Topic 49 15 June 2018  What makes you laugh and cry?

1. People laugh for different reasons. Even our friends might have a different sense of humour. Some people seem to have no sense of humour! What happens when you try to joke between cultures? Can you think of examples?

2. Jokes are a kind of release of tension. Therefore they often break taboos that people feel tense about. That tension (and the jokes) may come from sex, or relationships, or race, or politics .. or anything. Each culture is different with these things. What are jokes often about in your home culture?

3. What do you think Australians joke about a lot? Do any of the jokes offend you?

4. "Slapstick jokes" are when people laugh at someone having an accident or getting hurt. You often see them in cartoons. Americans are famous for liking slapstick humour, but Australians not so much. Why do you think slapstick humour is funny (for some people)?

5. With over 200 different cultures in Australia now, joking is sometimes difficult, and might even break anti-discrimination laws. Having to be careful about jokes upsets some Australians. What do you think the solution is?

6. Another kind of joke depends on word play (kids love these). For example, in English: "What do computers snack on? Microchips". ['micro' means very small. Food 'chips' are thin slices of baked potato etc]. Can you explain an example of a word play joke from your first language?

7. Some cultures & people have a style called 'black humour'. This is when you make a dark joke about a very bad situation to cheer people up, or seriously break a taboo. Not everyone finds black humour funny. Here is a (gentle) example : "It turns out a major new study recently found that humans eat more bananas than monkeys. ||Reply: I can't remember the last time I ate a monkey". What do you think about black humour? Do you ever use it?

8. How many types of situations can you think of that make people cry?

9. Some people cry very easily, and others never cry. Why do you think this is?

10. What makes you sad, and what makes you happy?


49. What makes you laugh and cry? ©Thor May 2018