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Above all else, I delight in cleverness. When reading, that often means puns and other forms of wordplay; with visual media, there can be the additional dimension of a character's actions mirroring or contrasting with their mannerisms, dialogue or accent.
These days, puns are underappreciated, relegated to opening-monologue punchlines and thrown-together internet memes. (Walken on Sunshine, anyone? ) Back in the day, it was different: Shakespeare, for example, included them in some form in every single one of his plays. One memorable example is Mercutio's dying comment in Romeo and Juliet: "Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man."
Similarly, my favorite comedy is the 1992 flick Noises Off!, a comedy of errors about a theater troupe rehearsing a comedy-of-errors. It helps that every one of the film's ensemble cast either already was, or went on to become, a name actor.
A number of times; I quote it a lot, too. (FYI: Julie Hagerty, who plays Elaine, is one of the aforementioned "name actors" in Noises Off!)
What makes it work so well is that it's a send-up of not just its source material (the 50s movie Zero Hour!) but of the entire disaster film genre. It comes back to what I said before: pick your trope, veer off, and see whether you can land it safely. And maybe even solve that drinking problem.
Dinosaur FactoriesThere used to be smelly old dinosaur factories,
Offensive to all of our senses olfactory;
The public complained they were dissatisfactory
In the rate of production of things pteridactory.
Those factories were, as I've heard, quite eyesores,
And each day they sent out big earsplitting roars
The government issued a ban, furthermore,
And that was the end of the great Dinosaur.
RomeoThe name's Romeo. Yeah, alright. Don't bother. Whatever you were about to say, I've already heard it: considering the fact that probably everyone in the world is force-fed Shakespeare at some point or other, it's not surprising that all the stupid puns that come my way aren't exactly original. I've had English teachers yell lines at me, thinking that, for some dumb reason, I've got the whole play memorised. Not likely. My parents didn't call me Romeo because they're Die Hard Bard fans. Dad lost a bet to a mate. Not exactly enchanting.
I was watching TV in
Why I Don't Write HaikuThe thing with haiku -
you start with this deep message
and then run out of
You mean, besides cheesy puns?
We're all shaped by our experiences. Mine includes learning the hard way that just like rock beats scissors, fists beat snark. Often to a pulp. So disparaging comments evolved into self-deprecating jokes, and from there into light satire.
Humor is the ability to surprise and delight; so when I run with an idea, it's often at a 90-degree angle from what you might expect. There's an element of whimsy in much of my light verse, and a kind of absurdist reality with my humorous prose. It's a classic writer's trick: pick a trope, subvert it, and see what follows.
And wordplay, of course, plays a big part as well. It's more than just puns: you have homonyms and contronyms, clever acronyms and made-up words, lighthearted rhythm and rhyme, unexpected turns and twist endings.
Fighting IntoleranceMy fellow Americans and Swiss, and Provolone, and even that fellow over there from Tibet:
No more shall we, as the saying goes, stand alone! It is time to let our pressers I mean, oppressors know that their rancid regime is about to rind down excuse me, wind down.
For far too long, we cheeses have been treated as second-class foods. Grains and meats garner all the glory, while we languish half-forgotten in the endmost dairy case. It's no surprise that many of us suffer from low self-esteem! And occasionally, heartburn.
Some people will actually go out of their way to avoid us! What have we done to earn such scor
The Original HipsterRelocated. Grew beard.
Muckraking!Rake deflowers dirty hoes, spreads seed.
I'd say to start by paying attention to what catches your eye; if it stands out, there's a good chance there's a reason. Listen for syllabobbling and Freudian slips: they might spark ideas for wordplay.
Read jokes. Listen to jokes. Tell jokes. Get a feel for timing: are you trying to cram together too much too fast, or taking so long your audience loses interest? Experiment and discover which kind of humor best fits your persona: silly (Dave Barry), sneaky (Ellen DeGeneres), snarky (Dennis Leary), surprising (George Takei), surreal (Tim Minchin) or somatic (Rowan Atkinson).
In general, if it surprises and delights you, find a way to share that with others. According to the ads for every online dating site, they'll love you for it.
Performers? That's your takeaway? No love for the alliteration? Aw, man...
All kidding aside for the moment, the issue with writers is that their narrative voice can be at odds with the reader's impressions, often deliberately. (Witness how many romance writers are actually male, for instance.) Onscreen, for the most part you can't hide what you look like; and rightly or wrongly, that will color your audience's perceptions and expectations.
That's why actors like Leslie Nielsen have struggled with typecasting, while authors such as Bill Bryson and David Sedaris haven't. When either one releases a humorous memoir, it's warmly received; and when they decide to switch things up, their latest offering is judged on its own merits.
Previously, I'd perceived your particular pique apropos playful puns. Plus putrid poetry. Plainly, I'm perplexed.
TapewormNobody ever mentions tapeworms when they think of creation. Somehow, we didn't make it into Genesis. I guess parasites didn't sound that epic to the ancient Jews.
We were there, though. Well, one of us was. Most everybody came in pairs back then, but being asexual beings, nobody really enforced the quota with us. Its name was Bob, pioneer of our kind. Like I said, not epic-sounding.
The anonymity doesn't even really bother me that much. I mean, nobody ever makes an effort to harm tapeworms until they find out we exist. It was the same back then; Adam hadn't the foggiest idea that Bob was sharing in on his meals, but hey--food was fr
Trouser, SnakeA natty pair of trousers came upon
A gracile set of stockings, quite by chance.
"Milady, say the word and I'll begone,
But firstly I must ask if thou wouldst dance."
"Of course, milord; but only if romance
And not a one-time fling dost thou propose."
"Thou hast my promise," acquiesced the pants,
Even as he sidled toward the hose.
In a manner unbefitting gallant clothes
He sought to lay himself upon her silk;
"Stop, cad!" she cried, "So thou'rt one of those!
My mother said to watch out for thy ilk."
Much wiser heads have voiced it best and first:
Those Worsted wools have always been the worst.
Sestina: Dick and WangRichard, whose nickname is Dick,
set out to make wieners.
He approached the cock
and grabbed the metal rod
to kill it when--Ding-dong!
the doorbell rang. It was Wang.
Wang Long, who insisted on Wang,
called out: "You there, Dick?"
He didn't reply. The rooster clucked. Ding-dong!
the doorbell sang. Dick needed to make wieners.
He hefted the rod
and swung at the cock
but missed and hit the table. Bam! The cock
squawked and ran. "What was that?" said Wang.
Dick replied, "Nothing!" and raised his rod
to swing again. Bam! Another miss. Bam! Dick
really needed to make wieners.
Wang hit the button: Ding-dong!
it rang again. Ding-do
Well, I used to belong to a group which could only keep in touch via phone calls and actual written letters; and now... I'm dating myself.
It's an example of a paraprosdokian, or garden path sentence: it's been set up in such a way that you're led to expect one meaning, and have to 'back up' to a different one. It's also a double entendre, in that the original interpretation also works, in a wink-wink sort of way.
So now tell me: did the explanation ruin the joke?
The Asparagus Evening
A vegetable that was once savoured
by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Good for them.
It's my first time; and I'm apprehensive.
Four small trees sit on my plate.
They're awaiting their crown
of ghee and mashed egg.
They sit there; menacing.
Taunting me, waiting for my reaction.
The condiments are passed around.
It's my turn next.
Mission: Garnish said vegetable.
Ghee; drizzled. Egg; smothered.
The drinks have been toasted,
good health was wished for all.
Cutlery is gently knocked
against our plates as
we prepare for the meal.
Dinner has begun.
I'll start with them and
get it ov
Massacre of the InnocenceGeorgie Porgie threw an orgy
just outside L.A.,
where Jack Be Nimble grabbed his thimble,
outing him as gay...
Little Jack Horner bought Time Warner
before the bubble burst,
though Jumping Jack Flash saw the crash
and liquidated first...
Jack said Jill was taking the Pill
to ward off impregnation;
the Three Blind Mice have lobbied twice
for victim's compensation...
Little Miss Muffet had her tuffet
I do; I'm the wittiest person I know. Except for everyone I know who happens to be wittier.
Absolutely! Let's take Douglas Adams, for example: the Hitchhiker's series started out as a stream-of-'what the hey?' radio program: perfect for transcribing to the written word, though not so much for the TV show that attempted to follow it.
But for my money, his best series features Dirk Gently, a down-on-his-luck detective who actively relies on coincidence and fate to solve his unusual cases. The ongoing crazy juxtaposition between the supernatural and the mundane, as well as the books' bizarre but internally-consistent leaps of logic, is a large part of its appeal; even after you found out whodunit, you're willing to reread it just to watch 'em done it again.
For me, the Dirk Gently books work better because there's a smoother narrative flow. H2G2 started out as a series of vignettes, which Adams was sometimes still finishing up even while the tapes were already rolling. This catch-as-catch-can mindset is reflected in the books (and again in the movie) where the radio serials were rewritten and rearranged to make somewhat better sense.
Whereas the humorous asides (that turn out to be clever foreshadowing) scattered throughout Dirk Gently are evidence of a more coherent master plan — almost holistic, if you'll forgive the minor pun. Adams's reorganization of the Hitchhikers books brings them close to that ideal; but I think if anyone tried to bring them any closer (Eoin Colfer, I'm looking at you ) some of their magic would wind up being lost.
Which is as good a reason as any to stop and enjoy a spot of tea. A long, dark spot of tea.
The book wasn't terrible; it was just a little too planned-out, a little too enamored of its source material. Colfer might've been trying a little too hard; kind of like those Whedon wannabes. Which is understandable: there's a lot of pressure in trying to live up to expectations based on someone else's success.
Day 191Every morning I stand, shivering a little, measuring up my body.
Is my bum a little bigger? Are my breasts a little smaller?
Is it my imagination or is the skin on my thighs a little rougher?
It's a good thing there's no way for me to examine my insides-
or I might be there all day, checking out my heart, my kidneys,
my digestive tract. Is it my imagination or is my liver a little bigger?
Much Ado About Sound and Fury"His majesty seemed in a better mood this eve. One might almost say he was amused."
"King Claudius, amused? I was standing beside you, my friend; but I noticed no such thing."
"Did you not hear him chuckling as we took our leave?"
"That was a chuckle? To me it sounded more of a chortle."
"A chortle? Don't be ridiculous. It was quick and free, with a bit of a lilt at the end. Such clearly denotes a chuckle."
"A lilt it may have had, I'll grant; but 'twas also deep and throaty. Almost sinister. If anything bespeaks of chortling, 'tis that."
"Sinister? My dear friend, I love you like a brother: but such utter foolishness has never before f
ConfessionI told my little brother
That Santa Claus hates him
And the elves all sit around
Throwing darts at his picture;
I told him that the Tooth Fairy
Zapped the Easter Bunny
With her Fluoride Ray of Death
And then got hit by a truck;
I told him that alligators live in sewers
And boa constrictors in toilets
And spiders and scorpions
In little boys' beds;
I told him Jurassic Park was real
And it happened in Ohio
And when it failed they'd started planning
To buy our city park;
Yesterday I told him the Boogeyman
Was coming after him tonight
And he'd better find a place to hide―
And that's when he started to laugh.
So I asked h
It's a tricky balance. The more familiar you are with a genre, the less likely you are to make rookie mistakes ("I know; I'll do a comedy involving time travel! Bet no one's ever thought of that one before!") but also the less likely you are to think outside the box. ("Time travel comedies? Meh; they've been done to death.")
At a minimum, you should probably make yourself aware of the trope, and any notable examples of skewering it. For this, TVTropes is your friend...if by 'friend' you mean someone you invite over to hang out with you all day, causing you to get nothing productive done. And then you decide to invite them back tomorrow.
Finger foods. You're not gonna want to tear yourself away long enough to stop and cook.
A Middle-aged Mother's Rant-- By M. Alice Chown
You, who exist in that nebulous stage between teenhood and adulthood. You, who live a carefree life under your parents' roofs, even though you're old enough to buy alcohol, rent a car or an x-rated movie and book a room in a hotel.
This isn't a hotel.
If it were, you'd be paying for your stay and there'd be a mint on your pillow and a paper sash around the toilet seat. This isn't a youth hostel, a bed and breakfast or a motel either, although sometimes it looks like flophouse. This morning, for instance, every couch, chair, bed, every throw c
arborescent angstthe grass is depressed
and scarred from
even the flowers are blue
hiding a deep dark
while the cool kids ignore
fat slow unwanted
and avoid the compost heap
since learning it's full
these are my roots
i wish i could
We're All Mad Here I stand on a balcony overlooking a hedge maze. Not your wimpy, little kid hedge maze, I'm talking seven-feet-tall, two-feet-thick, don't-you-think-about-jumping-over-me bush. There are stairs to either side of me leading to a fountain with some faux-Roman statue of an anatomically unfortunate man and two entrances to the aforementioned labyrinth. The light is the distinct quality of rainy afternoons minus the precipitation, the weather cool and crisp. There is a periwinkle cat dozing on the balustrade to my right, tail curled around it with evidence of uniquely feline contentment.
Well, this is picturesque, I think to myself, when
Does the humor have to have an agenda or an overall meaning? Not necessarily; you can be goofy for goofiness's sake. (Cf. Dave Barry, or Shel Silverstein's poetry.)
Does having a position or a theme in mind add to the punch of the piece? When done right, I'd say it can; but humorists have to be wary of troweling it on too thick. Audiences, including readerships, aren't stupid; they don't want to be preached at. (Satirists get a bit more of a free pass; absurdity is one of the hallmarks of the form.)
Classic humor with a message includes Robert Heinlein's Glory Road, Cervantes's Don Quixote, the bulk of Christopher Moore's novels, and just about any short story by James Thurber or Mark Twain.
The Angry Monkey and The PlumThere once was an angry monkey.
He was angry because someone had stolen his plum.
It was the best plum he had ever tasted.
He tasted it and tasted it and tasted it until suddenly it wasn't there anymore.
Somebody must have stolen it!
The angry monkey wondered who it could have been.
Nobody else had been around him at the time; the thief must be invisible!
Or stealthy like a ninja.
Yes, that sounded right. It must have been a ninja.
The angry monkey vowed to find the ninja.
He looked everywhere for t
Religion Free DVD PlayerAs an avowed atheist, I've always despised overt religious subtext in my movies. So when I ran across a back-alley electronics shop offering "Religion Free DVD Players", I snatched one up faster than a Southern Baptist preacher could call out, "Hallelujah!"
Set-up was a breeze, thank Nobody. So the first movie I popped in was one of my favorites, The Wizard of Oz.
Well, by the time the angelic Glinda introduces herself to saintly little Dorothy in front of the Munchkin choir, I was already beginning to suspect that something might be off. And it only got worse, as her ragtag band of pilgrims undergoes their yellow-brick hajj to the Emerald
FailsafesThe New Rochette Nuclear Power Facility No. 2 control room had a lot of lights, all of them square and neatly arranged in various states of blinking and non-blinking.
New Rochette Nuclear Power Facility No. 2 Control Room Night Operator Barry Lewis would occasionally stare ahead at the rows of lights before him and imagine them to be the multi-colored panels of a disco floor. Upon this floor he would dance away the long, monotonous nights and let the syncopated music flowing through his head block out the low hums and drones of a myriad of partsnone of which he had ever bothered to become intimately acquainted with.
His job, as was st
Thank you for providing me with the chance to riff on one of my favorite topics. And maybe even offer up a few chuckles along the way.
Complications with CompositionI love seeing results on the camera screen, and through the lens. Often after I've taken a photo, I can't wait to get home and see it on the computer screen too. But my pet peeve is the maths and numbers behind getting it spot on. I can't deal with that, I loathe it, and actually it takes the fun out of Photography (for me anyway!) I know that some people love the technical details, I think that's why ~TouchedD and I work so well - he does the figuring out, I do the seeking for the shot - but if you're purely a creative type with no passion for delving into technicalities then hopefully this article will be able to help you.
You will find countless articles, tips, tutorials and theories on Composition. Many will throw advice and instruction at you before you can even press the shutter on your camera. In truth though, it can be much more basic than that. Before you take a photograph, think about why you're taking the shot. I know this doesn't work everytime, because often (like me)
Project Educate: 4 tips for great product photos!In a world where many products are easily accessible on the internet - yes, even those - we've nearly fallen victim to the images that are slightly better than the rest, that entice us in, that persuade us to buy, bid, eat, cook and whatever else. (You've seen my Nom Nom articles right?) So it's not unusual that an eye-catching image can make all the difference when it comes to selling your products, or your photography - or both.
Strong, Clear photographs will not only help you stand out on a web-page, but also will help you get your blog out there, or get your deviantART profile a bit more notice. Having a good working environment is often better than having that top notch expensive camera. So don't worry too much about your equipment. Get to know your angles, backdrops, props and lighting and the rest should hopefully fall into place.
Editing is really easy and good
#7 | Weekly Photography Fun! + Points!As part of Photography Week at #projecteducate, we have an additional Photography Games Blog event for you on behalf of #CRPhotography, heart of the Photography Gallery! Please feel free to take part in the below, as well as our most recent Photography Games Blog event, #6.
We are aware how inconvenient our Photography Games Nights can be, so we are bringing the Photography Games Night to you in the form of a weekly blog involving some good ol' photography fun. Some of you may recognise our photography games and some may not, but we all hope you will enjoy what we have in store for you!
This week, we would like to ask you to take part in our games and guess what the photographs below are. Many of you may recognise this as our 'Obscure Photo Game' in our Photography Ga
Project Educate: See the light and remember it
See the light and remember it
Lighting in photography is a living, changing art. One of the most important abilities of a photographer is to see light and to remember it. Light is the most changing element in our daily life. We move among solid objects and among people who do not change drastically during a day or a week. But visually the appearance of our environment and of people around us may change from one hour to the next due to the time of day, the weather, or the particular source of light. Photographers are aware of these changes and store in their memory the impact different types of light have on our emotions and our subconscious. For a photographer, watching the light becomes second nature.
Some of the photographer's palette of tools:
-The angle of light
-Quality (hard or soft)
Angle of light
Fix that Miscat! ~Fashion Photography V.CommercialThere often seems to be some confusion over whether your Fashion Photography belongs in Photography -> People & Portraits -> Fashion Portraits or Photography -> Commercial Photography -> Fashion. Unlike other galleries that we are slowly defining and educating on through this series of articles, the difference between these two is quite clear cut and there are certain aspects of your Photography that will dictate where it should go. Have a read through the article and hopefully that will clear up some things if you were previously confused!
What are Fashion Portraits?
Photography -> People & Portraits -> Fashion Portraits
Fashion Photography is a genre of Photography that's dedicated to showcasing clothing and other items such as accessories i.e. shoes, scarves, hats, j
Ten Tips for Nature PhotographersThis article came about after a deviant specifically requested that we write ten clear, simple tips for Photographing Nature. Troubleshooting articles and information can be very useful, but sometimes breaking it down into manageable memorable chunks is so much easier. So without further ado please enjoy our Ten Tips for Nature Photographers!
1) Get into your environment
Yes, it's rhubarb. To be a true photographer, you must be at one with rhubarb.
When we talk about photographing Nature, we don't necessarily mean wide expansive rolling landscapes. Whilst they contain any number of elements that are nature focused and made up from natural resources - Nature Photography is about getting into your environment and getting up close and personal with these elements. So think of it like you are Photographing the components that make up that beautiful lan
All Snapped Up .10 ~ Bloddroppe~ An interview of a talented artist in our General Photography Community
Tell us a bit about yourself, *Bloddroppe! How did you get into photography and why?
I've been interested in art since young age. I used to draw a lot during high school, especially realistic portraits. But after a time I felt that I wanted to experiment with other medias. I photographed a lot of nature with a point and shoot camera at first but I felt that I would like to try working with models instead. So I asked my best friend to model for me in a great field of flowers. I think it was my first shoot with a model so it was very fun and since that shoot I've wanted to continue with photography.
Why are you on deviantART?
I think I discovered deviantART through the site Gaiaonline. I used to post my photography there and was recommended to look up the site. I immediately started to upload my work and recieved gr
Surviving Sports PhotographySports photography.
This category of photojournalism is one of the most sought after positions in professional photography. VIP access to pro athletes, frontline seats, locker room interviews, and a paycheck to photograph the whole experience year after year?!!
Sign me up!!
Well, that's how my story began anyway. Years ago, I made the mistake of going to a pro hockey game and within three hours fell madly in love with the smell of ice and the sound of blades. I left the building thinking to myself (and telling anyone who would listen to the ravings of a madwoman): "There has to be some way I can be involved in this for the rest of my life." What actually happened after that night is one of the wildest stories I've ever told and it's still a crazy ride. But getting on that ride and staying on is tricky.
So here's what I've learned so far about actually surviving sports photography
Urban ExplorationUrban Exploration is the examination, and often documentation, of normally un-seen or off limits places. It's becoming an increasingly popular 'hobby' and for some, something much more serious. This week we're looking at a specific Photographer and his chosen subject - linked directly in with Urban Exploration.
Wayne Levin's work recently caught my eye at a Photography Exhibition - you may already have read about it if you caught the latest edition of Photography Fortnightly. As well as being an awesome and very unique idea, constructed creatively and tastefully - it reminded me of Urban Exploration. Levin explores beneath the sea, another place that many of us don't get to see unless we venture there with specific equipment - and often training. Exploring reefs, water life and shipwrecks, Levin's work truly is an act of Urban Exploration. It just shows us that there are no limits to being an Urban Explorer and there are many un-chartered 'waters' that need to be documented and shown,
People + Portraits Exposed 24# Emotive...
Infants & Children...