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← Beware the Believers

_J_'s Avatar Jump to comment 67 by _J_

Well, maybe it is possible to laugh when you don't really understand the joke.

If I may: I don't think it's a straightforward 'understand the point/don't understand the point, find funny/find unfunny' situation. Like a decent stand-up routine or long sketch, it contains many jokes. Jokes about rap culture, for instance. Register-clash jokes, of presenting subject matter in a strikingly inappropriate way. Personality jokes (like Hitchens' headband). The retro-style of the animation and the ludicrous, monster-movie-style, Death-Star-on-legs embodiment of 'science'. And the effort that's gone into detailing the history of evolutionary theory (okay, not that detailed!) give the impression that it's an in-joke - something you, dear viewer, get, but others wont.

You can laugh at all (or some) of that, and still not be sure whether, if you met the maker, you'd end up best friends or kicking one another in the teeth.

One of my favourite comedy movies is Shaun of the Dead. It gleefully sends up the zombie movie subgenre, but at the same time uses that subgenre's conventions to make a far-above-average zombie movie of itself. Is it attacking zombie movies, or is it an homage? It's an affectionate spoof, I suppose. (Certainly, Romero seemed to like it.)

We don't have any helpful notes or interviews from the maker of this video to tell what s/he really thinks. It could conceivably be a staunch atheist who was a bit tickled by the paranoia of the creationist lobby and wanted to make a send-up. It could be a member of that lobby, working the other way. They haven't made a clear expression of their opinion; they've made a piece of entertainment. So, it's up for grabs, interpretatively. Best not to worry too much (unless you're reading this thread from the comfort of a media studies class) and take from it what you will.

Sat, 29 Mar 2008 08:52:00 UTC | #144051