Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear Journal

This is the very first page in my journal that I received for my birthday one year. This entry is dated 2/3/99 and it says, " Today I watched a show. I also got a certificate for saying the pledge. It's offlie warm for February 3rd." Below the drawing, I signed my name with hearts in a gel pen. This is an example of how universal Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid is with the inclusion of illustrations and short text. I used my journal in a similar way that Greg does in that I drew pictures to accompany the events of the day. However, my pictures have nothing to do with what happened during the day.

Kinney writes about snow days that Greg has in February. There’s a section dedicated to Greg ruining the snowman that Manny tries to build. Kinney specifically doesn’t include what Greg does to Manny’s snowman but gives an illustration of Greg’s actions. Greg’s entry reads, “I really couldn’t help doing what I did next. Unfortunately for me, right at that moment, Dad was at the front window,” (161). Then followed with an illustration of Greg kicking the snowman including the word “punt” to indicate the force of the kick and a cheerful “Yaah!” to demonstrate Greg’s satisfaction. The example shows how the pictures allow for reader involvement in the book. Kinney asks the reader to look at the illustration to determine what Greg did to Manny. The situation only seems humorous to Greg’s character in that Greg thought it would be funny to destroy his brother’s work. The reader may feel like Greg’s being mean and may start to feel sympathetic for Manny. Then the reader turns the page and is met with an illustration of Greg’s dad demolishing his massive snowball. The reader cannot help but laugh at the justice that is met when Greg’s dad destroys the snowball as the consequence of ruining the snowman. This demonstrates the idea it’s not funny when someone does something malicious but it is funny when that malicious act is met with an equally spiteful act.

I am constantly surprised by my observance of humor models in the real world. I often find myself wanting to blog about various experiences I have throughout the week. When it comes to writing for the Humor in the Real World post, I have difficulty choosing which funny moment I want to share. It’s the encompassing idea of creating of life that is viewed in Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, Bryson’s I’m a Stranger Here Myself, Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty, and Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The part of humor that I have found most interesting is how humor demonstrates closeness between people. David Sedaris exemplifies this through his sharing of his family’s stories or Hurston’s use of banter and social cues in her short story. I view this relationship constantly with the interactions I have with my friends and family. It always seems that the closer I am with someone the easier it is to make a joke about him or her. I also enjoy observing how self-deprecating humor has the ability to allow others to identify with you and create a sense of understanding. Being able to make fun of yourself demonstrates your comfortability and acceptance of yourself. This gives permission to others to feel the same way about you and to also recognize the same flaw within his or her self.

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