Absurdity

We’re going to have to go to just one blog post a week now, officially.  I have too much homework–especially with midterms.  I’m trying the Sherlock Holmes memory palace trick, which apparently some ancient Greek invented, to try and help with studying (my interest in the memory palace may or may not be associated with a certain British tv series that I may or may not have started watching during the occasional free moment).  We’ll see if it works.

In other news, my t-shirt design for Coldplay is up, along with a lot of other designs by very gifted people.  You can check it out here.

Okay!  News out of the way!

Ridiculous, bizarre, and especially absurd statements and events are some of my favorite things, especially when they come in the form of a story.  I can list all sorts of absurdly brilliant stories, but since I’ve mentioned most of them in past posts, I won’t right now.  Except for Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz series, which is ridiculous in every sort of unexpected way (breaking things is a powerful form of magic, for instance) and earlier today had me laughing out loud on the bus to class. (The day before that, I got into a great discussion about Sanderson’s Cosmere with some complete strangers.  Sanderson, man.)  The last book in the Alcatraz series comes out in September.  In an unrelated story, I’ll have survived a full two decades in September.

Ridiculous stories and statements are great because, first of all, they’re humorous.  Laughter is good for health, and laughing at something you enjoy is extra healthy.  The world could use a bit more of that sort of amusement.

Even if a ridiculous story isn’t immediately funny, though, it’s still important.  The juxtaposition of two completely different things, a common tool for any sort of ridiculousness, pulls thoughts in different directions than they normally go.  That can lead to some pretty deep insights into the human condition, among other things (being humans, though, most people are mainly interested in the human condition insights).  That’s important.  Thinking in different ways, gaining new insights, those are essential if people are going to grow, to become better.  The absurd story is excellent at helping people to do that–just look at Terry Pratchett.  Dozens of books about a flat planet on four elephants on a giant space turtle, and all of them had something special to say, some way of changing their readers.

Yes, bizarre, ridiculous, absurd, insert adjective here stories are great.  But I never feel like I’m telling one properly.  Or at all.

Anyone else feel that way?  Do you think it’s because the humor is coming from your own brain so you expect it?  Or do you have any advice on increasing the ridiculousness in a story without destroying it?  Let me know in the comments.  Typing into a void is no fun.

Is ridiculousness a word?  Spellcheck isn’t trying to make me change it.

Even if it isn’t, it is now.

Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day! Or, as one of my high school teachers liked to call it, “the day when the tinkle of broken hearts echoes through the hallways.”

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