Admit it: The first time you heard that mothers henceforth should be referred to as “birthing people” so that men identifying as women should not feel excluded, you laughed out loud. That may not have been a coincidence. A new book called Why Funny Is Funny presents a new theory of the psychological mechanism of humor, and it may explain why radical leftism makes you laugh.
Chris Land’s work is so rare as an academic book on the psychology of humor. It also contains practical advice on being funnier, but its primary goal is to identify the essence of humor. Land’s answer is Clash Theory. To be funny, two factors must be present: (1) something nonsensical, and (2) something sensible that tries to occupy the same cognitive space as the nonsense. This mental clash between sense and nonsense is the kernel of humor.
Here is an example: “Tommy is a bad basketball player, but ...
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