Breaking: Housing Data
Low rates have set things ablaze: “Privately?owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,461,000. This is 5.0 percent (±1.7 percent) above the revised September rate of 1,391,000 and is 14.1 percent (±2.1 percent) above the October 2018 rate of 1,281,000.”
Fibber McGee & Molly aide, T’ain’t nothing funny, anymore. Even the late-night clips I’ve been through have run out of left-wing slurs on Orange Man. So much so, in fact, that recently Bill Maher seemed to be almost (can I write this?) middle-of-the-road in some of his monologue. Rational enough to drink beer with.
There is a reason, of course. Humor has been a casualty of both technology and political correctness. So, as our “first thing” today, a review humor as we try to understand how it differs from news.
To do this, we will apply the same systematic thinking processes that I wrote up in my book The Millennial’s Missing Manual. The book, if you’ll recall (and -yes this is a plug- you can get it on Amazon) is about approaching all skills and learning as nothing more or less than recipe collecting.
Yeah…that’s it…recipe collecting. While secret of life-long learning. And it really works.
Take my son, for example. Like dad, he’s a serious recipe collector. After his “bad boy” period, he decided to learn medicine. So he got a phlebotomist ticket. Then an EMT ticket. Then did a stretch as an AID/HIV researcher and got his name in some journal papers. In about 3-weeks, he’ll complete Firefighter I and II certifications, having done all the Haz-Mat certs. And somewhere in there, 1,800 skydives (and he’s an instructor in that, too) along with most everything FEMA offers in their CERT series. Expert shot with pistols and long guns and he’s thinking about doing his paramedic cert here in Texas and building a micro-house down on the other end of the property.
Was that off track? No. I’m simply illustrating that gaining personal competencies is just the process of recipe collecting. When you get this through your head (that, yes, you really CAN do anything) then you magically become a kind of Master of your own Universe. (Assuming you didn’t lose the birthright lottery and gotten born in Syria, or some-such.)
So hold that in mind now, as we lay out the “recipes” of humor. Jot these down somewhere because they will make you much more pleasant to be around. Because “cutting up” will become second nature. You’ll be able to be serious as a heart attack one minute, and then roll into one-liners on a whim. (Use with care, people don’t know what to think about too much gallows/political humor. People with easioly overloaded brains find it threatening.)
- Embarrassment ?
- Surprise ?
- Repetition ?
- Inversion ?
- Establishment of Superiority ?
- Exaggeration ?
- Exceptional Weirdness
I won’t bore you with useless examples. But, an example of how incongruity works (along with being P.C.) is found in the line “A Woman Needs a Man like a Fish Needs a Bicycle...” Got it?
Some humor actually needed to go. Like racist jokes. Where P.C. gets clogged up (with mind control and setting boundaries) is that when the racial lines were erased, that led to a brief uptick in national lines. Polish jokes, the two Swedes, and so forth.
Next, having run through all of these topics, we saw a migration into “blonde jokes” and these, in turn, evolved into gender jokes.
Example: “What that thing at the end of a penis called?” “A Man.”
Let’s see: Lawyer jokes? Not any more. But, for a time those were abundant. Result? Professions have become off-limits, mainly. Except for politicians which habitually do nothing (or damn little) that’s good, and make one idiotic statement after another. (*Repetition, repetition…House Inquisition resumes this morning…repetition…and still nothing impeachable proven…). But they don’t know when to stop. Timing is important to good humor.
We don’t have the time (or, at least I don’t) [see how Establishment of Superiority works?] for a full discussion of humor. But, let’s just say there are some mighty funny things going on that if they didn’t impact life so much, would be funny in their own right. That would require a light-hearted attitude and a heaping side-dish of irreverence. Like we try to hold to in these partisan times.
“How tired are Hong Kong protesters?” Why, they’re just beat. (rim-shot) As the story Police surround last holdouts at Hong Kong university is making the rounds.
There’s also a huge helping of incongruity going around as the morning ish of Xinhua (the Party Paper) rolls with “Chinese gov’t remains unwavering in opposing external interference in Hong Kong affairs: ambassador .” Except….wait…who directed the arrests in Hong Kong? (rim-shot)
It occurred to me a long time ago (try 50-years back as a cop shop reporter) that the best way to steal the heart against the pain of news is by trying to turn every story into humor. Sure, it goes to gallows humor, most of the time, but coupled with the Six Questions (which journalists don’t bother with asking these days) a reporter *(and their liver) can make it into their 70’s. I stand before you as…
Markets Are a Joke, Too
Today’s snews flow is a fine example of inversion. Here’s how it works.
Consider the set-up: A list of “news shit” that reasonably might be expected to impact markets.
- Kohl’s shares tank on earnings miss, retailer cuts fiscal 2019 earnings outlook
- Home Depot earnings beat expectations, but shares fall on weak sales
- House to vote on short-term funding bill to avert shutdown ahead of looming deadline (impeachment’s more important)
- Trump’s weekend hospital visit draws a skeptical reaction.
- While the SecState of US now says West Bank settlements are no longer illegal, Russia Says U.S. Backing for Israeli Settlements Blow to Peace Process.
- Home Depot Shares Plunge Most Since 2008 After Slashing Sales Outlook Wait…I mentioned that.
Enough of the list to give you the “flavor” of the news flow. So here’s the “punchline” when I looked earlier:
Inversion, right? Of course, Wall St. was even funnier earlier when the daft futures were up 118 on the Dow…but here lately, yeah. Wall St. has been telling some whoppers, lately.
Perhaps the real bull will be the Cud Low (*linguistic example) trade on issues from he who’s been selling trade hopium as the Fed keeps the NY Fed’s Repo Depot (not to be confused with a used car lot) rolling through the trade-ins. $78-billion in one-day slosh…$24-billion in 9-day…
Dumb Headline of the Day
Here’s a dandy example of paternalistic Superiority from CNN. They’re telling viewers “How to watch Tuesday’s impeachment hearing.” AYFKM?
Hand me the remote. No, we don’t need help.
But seriously? CNN does have occasional good content. Here, for example, is one for Catholic teachers/nuns, often stand-up comic material for their “knuckle-rapping with rulers” to watch. They’ve been one-upped in classroom delivered ADHD physical therapy: Counting AK47s and learning trigonometry for snipers. How children were taught math under ISIS. See? Even education is becoming more extreme. I can hear it now: “When I roll this grenade, put your pencils down…”
Warming? Icy Mess and More Coming From Coastal Storm. Climate lchange…yeah, another knee slapper.
(Hmm…Reminds me: should I put a beer machine on my Christmas list?) Peoplenomics tomorrow will focus on Workshop, Workbench,. and Desktop Discipline. And Saturday, we long at Long Horizon Investments. Sunday piece here on the freebie side, some hands-on recycling….
For now, back to ruminating on the more important questions in Life. Like “ If it takes seven trumpets, blown on the 7th day of circling the city of Jericho, and given the shofars (horns) are resonate around 376 Hz, but with a downward sweep of frequency during the Teruah staccato notes, how might we model a similar waveform either as something pitch-shifted our of Garritan World Instruments or created with the right overtones and harmonics in one of the arbitrary waveform generators in order to test the “Q of Time” theory in two weeks?”
Palpable ponderings that are no joke. At least compared to today’s House hearings.
BTW: Got a bowling ball I can borrow for the gravity part of the research?
Oops, almost forgot: Here’s a useless Lab research note that may be right up your alley: Cheapest new bowling ball on Amazon is $33.84 with Prime. Cheapest on eBay? Used for about $28 bucks with shipping.
Oh-oh… Spending time in the lab brings another humorous question to mind: Have you ever even heard of a person wearing out a bowling ball??? Take away this man’s coffee!
Write when you get rich,