jerryking + humour   22

Opinion | The World According to Mad Magazine
July 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Kreider. Mr. Kreider is an essayist and cartoonist.

The announcement last week that Mad would cease monthly publication of new material made me sad in the far-off way you feel when you hear that a celebrity you didn’t know was still alive has died. I was a regular reader of Mad in the 1970s, when the magazine was at the height of its popularity and influence. I learned many things from Mad: who Spiro Agnew was, the plots of R-rated movies like “Coma” and show tunes like “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’,’” which the writers of Mad evidently assumed would be familiar enough to 10-year-olds of the ’70s to parody — “I Got Plenty of Muslims,” sung by a black militant. I also learned about black militants.

I also learned from Mad that politicians were corrupt and deceitful, that Hollywood and Madison Avenue pushed insulting junk, that religion was more invested in respectability than compassion, that school was mostly about teaching you to obey arbitrary rules and submit to dingbats and martinets — that it was, in short, all BS. Grown-ups who worried that Mad was a subversive influence, undermining the youth of America’s respect for their elders and faith in our hallowed institutions, were 100 percent correct..........By the time most of us hit adolescence and learn that the world is unfair, exploitative and brutal, and that most people in it live in shocking poverty and squalor, and that we’re all somehow implicated in this even though it wasn’t our idea, plus there’s no God and we’re all going to die and the grown-ups have been secretly having sex the whole time, you feel ripped off. You feel lied to.

So you turn to art that rips the facades off everything, exposing adults and their institutions as swinish and rotten. Humor is adolescents’ reflexive defense against all the unpleasantness they’re confronting for the first time. It’s a distinctively adolescent form of humor we now call “snark” — irony, sarcasm, satire and parody — whose agenda is to mock and tear down and caper gleefully upon the grave of everything sacred and respectable.

It’s no coincidence that Mad reached its highest circulation in the era of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the “credibility gap” — the collapse of public faith in the integrity and honesty of our government. It was a healthy antidote to earlier generations’ automatic deference to an authority that too seldom deserved it........Adolescents are also scarily passionate absolutists, and there is, behind all parody and satire, a moral agenda; people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert aren’t America haters but closet patriots and true believers. Mad’s ethos was essentially conservative: its all-fronts, iconoclastic assault on bigotry and hypocrisy was a tacit appeal to good old-fashioned decency and integrity. Mad made good enemies: The Ku Klux Klan once demanded an apology and threatened to sue over what it considered a libel against its organization.......Mad’s influence is ubiquitous now. The glut of satire and subversive comedy we all now consume daily is created by kids who grew up on Mad or on humor inspired by it: “Saturday Night Live,” “The Simpsons,” “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and The Onion are all in one way or another the spawn of Mad. . But in the end, the magazine largely obviated itself as a cultural force by becoming the dominant mode of humor in America.
'70s  anti-Establishment  cartoons  comic-books  farewells  golden_age  humour  magazines  op-ed  parodies  satire  subversion  youth 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
How to wing it when you need to make a speech
June 23, 2019 | Financial Times | Pilita Clark.

Mr Vine one night witnessed the wang-like magnificence of Mr Johnson, who hurtled in hopelessly late to a bankers’ awards ceremony at a fancy London hotel, only to learn he was due on stage in minutes to give the after-dinner speech.

As stressed organisers looked on, the MP frantically ascertained what the awards were for, demanded a biro, scribbled some notes on the back of a menu and, to Mr Vine’s astonishment, delivered a paralysingly funny speech — despite having left his scrawled notes on the table.

First he told a story about a sheep, then another about a shark and a third about a drunk, to which he completely forgot the punchline. He ended by observing that a glass trophy Mr Vine was there to hand out looked like “a sort of elongated lozenge”. The crowd was in fits.....Mr Johnson’s performance was also a masterclass in three great truths of public speaking, starting with a lesson that is obvious yet too often overlooked: don’t be afraid to be funny. Not every speech needs to be crammed with gags and not every speaker can deliver one as deftly as Mr Johnson. But most talks are immeasurably improved by at least one attempt at a well-chosen joke, and preferably two.

Mr Johnson also deployed what is known as the rule of three. Too many speeches are littered with a torrent of information that makes them hard to deliver and digest. The best are often broken up into just three points, or at least have a beginning, a middle and an end. A sheep, a shark and a drunk will not suit every occasion, but the principle still applies.

Finally, and most importantly, there is the need for preparation. Mr Johnson’s contrived bluster concealed a man who was fantastically well prepared. The best speakers usually are. For most of us, the only way to look as if you are winging it is to practice so ferociously that you eventually sound spontaneous.

As the speaker guide for the ubiquitous TED talks puts it: “Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!”
Boris_Johnson  Communicating_&_Connecting  howto  humour  preparation  public_speaking  speeches  TED  think_threes  Toastmasters 
june 2019 by jerryking
How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross
Nov. 17, 2018 | The New York Times | By Jolie Kerr.

(1) “Tell me about yourself,” a.k.a the only icebreaker you’ll ever need.
(2) The secret to being a good conversationalist? Curiosity.
(3) Be funny (if you can). “A good conversationalist is somebody who is fun to talk to,” she said. Ms. Gross, it’s worth noting, is very funny. If you can’t be funny, being mentally organized, reasonably concise and energetic will go a long way in impressing people.
(4) Preparation is key. “It helps to organize your thoughts beforehand by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and then reflecting on how you might answer,” think through where your boundaries are, so that you’re not paralyzed agonizing over whether you’re willing to confide something or not.”

In a job interview, organizing your thoughts by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and reflecting on how you might answer can help you navigate if things start to go badly.
(5) Take control by pivoting to something you want to talk about.
(6) Ms. Gross doesn’t want you to dodge questions. But if you’re going to, here’s how: Say, “I don’t want to answer that,” or, if that’s too blunt, hedge with a statement like, “I’m having a difficult time thinking of a specific answer to that.” Going the martyr route with something like, “I’m afraid by answering that I’m going to hurt somebody’s feelings and I don’t want to do that,” is another option.
(7) Terry pays attention to body language. Be like Terry.
(8) When to push back, and when not to.
body_language  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  curiosity  howto  humour  interviews  interview_preparation  job_search  preparation  tips  nonverbal  posture  ice-breakers  concision  Managing_Your_Career  pay_attention 
november 2018 by jerryking
Tom Peters summarizes 17 books in six words -
May 31, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

“Hard is soft. Soft is hard.”
“Hard” stands for plans, data, a company’s organizational chart and other analytical tools. And while such rigorous quantitative work usually seems solid, Tom Peters warns on the Change This Manifesto site that they aren’t. “Plans are more often than not fantasies, numbers are readily manipulated,” he writes. “And org charts: In practice, they have little to do with how things actually get done.”

In the second sentence, he is referring to “the soft stuff” – people, relationships and organizational culture. It’s important. And it’s hard to get right.

So soft is hard – very hard.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Here are the speed traps to be aware of:

* Relationships take time.
* Recruiting allies to your cause takes time.
* Reading and studying to improve takes time.
* Waiting takes time – and yes, you should wait, since delay and pondering are essential elements of being human.
* Aggressive listening takes time.
* Practice and prep for anything takes time.
* Management-by-walking-around takes time.
* The slack you need in your schedule that comes from thinking about what not to do so you’re not overscheduled takes time.
* Thoughtful small gestures take time.
* The last one per cent of any task or project – the often critical part, the polishing part – takes time.
* Game-changing design takes time. Laurene Powell Jobs noted that her husband, Steve Jobs, and his chief designer, Jony Ive, “would discuss corners for hours.”
* Excellence takes time.
* “It is a hyper-fast-paced world. And the speed therein is madly increasing. Excellence, however, takes time; and some, or most, measures cannot be rushed,” he says.
* So remember hard is soft. Soft is hard. And don’t automatically get caught in the speed trap.

[jk....from Tony Schwartz...... Judgment is grounded in discernment, subtlety and nuance.... Good judgment grows out of reflection, and reflection requires the sort of quiet time that gets crowded out by the next demand].

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THE VALUE OF PAIRED OPPOSITES
it’s not enough to merely explain what you believe. You also need to explain what you don’t believe. It is not enough to explain what you stand for. You need to explain what you stand against. That is critical with colleagues in the workplace; it helps to clarify. But it also works in Mr. Williams’ field, advertising. “Don’t just tell us what you are. Tell us what you are not,” he says.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
check email at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m., with some additional time to purge emails each day.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Seth Godin: Add energy to every conversation, ask why, find obsolete items on your task list and eliminate them, treat customers better than they expected, offer to help to co-workers before they ask, leave things more organized than you found them, cut costs, and find other great employees to join the team.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
two words that will build trust with customers, according to consultant Jeff Mowatt: “As promised.” Add them in to conversations after you deliver something on time or in detail, to emphasize it’s “as promised.”
Communicating_&_Connecting  e-mail  Harvey_Schachter  humour  Jonathan_Ive  Seth_Godin  soft_skills  speed  Tom_Peters  trustworthiness  dual-consciousness  pairs  clarity  thinking_deliberatively  on-time  opposing_actions  co-workers 
may 2018 by jerryking
Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person
MAY 28, 2016 | The New York Times | By ALAIN de BOTTON.

We all fear marrying the wrong person...Partly, it’s because we have many latent problems that emerge when we try to get close to others (we seem normal only to those who don’t know us very well. In a wiser, more self-aware society, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?”)....The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. ...Our partners are no more self-aware although we make a stab at trying to understand them....we seek a (false) sense that we’ve done our homework. We haven’t.....What matters in the marriage of feeling--romantic love--is that two people are drawn to each other by an overwhelming instinct and know in their hearts that it is right.....we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage, it isn’t that simple. What we really seek is familiarity — which may well complicate any plans we might have had for happiness. ...as grown-ups find ourselves rejecting certain candidates for marriage not because they are wrong but because they are too right — too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable — given that in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign. We marry the wrong people because we don’t associate being loved with feeling happy....We make mistakes, too, because we are so lonely. No one can be in an optimal frame of mind to choose a partner when remaining single feels unbearable.....Finally, we marry to make a nice feeling permanent. We imagine that marriage will help us to bottle the joy we felt when the thought of proposing first came to us....We marry to make joyful sensations permanent but fail to see that there is no solid connection between these feelings and the institution of marriage....The good news is that it doesn’t matter if we find we have married the wrong person. We mustn’t abandon him or her, only the founding "romantic love" idea upon which the Western understanding of marriage has been based the last 250 years: that a perfect being exists who can meet all our needs and satisfy our every yearning....swap the Romantic Love view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. But none of this is unusual or grounds for divorce. Choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we're willing to sign up for.

This philosophy of pessimism--thinking tragically--offers a solution to a lot of distress and agitation around marriage. It might sound odd, but pessimism relieves the excessive imaginative pressure that our romantic culture places upon marriage. The failure of one particular partner to save us from our grief and melancholy is not an argument against that person and no sign that a union deserves to fail or be upgraded.

The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person.

Romantic Love has been unhelpful to us; it is a harsh philosophy. It has made a lot of what we go through in marriage seem exceptional and appalling. We end up lonely and convinced that our union, with its imperfections, is not “normal.” We should learn to accommodate ourselves to “wrongness,” striving always to adopt a more forgiving, humorous and kindly perspective on its multiple examples in ourselves and in our partners.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conflict_resolution  disagreements  disappointment  expectations  forgiveness  generosity  grace  humour  imperfections  intimacy  marriage  perspectives  pessimism  relationships  romantic_love  serving_others  thinking_tragically 
may 2016 by jerryking
A guide to shaking off the doom and gloom
Nov. 9, 2011 | The Financial Times p10.|Luke Johnson
*Study history:
*Avoid the news
*Spend time with the young:
*Remain rational:
*Avoid pessimists:
*Read the stoics:
*Admit mistakes and move on:
*Keep busy:
*Get fit:
*Focus on small wins:
*Ignore events over which you have no control:
*Concentrate on your micro economy
*Laugh: psychologists know that humour is healthy.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
History gives us a sense of proportion, he says: “It’s an antidote to a lot of unfortunately human trends like self-importance and self-pity.”.....see history “as an aid to navigation in such troubled, uncertain times,”.....[David McCullough]
Luke_Johnson  economic_downturn  bouncing_back  resilience  small_wins  reading  history  affirmations  humour  fitness  exercise  personal_economy  Stoics  sense_of_proportion 
november 2011 by jerryking
BlackBerry Vs. iPhone: The ultimate showdown
July 30, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Omar El Akkad
funnies  humour  BlackBerry  iPhone 
august 2010 by jerryking
why most artist’s blogs fail
June 14, 2010 | gapingvoid | Hugh MacLeod.But the reality is,
most people are not reading your blog because they have an inherent love
for purple dogs and green sofas. They’re reading your blog because THE
PERSON YOU ARE inspires them. They’re not reading your blog because
they’re thinking of buying your paintings, they’re reading your blog
because the way you approach your work inspires them. It sets an example
for them. It stands for something that resonates with them. IT LEADS
THEM TO SOMEWHERE THAT THEY ALSO WANT TO GO.

And if your blog can do that, suddenly your readers are associating
purple dogs and green sofas with something that ACTUALLY matters to
them. And then, and only then, do they pull their credit cards out.
Ker-chiing.
failure  blogging  art  blog  humour  marketing  business  inspiration  social_media  authenticity 
june 2010 by jerryking
Corner Office - Tachi Yamada and the Importance of Undivided Attention - Question - NYTimes.com
Feb. 27, 2010 | NYT | Adam Bryant's interview of Tachi Yamada,
M.D., president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global
Health Program.
* Don’t micromanage, but have microinterests.
* Every moment counts, be 100 % in the moment.
* Intelligence = complex abstract thinking = human relationships. Look
for people who’ve moved.
* Humour, is an underestimated and important value.
* Leadership, in order to connect with groups of people, requires giving
of yourself.
* Turn battleships by making directional commitments and staying the
course,
* In giving feedback, the positive messages get lost in the one negative
message, and the negative message gets garbled.
* Figure out what your North Star is.
* Be open to new challenges.
* If there are 10 tasks in an overall project, identify the most
critical task among those 10. What is the one thing that everything
else hinges on (i.e. the linchpin)? Invest time in understanding that one thing. Then,
if/when the problem occurs, it usually occurs there.
billgates  philanthropy  CEOs  linchpins  Managing_Your_Career  career  feedback  hiring  leadership  focus  slight_edge  rate-limiting_steps  affirmations  humour  commitments  priorities  bottlenecks  abstractions  moments  attention  North_Star  monotasking  mindfulness  living_in_the_moment 
march 2010 by jerryking
Tiger Woods Announces Return To Sex | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
Tiger Woods Announces Return To Sex

February 19, 2010 | Issue 46•07 Onion Sports
Tiger_Woods  humour  theonion  sports 
february 2010 by jerryking
By George - And the Pursuit of Happiness Blog
December 31, 2009 | NYTimes.com | By Maira Kalman. In her
final installment of "In the Pursuit of Happiness," Maira Kalman
considers George Washington's extraordinary life.
happiness  humour  art  self-actualization 
january 2010 by jerryking
How to Ruin American Enterprise
12.23.02 | Forbes Magazine | by BEN STEIN. An itemized
list of things--all offshoots of a societal collapse of values--that
would destroy the American business spirit.
howto  Ben_Stein  U.S.  satire  humour  celebrities  threats  popular_culture  collapse-anxiety 
october 2009 by jerryking
Thought du jour
January 16, 2004 | The London Observer | by Rachel Cooke. "When
it comes to relationships, it is best to assume that both sexes want
the same things (a little love, comfort and companionship, plus a few
good jokes) and that the rare exceptions who do not only go to prove the
rule. Convince yourself that the situation is otherwise -- that weird,
unfathomable stuff is going on inside your lover's head -- and you will
end up bawling at one another in the rude and undignified manner of
English tourists in a souk. Every conversation will be open to ceaseless
translation; every phone call and e-mail a minefield of
misapprehension. A relationship lived this way is not only exhausting;
it is boring, too."
relationships  rules_of_the_game  gender_relations  romantic_love  humour  Communicating_&_Connecting 
october 2009 by jerryking
The Food Issue - Michael Pollan's Favorite Food Rules - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com
October 11, 2009 | New York Times | Compiled by Michael Pollan. A list of interesting food rules.
Michael_Pollan  food  guidelines  humour 
october 2009 by jerryking
WSJ.com - The Marketing Maze
July 10, 2006 WSJ feature by Brian Steinberg on how companies
are getting their messages through the clutter using humourous websites
plus real word guerrilla marketing.
marketing  Web_2.0  humour  guerrilla_marketing  web_video  ufsc 
february 2009 by jerryking

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