Pages Navigation Menu

promoting endless discovery

Comedy 2: Me Versus You

crunch_foo_chessMonkey Tribalism. “Survival of The Fittest”

Note: simply laughing at a person means that you consider them a non-threat. It is a powerful social weapon.
• 2A: Insults, Sarcasm and Ridicule: Anyone who has seen children play together for long will note that they are quick to pick up on any differences in each other, and will claim very quickly that those differences are, in fact, weaknesses that need to be called out. The objective in this is to find the strongest, most clever of the tribe, and to establish a pecking order. This comedy requires a victim. Very similar to straightforward insults, sarcasm and ridicule are used to diminish the social position of a more confident opponent who already holds a position. The difference is that these methods are used to change the social order once it has already been established.

• 2B: Moral threats: think about sex, the foundation for most morality. Single-word insults, like “slut” or “whore” indicate a woman unwilling to regulate her source of offspring. For men, variations on “bastard” indicate lack of sanctioned birth, or questionable birthright. Since humans have evolved with a majority of patriarchal societies, paternity is a big deal, as an illegitimate son has more than once disrupted a tribe’s inherited rulership. We’re terribly concerned with our genetics, whether we can articulate it or not.

• 2C: Self-deprecation to reduce hostility: this approach is used to defuse a hostile situation, and to appease leaders. However, when used by leaders, it indicates “humility”, which may be used by the leader to signal to others that he will likely not be overwhelmed by his own ego when making decisions. It makes for a stronger sense of security among lesser members of the tribe, and increases their confidence in him. A form of self-deprecation happens in the form of nervous laughter during conversation: the individual who laughs at their own ideas is both mildly surprised at those ideas, and relieved that in expressing that idea the individual did not embarrass himself/herself.

Previous: Physical Threat | Next: Teamwork