a lot
    more neatly-appreciated than you may be right now.
    You’re very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably when it comes
    to this subject, produced me in my opinion imagine it from numerous
    various angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated except
    it is one thing to accomplish with Girl
    gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. Always deal with it up!

  7. Very quickly this site will be famous amid all blogging viewers, due to it’s
    nice articles or reviews

  8. After looking at a number of the articles on your blog, I honestly appreciate your way of writing a blog.
    I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be
    checking back in the near future. Please check
    out my website too and let me know what you think.

  9. Thiis website online is known as a walk-via for all of the information you needed about this and
    didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll positively uncover it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close

Be The First In The Know - Health Alerts

Get new posts by email:
RSS52.1k
Follow by Email77.5k
Twitter