A Lecture on Connections

Isaac Newton was an English physicist, but in my mind he was also an unwitting sociologist.  His third law of motion states every action has an equal opposite reaction.

I see this as a metaphore for how society evolves and changes, with reactions to events, inventions and trends.

Stuff happens in our world on the whole as a reaction to something else.

The formation of the EDL was a response to a homecoming parade in Luton.

Punk –  a response to social / political unrest combined with the perceived failings of Hippie ideals.

The exploration of what makes an apple fall – as a reaction to said apple landing on ones head.

Women, why are you here?  Don’t you know that focusing attention to the development of you mind through education is detracting attention away from your womb – the very organ that makes you a woman?

Attendance at University endangers your reproductive system – and what man would take you for a wife, knowing your potential of bearing him children has been compromised?

But you know this – many esteemed medics have warned you of such reckless behaviour.  Yet still you persist – shame on you.

That was the common held view in the 19th C.  But attitudes change as ideas spread, become accepted and adopted.

Just as it was inconceivable for any self-respecting woman to ride a bike.

Stuff happens followed by a reaction to those happenings.  A wave hits the beach, and inevitably returns to the sea, through this process attitudes, opinions and ideas gradually shift.  Just as the shifting sands on the beach are moved by the waves.

One way ideas spread is through jokes, we as humans have a desire to amuse and be amused.  Many of us are motivated to entertain others, a good joke spreads rapidly, in part because of this motive.  When an idea stimulates a physical reaction – a laugh – it becomes emotive.  It is more likely to be remembered and passed on.  Jokes spread ideas.  It’s about engagement.  An idea can only live in the collective minds of those engaging with it.

Comedy is a powerful tool when you have a message to convey.  Or if you prefer…  If you have a message to convey how can you use comedy?

For a long time Orange have associated themselves with movies.

People like films, if we associate ourselves with want people like, they will like us.

Stella Artois attempted a similar association, with their Stella screenings and cinematic adverts.

The Orange campaign spreads the message that you the audience member have a responsibility to not allow a phone to spoil the film.  Orange make themselves out to be the good guys.  Or more accurately they are desperate to disassociate themselves with the reason why your cinema experience has been pissed on.

For more information on how to behave at the cinema – see here.

Through the above series of adverts Orange depicted themselves as ‘square‘ ‘suits‘ ‘corporate‘ commercialising the creative process and in turn ruining things.  Through the comic device of exaggeration, the deeper message is that Orange are capable of laughing at themselves.

Amusing, responsible, film loving Orange, jovial, self deprecating, promoter of creative expression Orange.  Not a faceless corporation but in fact the opposite of everything those suited executives featured represent.

Comedy in the UK has been enjoying it’s spot in the limelight over the past few years fulled in part by the BBC.  Mark Thompson took over as DG for the BBC in 2004 and announced the end of make-over shows.  Stand-up comedy is a similarly cheap way of filling air time.

Along comes a wave of new panel shows where jobbing comics are given a platform to broadcast their gags.  Creating a host of new faces to spread the cheer.  And these comics can be found everywhere…

…meanwhile companies such as Fosters adopt comics to draw interest to their products.

We have comics standing up everywhere, each trying to distinguish themselves from their peers.  Some have issues to raise – or perhaps use issues to hang their material on.  Others may try to stand out by being more offensive than their peers, and some have managed to become massively mainstream, in turn others make jokes about these extremes – reacting to current trends, just like the balls.

Read more here from Jack Harris’ blog.

Ideas are spread effectively through comedy, sometimes purposefully, sometimes accidentally, sometimes mistakenly.

These ideas live and procreate through the minds of their audiences, the more engaged the audience, the greater the potency of the idea.  The further reaching it’s effect.  Effects which in turn stimulate reactions.

As long as we continue to exist on this Pale Blue Dot of ours, the balls continue to swing.

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