There are little connections between the works of Twain and the short film iMom aside from their satirical intentions.

I merged them in your head just so you could laugh. You’re welcome.

When I first read the Jumping Frog, I dismissed it as unremarkable. A man is looking for the whereabouts of someone else, hears about some rural legend, and moves on without knowing anything more. When you explained to the class the true genius of how Simon completely misguided the narrator, following up on his friend’s setup almost telepathically, I was able to appreciate the quality in the writing at last. That’s how it always seems to go.

You give us some work of literature which I read, and usually don’t think much of. I never in a million years would have perceived the intentions of the work as the writer intended, instead coming up with logically sound yet immediately discarded interpretations of whatever I just read. It makes me feel odd because this doesn’t appear to happen to most of the class. It would also to unfair to dismiss myself as either smarter or stupider than the intentions of the authors. I suppose that I truly just think differently than most people, being misguided, distracted, or misunderstanding at every turn. I don’t really know what that says about me, but I know I’m probably not normal on a lot of levels.

I already read Huck Finn once before, so, like rereading anything, I expect to remember some details, and also be surprised by ones I either missed or forgot. Like the rest of what we read in class, I also expect to have facets of the story brought to my attention by you which I misinterpreted. Thanks for pointing stuff out, or I’d be in the dark with these highly regarded 1800s writers.

iMom was well done as an accurate social commentary. I use that phrase often. If you know any synonymous phrases please let me know. Anyway, iMom delivered an honest look into irresponsible parents, reckless marketing and technology that is unavoidably misused. I wasn’t shocked to the point of unconsciousness, but I definitely saw the points of the film as it was formatted well for a modern audience. (I nonchalantly agreed with the cultural statements ushered by the film. There’s got to be a word for that.)

The film is more than fiction.

Satire and other sources of involuntary vocalizations.

I’ve laughed a lot in my day. I’m laughing right now. What makes me stop laughing however is digging into the details of what makes something funny. As it was said by E. B. White,

“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.”

This is true. The very reason things are funny is because they subconsciously take you by surprise. If we get too analytical there is nothing left to jump out at us.

What do I find funny? While refraining from dismissing it as stupid humor, little of what I laugh at follows any intelligible sort of pattern or organized algorithm. Some things I appreciate as humorous and some I simply do not. Dry humor, when it is executed properly can be very comical. I also like certain jokes and memes that involve someone who does not abide by social conventions and is completely oblivious to the lack of acceptance of their actions. See? It’s not funny at all when you try to explain it. You either get it or you don’t. I have some quality examples of this laying around, but the majority of them are not the type you would be inclined to share with your teachers. I don’t have an appreciation for sarcasm or dark humor nine times out of ten, and that sets me apart from a lot of people. I’ll link something at the end which I found funny.

I know little about Mark Twain, save for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, which I think were well written. For help on this very assignment, that is, to find satire, I reached out to a well read friend of mine who was able to guide me to some writings of Twain. I know the man can write, but I often do no enjoy delving into works over a century old as the English language has changed enough since then that it is tiring to read at times.

This is a clip I found which I thought was very funny at first. I have not seen the rest of the movie it is from. Perhaps you can help me explain, beyond the obvious, as to what in this makes us laugh.

Q3 IR – Forcibly Unintentionally Last Minute

Thanks for reminding me to read a book this quarter.

Because I cannot read an adequate book in two hours and don’t want to write this about something I have not truly read, I will have to consult the vast information banks of my mind to remember a book I read years ago. That book shall be The Catcher in the Rye. I probably already used this book for school at least twice. Oops.

When my good friend handed me the book and told me to read it, I expected nothing but the best writing I’d ever scanned off a page – after all, this is a classic book from around 1950 that is still popular. When I was done reading it, it just made me kind of sad. My friend said the book was hilarious. I believe both of us missed the entire point of the novel.

It has been said time and time again about this work that it has to do with coming of age, that is summarizes teenage angst, or is a social commentary about the shallowness of society as a whole. Those must be highly educated interpretations, as when I read this book, being close in age to the protagonist, all I truly witnessed was the story of one individual who, although easy to empathize with, is not the token American 17 year old.

The majority of the book consists of Holden going through several packs of cigarettes while hazily reacting to his environment in New York City, sort of aimlessly spending his time before the inevitable return to an educational institution. Was his state of mind understandable? Yes. Was it written so that you could picture the setting with detail, and perhaps imagine yourself in his shoes? Yes. Did the novel provide themes that one would typically associate with coming of age? I would say no.

Sure, dodging your problems even though they must be dealt with eventually feels pretty familiar right about now, and I have been known to restlessly switch from conversation to conversation whilst not fully occupying my conscious mind in the present, but many of the actions in contained in this novel are anything but realistic. One could argue that times have changed, but barhopping in a major city after a series of unfortunate events at the ripe old age of 17 seems quite far fetched for a book that is touted as the realistic coming of age story to end them all.

Once again I have to disagree with the established popular opinion on a cultural icon. Sure, it was a commercial success, and panned to such a wide audience that it somehow got support from domestic terrorists and sane folk alike, but we cannot be convinced by sheer sales alone when plainly bad entertainment makes billions every year.

What can convince us is our own personal experiences and how we relate to the work as individuals. As I continue to write this essay I can not longer hide the fact that now, at the age of 17 myself, I can relate to the novel much more than when I first read it, and I have migrated from my initial stance after some thought. It may not be a story everyone can see themselves in objectively, but subjectively, an A student has just now reflected on an increasingly familiar state of mind which he was foretold of by a dropout. Our settings, the environments we found ourselves in, and the ways we reacted to them differ with polar proportions, but we were left with the same hazy anxiety.

It is now that I understand why this book appealed to a mass of people spanning generations and intentions. I at first could not appreciate the writing fully, but Holden was reflecting and dreaming from within a sad state, and by the end of the reading, I too was sad.

Perhaps in a blind sense, I knew the meaning of the story all along.

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