Monday, October 29, 2007
humor and dissonant identity performance
I′ve been thinking a lot about why having a dreaded, black, female avatar (posing for white-kid-x) is so haha funny. Why having ″98 degrees″ as one of your favorite recording artists on Facebook is also so haha funny. I′m curious about the function of humor in the online performance of identity, and I wonder how perhaps humor itself is beginning to change due to such iterations of disjunctive identity performance. So some questions I have: why is dissonant identity performance humorous? why is such identification through negative difference (claiming to be what I am surely not) so appealing? and even potentially productive? what kind of agonistics is the language game of humor involved in? why is Steven Colbert so funny, so popular? how should/ could we assess the notions of agency, control, and political affiliation (on the part of the subject), as they performatively circulate through the mediascapes of online social networking sites and network television news programs? how can such moments of disjunction or dissonance be read as a critique of the attempts to systematize identity? are we becoming strangers to ourselves, or simply distrustful of identity markers? why are some of the best commercials (Orbit, Volkswagen) ones that thematize their own commerciality? can slapstick humor become divorced from the body? has it already?