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Author Topic: Married Students  (Read 4496 times)

LitDoc

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2006, 01:54:03 AM »
Good question. My initial response is to say that good satire usually uses humor to expose values that we perhaps were not fully conscious that we had/held. Through exaggeration or distortion (usually), good satire reveals -- and through revealing, calls into question -- cultural norms, practices, views, and/or values that the general populace has grown accustomed to and thus become unaware of. This is itself of value -- even if not fully persuasive -- as it (at least) calls these things to our attention, for consideration.

A satire/comedy that provokes us, through its humor, to think harder about marriage -- what it is, why we have it, what it means, who it's for, etc. -- is of value because, if there are genuine concerns or criticisms to be made, such humor can help us make them, and thus can be a catalyst or even an agent for change (and presumably improvement. This is how good humor can function as good social criticism.

The kind of humor I was reacting to, though, was not provocative of thought or consideration. It was a reification of tired cultural stereotypes, played out almost by rote, with (presumably) no one really thinking seriously about marriage or what they were saying about it. This kind of humor is not necessarily "bad" -- participating in this kind of cultural practice can be reinforcing to a sense of shared identity, and can create a sense of community and shared values. But the nature of those shared values can be either laudable or deplorable (or a host of other -ables). For instance, sharing in stereotypical jokes about one's in-group religion (i.e. jokes about Mormons being told by/among Mormons) can solidify a sense of community, and the values being communicated might include a sense of humility (via self-deprecation). This is, presumably, acceptable at least, if laudable seems too strong.

But sharing in stereotypical jokes about a particular race, wherein the values communicated include a derogation of that race, would be (again, presumably) deplorable.

What I was trying to do was to call attention to the jokes being made about marriage, and to question the values being communicated. Clearly, I think the stereotypical degradation of marriage -- particularly when done out of habit, without any real thought toward change and improvement -- is...well, not particularly acceptable, if deplorable is too strong.

But I'm going on longer than I'd intended. Did I answer your question?
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

LitDoc

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2006, 09:12:08 AM »
Thanks for holding off. Am I being that bad?  :-\
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

LitDoc

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2006, 09:45:30 AM »
No, no summer term ending. It's my last couple days of work before the move to Austin, and I have a lot of time on my hands. But I don't think it's pedantry -- I'm really not trying to be ostentatious, and I don't think I've been inappropriate; I'm genuinely interested in these questions and the things being said.

The whole masturbation metaphor always rubs me the wrong way. (Pun fully intended.) The implication is that the activity is only self-gratifying, and ultimately unproductive (again, the punning with the sex metaphor is intended -- intercourse being the [re]productive counterpart to masturbation's unproductiveness). I'll stop talking if no one else is interested. (I've only continued because others have asked questions, or challenged my assertions, etc.) I have no interest in unproductive discussion.

That's why I don't participate on these boards so much anymore -- most of the threads usually devolve into dreck, and seem to be nothing more than time killers. I've got extra time on my hands, but I'd rather spend it talking about interesting things that might change the way I think, or force me to articulate my thinking, etc. -- instead of talking about how many beers I can drink, and how many undergrads I'm going to bed, and how sweet my fraternity is/was....
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

LitDoc

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2006, 10:17:06 AM »
I guess I'm the oddball. I like these boards for two reasons: as a source of info about law school and the law profession, and as a forum for discussion of "serious" questions and issues. Don't get me wrong -- I really like getting to know fellow law students and future classmates. I guess I just feel like I get to know them better through the more "serious" talks. Chitchat is fine in real life, but for me it's the sort of thing that coincides with the visual encounter and physical proximity (touching an arm, patting a back, smiling, shaking hands) -- whereas "serious" talk can be carried on either in-person or in cyberspace.

But like I said, sounds like I'm the oddball -- the opposite of where you guys are coming from.
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

LitDoc

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2006, 11:54:30 AM »
I guess I'm the oddball. I like these boards for two reasons: as a source of info about law school and the law profession, and as a forum for discussion of "serious" questions and issues. Don't get me wrong -- I really like getting to know fellow law students and future classmates. I guess I just feel like I get to know them better through the more "serious" talks. Chitchat is fine in real life, but for me it's the sort of thing that coincides with the visual encounter and physical proximity (touching an arm, patting a back, smiling, shaking hands) -- whereas "serious" talk can be carried on either in-person or in cyberspace.

Ok now this is funny, 'cause your comment really interests me.  You really find it easy to chat about serious stuff in the computer, without gesture (which helps me enormously in casual converations) and yet without an editorial process?  Maybe this is easier and more interesting to you because you're highly trained as a writer?

I think there's greater chance of miscommunication or misinterpretation when one doesn't have the benefit of gesture, tone of voice, etc. -- and often greater chance of giving (or taking) offense. So, if this means it's "hard" to have these discussions online, according to you, then I guess I'll agree. But I don't see these as serious impediments. The back-and-forth allows plenty of opportunity for clarification, I think.

What do you mean by "editorial process"? I suppose I am more comfortable in serious discussion online because I am an experienced writer, and fairly confident of my ability to articulate and express my thoughts through writing. I can see how others might shy away from "serious" discussion online if they are less confident of their ability to convey their thoughts through writing....

To answer your question -- do I find "serious" discussion "easy" online -- yes. Very easy. In fact, from a scholarly/academic pov, it's easier and preferable to the usual academic journal articles -- "discussing" serious things that way is very slow going, as conversations are indirect and response takes several months (minimum), etc. I like the online forum because serious exchange can take place rapidly and directly.
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

Felsen

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2006, 12:13:52 PM »
This thread is a fantastic representation of the exact reasons why I have no intention of joining a study group in law school.     ;) :-*

Deuces, I think you just have to avoid the folks with the BA degrees and soft BS degrees.  Stick to the hard science degrees and you'll get to have more threads about Perl vs Ruby and quantum physics.

LitDoc

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2006, 12:20:05 PM »
I wish I knew more about quantum physics. I've read a little, and it fascinates me. Just saying.
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

jess427m

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2006, 01:19:09 PM »
This thread is a fantastic representation of the exact reasons why I have no intention of joining a study group in law school.     ;) :-*

Deuces, I think you just have to avoid the folks with the BA degrees and soft BS degrees.  Stick to the hard science degrees and you'll get to have more threads about Perl vs Ruby and quantum physics.

Slightly off topic but nonetheless interesting story. About a year ago my fiance's car was broken into in the parking lot of my old apartment building in Syracuse, NY. The robber(s) did extensive damage to the dash ripping out the factory installed stereo system that had actually broken earlier that day.

The only other thing the robber(s) took... his quantum physics book.

Watch out for those academic thieves  :-\.

Nixlimited

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2006, 02:24:47 PM »
That's why I don't participate on these boards so much anymore -- most of the threads usually devolve into dreck, and seem to be nothing more than time killers. I've got extra time on my hands, but I'd rather spend it talking about interesting things that might change the way I think, or force me to articulate my thinking, etc. -- instead of talking about how many beers I can drink, and how many undergrads I'm going to bed, and how sweet my fraternity is/was....

Why do I feel like I am being judged needlessly here? Is there something wrong with the humorous wasting of time? If I want to get into a heart-to-heart or bore the rest of the population with pretentious pedantry, I will do so elsewhere.

I'm with you Deuces, this is why I will study alone.
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Nixlimited

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Re: Married Students
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2006, 02:47:09 PM »
But please continue to amaze us all with astounding alliteration, ok?

It would be inconceivably inconvenient not to.
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