Archive for March 6th, 2012

Another Mantra Thinking Example

Back around 1950 there was a movie, My Son, John, about a man whose mother found out he was a Communist.

The biggest publicity shot for it was a photograph from the scene where his mother was angelically on her knees with his hand on a Bible held by her, swearing to her that he was NOT a Communist.

Back then this was instantly funny, even to college graduates. Everybody knew that a Communist’s oath on a Bible means nothing, and the old lady was funny for being convinced by it.

Today, I do not think anyone would actually GET THE JOKE.

Yes, everybody KNOWS that Communists are atheists.

But for it to be FUNNY, that is, for the reaction to be a guffaw, everybody has to SEE that Communists are atheists. For humor, it has to be a gut reaction.

To me, the difference is that back then people SAW that Communists are real, practicing atheists. Today the reaction to that picture would probably be a thoughtful frown.