I looked at the links - the second one seemed like going to school with lots of lessons and I grew bored with it.
The first link I found very interesting - about how, if you want to be a successful comedian, you need to be able to quickly understand what someone is saying and respond to it (rather than block or ignore it and tell your own story).
I have seen de Bono in action and he is particularly good at this, me not so much. I need to practise!
I am intrigued at the moment by the response codes from the "Love of Cockroaches" book - it seems like a way of improving responses immediately and in the long term (by encouraging the development of better habits).
Yes, after reading the first article too, I also saw an immediate difference in my ability to think laterally. It came out in being able to respond to a new friend - who says he has sometimes the ability to be funny as a witty sort of improvisation. He remarked that around me he seems to be much funnier than most people that he has just met, which makes me feel as if I really learned something from my attempts to learn to express my wittiness more often and not keep what I'm thinking to myself for fear of upsetting people.
What made the difference was generally using the de Bono concept of "movement" as a response - in being able to "say yes."
Here's a blogger who is really good at simplifying the essence of comedy:
cal> Nice article, Franis. Reminds of the time I saw Howie Mandel on stage. He seemed even that much faster in person. Scary fast, it seemed, while taking some of the things the audience said and working with it.
But he was able to do it while keeping the humour clean. Which I thought added to the performance and its seeming speed.
The 'Military justice' line seems a little funny - to me - in a bit of a sad kind of way. Maybe it's in part because it reinforces, in an exaggerated humourous word play way, something that maybe a little too often (to me) seems a truth - the thought that justice is about the law, not necessarily about justice. It doesn't really go against (my) already existing perceptions, beliefs, that the law can be about word play, maneuvering.
I would imagine many of those involved in military/military justice might not find it particularly funny.
Maybe one reason I don't find it really funny is that it doesn't 'whack' my own thinking into a much different track, into a much different way of looking at something that seems to have real life merit.
Thanks for posting this.
I tried to enjoy it but it seemed too much like slapstick - we are supposed to laugh because the man bumped his head and then bumped his shoulder etc. Maybe I did not understand it properly, maybe I should have listened through to the end for the clever part.
Maybe my expectations are too high, because many years ago I had a brief infatuation with Russian culture including Russian women. What I learned was that the Russians had a very highly developed sense of humour. A joke I learned at that time was:
Customer says to butcher, "How much for a whole chicken?"
Butcher says, "300 rubles".
Customer says, "But the butcher down the street is selling them for 200 rubles."
Butcher: "Why don't you buy it from him?"
Customer: "He has no chickens left."
Butcher: "When I have no more chickens left, I will also sell them for 200 rubles."
Another example, Marat Safin the tennis player won the Australian Open and said during his thank-you speech, ".. and most of all I'd like to thank the linesmen. You know, if it wasn't for linesmen I wouldn't be able to win any points."
So Svetlana, I hope you can find the time to translate some fine Russian humour for us to enjoy.
Re Hoffnung clip:
But surely the humour lies in the acute awareness that the person speaking has developed of every microsecond of an accident that played out over maybe fifteen seconds. In relating the dynamic and precise mechanics of what led to this extraordinary cockup Hoffnung manages to make it sound inevitable, unavoidable, pre-destined, written in the stars so to speak. It's the delicious humour of 20/20 hindsight vision. The deadpan delivery is important to make the whole thing sound as British as possible. Never get flabbergasted over trivialities. Unfortunate, but accidents happen. Sort of thing. Makes me laugh....but then I find the Tokyo Shock Boys and weird Japanese TV game shows amusing as well...
The world is divided into two groups of people. Those who have heard Gerard Hoffnung's brick moving exercise and those who are about to.
OK, I did what I was bid.
Listened through the whole lot.
I tried to like it.
It's really not a problem at all. Just the same, how do you go with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Are you a Scooby Doo man or a Yogi and Boo Boo type like me? Come on, now. Bung something up you find funny.
See butcher/Safin jokes above.
If people eat thinking then maybe their stomach sorts out the value from the rubbish.
OK that could be Lolz maybe if you imagine people eating other people's thinking and then either using it to nourish themselves on the one hand or enjoy the satisfaction of expelling it down a toilet on the other.
And then you plant a tomato seed and get new ideas. Ideas and thinking can always been improved upon;-)