Why is it more funny?

October 14, 2010

Why is it more funny when one writes about disliking things, rather than about liking things? I was having a mailing list conversation about the kind of ladies who come to Carnatic music concerts and keep talking, and I described them as VTM’s (Vaira Thodu Mamis)….here’s what I said:

Oh, EVERYONE detests the gossipers; everyone is an utter devotee of the music…. none more than the gossipers themselves, when asked! How often have I heard the VTM’s (Vaira Thodu Mami’s…don’t want to translate that) gush, “Oh, I just LOSE myself in the music!”…and then turn around to their companions to catch up on how Lakshmi Athai’s daughter behaved with the neighbour’s boy….

To this, a friend added another “culture vulture” type:

I’ve heard “another” type described .. you know,aggressively ethnic fabindia clothes, a bindi as large as a manhole cover,consciously (over)use bharatnatyam mudras even in normal conversation overdinner etc. Detest them almost as much as the VTMs.

I call these people the BBA’s (Big Bindi Aunties) and I had something to add to the description, too:

You forgot the ethnic silver “tribal” jewellery which is supposed to be an antithesis to the gold-and-diamonds but makes exactly the same statement!

And the friend added:

Let’s not forget the organic food and the turning up at parties hosted by good causes.

I had a laugh at that, too!

And then, yesterday I said that during my Navarathri visits I often collect ghastly plastic dabbas, which amused someone very much, too (as I meant it to!)

But now, I am musing over this. I’m being catty, am I not? When I laugh at someone, I seem to set myself up above what I am spoofing. Do I really know if those VTM’s have some worthy thoughts? Am I not generalizing about the BBA’s? But then…why is far more funny if I generalize about people and make sweeping statements?

When I am humorous, must I be an unkinder person than I am, normally? I don’t have an answer.