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ARTICLE_DATE December, 29 2008 00:01:00
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ARTICLE_DESCRIPTION <p>Are jokes about the recession just an economic form of gallows humor or do they point the way to truth and wisdom?</p>
ARTICLE_ID 200
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ARTICLE_TEXT <p>The&nbsp;respected philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that a coherent philosophical outlook could be put forward in the form of a book of jokes.&nbsp; (An actual attempt to do this is <em><a href="https://coolcat.org/record=b2343934~S1">Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar</a></em>.&nbsp; If you find the philosophy-via-jokes concept interesting or useful, you might also gravitate toward the&nbsp;same author's&nbsp;<em><a href="https://coolcat.org/record=b2376356~S1">Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington</a></em>, which has a political slant.)<br /><br />That being said, what are we to make of the barrage of recession-related wit and humor that is hitting the Internet and the media?&nbsp; Some of it is <a href="http://www.lifeisajoke.com/pictures1101.htm">graphical</a>, but most&nbsp;attempts to find some amusing verbal&nbsp;twist to otherwise&nbsp;<a href="http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/28/style/28lolfed.php">catastrophic financial outcomes</a>.&nbsp; From this point of view, <a href="http://politicalhumor.about.com/b/2008/12/26/the-weeks-best-late-night-jokes-16.htm">Bernie Madoff</a>&nbsp;and late-night comedy were made for each other.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/biz/6179911.html">Restaurants</a> answer the call with &quot;stimulus brownies&quot; and &quot;recession burgers.&quot;<br /><br />I choose to see these as signs of the resiliency and determination that ultimately will bring us to better, brighter days.&nbsp; During the darkest days of the Civil War, <a href="http://www.leadertelegram.com/story-opinions.asp?id=BIN1O17QHCK">Abe Lincoln</a> was rebuked for his quips and funny stories.&nbsp; He replied, &quot;I laugh because I must not cry.&quot;</p>
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Business

Have You Heard the One About ...

The respected philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that a coherent philosophical outlook could be put forward in the form of a book of jokes.  (An actual attempt to do this is Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.  If you find the philosophy-via-jokes concept interesting or useful, you might also gravitate toward the same author's Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington, which has a political slant.)

That being said, what are we to make of the barrage of recession-related wit and humor that is hitting the Internet and the media?  Some of it is graphical, but most attempts to find some amusing verbal twist to otherwise catastrophic financial outcomes.  From this point of view, Bernie Madoff and late-night comedy were made for each other.  Restaurants answer the call with "stimulus brownies" and "recession burgers."

I choose to see these as signs of the resiliency and determination that ultimately will bring us to better, brighter days.  During the darkest days of the Civil War, Abe Lincoln was rebuked for his quips and funny stories.  He replied, "I laugh because I must not cry."


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