> >...humor may gain something in the translation from
> >culture to culture. Do any other examples come to mind?
I recall seeing some Japanese B movies in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles,
around 25 years ago. These were intended for a Japanese audience and had
no subtitles. In particular, I remember a comedy gangster movie called
DOCTOR STRONG ARM (subtitled DOCTOR WHO HAS STRONG ARM). The Baddie was
such a grotesque, WW II type Evil Jap (fat, bottle-bottom glasses, nasal
talk through buck teeth, pencil moustache, Luger, overdone "We have ways
of making you talk!" manner) that if an American filmmaker had created
this, the protests would have been extreme. He was intended to be
laughed at. Complex choreographed pratfalls, weird juxtapositions, a
Buddhist priest's stash of Jack Daniels, funny samurai sword fighting...
language was unnecessary to get the humor and the film was, in its
little way, a complete success.
There is a lot of humor in puncturing stuffed shirts. Perhaps my Jung is
showing, but it seems to me that some kinds of humor are a human
inheritance, regardless of cultural trappings.
Paul E. Clinco
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