I agree: Humor books are pretty stupid. I want to say that they shouldn’t exist, and I’d be right, but a thing not needed is not a thing that is at fault. Fault and unneed are barely even correlated.
Here are a list of things and their correlation:¹
Finding the problems in our world, exploring them angrily and destroying the self-esteem of the problems is very important. And good. It’s really hard to start projects because if you start a project you might not finish it and uncompleted things are necessarily failures unless some unforseen event left them unable to finish. Something like death.²
Lying is important. It isn’t good. It is that outlier on the first graph. The most important and worst kind is the self-kind. The only way to change is to admit a self imposed lie, and admitting you’ve done something so important and bad is hard because it forces the results to be monumental or wasted.
Change is, of course, both the most important and most good thing, but inspiring it in others is near impossible. Beyond the challenges of demanding the recognition of a self-lie, being heard as you try to get people to acknowledge the mistakes they are making demands being heard. People don’t like listening to those that aren’t talking to them.
There’s a kid playing little league in front of me named Lucian. He has long hair that has at some point been a rat-tail. I’ve never met a Lucian unwilling to try a rat-tail.
Humor books are stupid and they serve no purpose. Liking them makes you a dumb person and probably bad. But humor books and humor authors did not choose their role. They did not choose to be liked. They only distract in a boring way – force a lack of thinking because society demanded a thing that lacked thought – that distracted from fun. Humor books are a sign of society giving up, not a collaborator in the destruction of effort. Quitting before finding that problem is just being a part of the norm of society.
1. I wanted to provide a hyperlink
to the wikipedia entry on r², but I felt it was an overexplanation. If you got it, you got it, and if you didn’t, a quick read on basic statsistics and a n understanding of the creation of a correlation coefficient isn’t going to help you get anything from this entry.
2. This is a reference to DFW’s unfinished book. It will be the only reference to that annoying author.