Thursday, July 21, 2011

Angry or Funny? You be the Judge

A fine line exists between humor that is funny or humor that is just angry. If you use sarcasm in your writing, best to be careful that it doesn't tip over into sounding just pissed off or mean-spirited. I love to use humor in my newsletter First Word (sign up on the 3L homepage). I sprinkle the funnies in my blog too, but I try to balance what's funny between solid information. If I do nothing but post humorous reflections -- and I'm a serious business woman -- you might not think there is any substance here. So a nice surprise and a funny once in awhile work too; but recently I started doing some research on some humorists to pitch the book Confessions of a Las Vegas Motorcop and noticed that some bloggers out there try to be funny or sarcastic. Problem is some of the posts are just mean or angry. You don't need to be mean to people and call them out in a way to embarrass them to be funny. And if you think name-calling makes you sound funny and you're expressing all your suppressed angst instead, well, not so funny. Sad maybe. Funny no. I would imagine these writers don't realize that their mean-spirited writing isn't funny. They probably think they're hilarious. What they don't know is that behind the scenes, people aren't saying how funny they are. They're saying other less impressive things. So if you're a humorist, try and be benign and cause no harm. When I call people out, I never use names. I rearrange the story so they won't recognize themselves. I recently received some pretty, pretty bizarre pitches for my radio show (see previous post), and since I knew many of those folks might read my blog, I didn't cite anything specific when I made fun of the ridiculous -- and that is a pretty harmless way to go. In other words, were there really circus freaks involved? Hmm ... my hint: probably not. Were there some strange pitches that involved some "freakish" things. Hmm ... my hint: probably.

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