April Fool’s Day, Jokes, Mormons, and More

It’s a bright beautiful, blue day on Moorpark. The sun is perched in the sky and I’m on my second brewing of coffee.

It’s April’s Fools Days and I have to admit I never liked pulling pranks or having pranks pulled on me. Today and Halloween are two things I could certainly live without. And Flag Day. Valentine’s Day. Christmas.

Holidays are mostly market-driven constructs to get you to purchase shit you don’t need to give to people you barely like: candy, flowers, cards, pumpkins, pine trees, toys… um, flags, I guess.

What for? For the sake of conforming to group behavior.

I don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day like I won’t stand for the national anthem. Because I’m not Irish and I’m not patriotic.

The Halloween thing is a bit different. That’s because I have a fear of people in masks. More specifically, drunk people in masks.

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Sundays are for Quiet Contemplation, Mondays are for Loud Conformance.

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Lately I’ve been thinking about comedians and why some people laugh at some things and other people laugh at other things. It seems hard to be a real good comedian, someone who expands people’s minds by questioning some of their deepest-held beliefs, a person like Bill Hicks, or Lenny Bruce back in the day.

Instead, there are thousands of hacks that are making careers out of the same well-worn material. The same cliches and stereotypes. Even comedians that people think are hilarious I find to be hacks. Chris Rock. Dave Chappelle. Dane Cook. Hacks.
I think I discovered the magic key to being a working hack comedian.

Deliver to people’s confirmation bias.

From Wikipedia.
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions and avoid information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.

This is a subject of critical thinking that is mostly analyzed under the context of a person’s political perceptions and the way an individual views current events under the lens of their preconceived ideologies and beliefs. But I think it could also lend itself to comedy. When one hears jokes that resemble pass jokes and common stereotypes they’re more likely to find said jokes humorous. “Black people/white people, husband/wife, ethnic stereotype, etc.

You may not find a certain, “my wife drives me crazy by doing such and such” joke funny, but you’re not going to have your comedy sense as offended as a comedian who strives off the path and is too esoteric or experimental for your taste. You’re less likely to notice just how awful the former comedian was because at least he conformed to your view of how the world works as opposed to the later which disagreed with your beliefs.

In other words, there’s a level of confirmation bias going into audiences’ reaction to one comedian or another. Jokes that reward one’s previous perceptions about relationships and races are met with approval while those that dare stray into foreign territory receive the rotten tomato treatment such as Andy Kaufman.

That’s why comedians all tell the same joke, because we already know it and we like it.

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People on the East Coast and the West Coast have different social etiquette concerning escalators. People on the West Coast don’t stand to the right when they’re not walking up them. They block the whole elevator.

It drives me crazy!

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Jospeh Smith was killed by his own people but founded the fastest growing religion in the world. Brigham Young thought he had found the ocean, but it was just the Great Lake Salt Lake. Warren Jeffs led a community of 10,000 in the remote town of Colorado City, Arizona, arranging teenage marriages in the name of God, whom he supposedly spoke for. That was until he was caught running from the law in the holy city of Las Vegas in 2006.

People with Charles Bonnet Syndrome see whimsical creatures that aren’t really there, but are quite aware that they are hallucinating and are otherwise normal people. Some speculate that they’re really seeing into an alternate universe.

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I’m trying to be healthier – which in my case means drinking ice tea instead of soda and replacing coffee with jamba juice.

I’ve become hooked on smoothies, a regular addict, sometimes two, three a week – ok so that’s not so bad. But I’ve noticed that I get a mid-afternoon craving for them now. They’ve become a part of my routine, although I admit, one of those big hideous Styrofoam cups with a mish-mashed picture of fruits on the side sitting next to my computer doesn’t provide the same literary atmosphere as a nice cup of steaming joe.

My wife is trying to get me to do yoga with her. That may just be the tipping point. There is only so much pretentious behavior I can engage in at one time, I tell my wife, I can’t be seen with a smoothie and a yoga mat.

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It’s a bright beautiful, blue day on Moorpark. The sun is perched in the sky and I’m on my third brewing of coffee.

It looks like Iran and America are now going to get into it over some of our jets getting up in some of their space. Like confronting a bully over stepping on your shoe, Iran’s insane. Bush is insane.

This doesn’t look pretty.

But in bright news from the war-torn region, the Middle-East crowned their version of American Idol, and it’s an Iraqi!

The announcement came shortly before midnight in Iraq. In Baghdad, a power cut meant many who had been following Hassoun’s fortunes over the past four months were unable to see her beat her three remaining classmates, from Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt.

But in those areas with power generators, cheering erupted from many homes along with the sound of celebratory gunfire, which began slowly at first and then intensified as the news swiftly spread by phone and text message.

Now they can enjoy the catatonic, mind-numbing effects of pop music too. Congrats!

And just to prove that idiotic audiences are not confined to America, there’s this quote from a doctor.

One enthusiastic fan told Sharqiya television: “I’m a doctor and my salary is $400. I spent $300 just to vote for her. How can I live now until the end of the month?”

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Some people collect fireflies in a jar.
I collect mine online.

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