You might find this book fascinating: it’s called “Cheap Laffs,” and it’s by Mark Newgarden. It has a history of all the cheap tricks that one could buy by mail or were included free in packages of snacks, etc. - from the Whoopee Cushion to the fly on the nose, it’s almost all there. Lately I’ve seen humor move in a more extreme direction - or should I say XTreme— with Punk’d. An example: Hugh Jackman was Punk’d into believing he’d set someone’s home on fire. The video showed his horror and concern, and I really felt sorry for him! That kind of humor I don’t need - it’s too mean. Give me the clever play on words, the gentle candid camera, and silly physical humor like Peter Sellers’ style any day over deeply embarrassing and scaring others.
Your newsletters are consistently inventive and informative! I write a bi-monthly newsletter for my business, so I know how tough it can be to keep the creativity going. You do!!! I look forward to getting them every time! Thank you!
Great art is like great science or theology, it’s only understood by a gifted very few who have studied much of their lives. Nevertheless, it usually resonates among most of us--unless we’ve biased ourselves. Banksy, as you say, has used pranksterism to elevate his painting to art. But only vulgar art. Which has its place, of course.
In order to keep this e-zine down to manageable size, I do a lot of cutting. What follows is the original opening of the Banksy piece:
“Many years ago at a gallery opening in New York, I ran into a classmate from Andover, Carl Andre, whose minimalist sculptures—collections of blocks, squares, sticks and stones—have been acquired by some of the world’s major museums. Among them: The High (Atlanta), Guggenheim (New York), Musée d’art et d’histoire (Geneva), Tate (London) and Walker (Minnesota).