December 05, 2008

& Red Allover & Tropic Thunder

I was thinking about Black White & Redallover jokes the other day, & it struck me that "a newspaper" perfectly fits the original premise, with a tight little pun on "red." I was immediately alerted that that is the original joke... We can go thru lives hearing all the variations & never the original, until we think of it ourselves. Why did the baby cross the road (because it was stuck to the cactus that was stuck to the chicken), without ever knowing why the chicken crossed the road. Anyway, in wanted to commission a few new Black White & Redallover jokes, I did some small research & realized we are fast approaching the hundred year anniversary of the original "newspaper" joke! We do need some new Black & White jokes to fit our changing 21st Century landscapes. I thought of several the other day at work:

What's black & white & red all over?
-a black-&-white turtle with hemorrhoids.

What's black & white & red all over?
-Barack Obama wearing lipstick

What's black & white & drags on the ground?
-a "Z"-bra.

The reaction from the first victims wasn't as I hoped, more of a "eww/ohh", than the gold medal chortlings the joketeller craves... But maybe treading the margins of repulsion & scraping away at the surfaces of my audience's inner-hangups (like about the extremely large breasted), is a greater reward?
We watched "Tropic Thunder" last night, & tho I found it a bit hard to hear the dialog or follow the plot, it struck me what a rare-bird the big budget comedy is. Studios are always willing to invest millions in endless schlock dramas, but they hope comedies can be more residential - - - &, like Austin Powers as an easy example, return far more on their investment than so many parading epics. And as all the great dramatists from Shakespeare to Stoppard know, humor is as equally illuminating as sorrow about the universe & the human soul. I won't give any jokes away (like reviewers are supposed to, right?), but the salon.com critic Stephanie Zacharek continued on the theme of dangerous art:
In the early '90s, when Robert Mapplethorpe's sexually explicit photographs were causing a flap about the public funding of art, I recall seeing people wearing buttons decreeing, "Art can't hurt you." But if it can't cut into you, deeply or at all, what good is it?

The same goes for comedy. "Tropic Thunder" is ridiculous and deeply enjoyable, but it also flashes a mercilessly polished mirror at the "prestige" products that the movie business so glibly feeds us in order to reflect glory back on itself. The picture also questions the way we congratulate ourselves for our appreciation of serious pictures and dedicated performances, as if, by applauding their quality, we might somehow be connected with some greater good. Movies can elevate us, helping us locate the best, most generous parts of ourselves. But that doesn't diminish the fact -- as "Tropic Thunder" so painfully reminds us -- that "quality" movies are sometimes made by absolute assholes.


So there were some Shakespearean moments with a crew of actor egos abandoned in the midsummer forest, & there's truth in the bum-fuzzled buffoonery. For instance, it turns out the jokes about retards were actually a send-up of how Oscar-hungry actors portray the slow-witted. I had no idea. So, if you were offended by that humor or the racial humor in this movie, it was actually art breaking down barriers & analyzing our societal repression, et cetera. With that in mind, can we please have some more Black & White jokes, and/or jokes about humongously-endowed chests, to put a mirror up to the shifting scenery?

My favorite color joke (courtesy of Mr David Magnolia Ficke):

What's red & invisible?
No tomatoes.

7 comments:

grainne proinseas said...

what's black and white and red all over?


a chinese bar-code.

grainne proinseas said...

what's black and white and red all over?

a shape-note score at a bikini-wrestling in cherry syrup event.

grainne proinseas said...

what's white and red and pink all over?

Dan Piper with a sunburn.

grainne proinseas said...

what's black and white and red all over?


an Irish meal in a bucket of Salsa.

grainne proinseas said...

what's white and fat and ugly all over?

your mama's ass.

ß. Andrigon said...

Nice ones, every one!

What's black & white & red allover?
The Financial Times

Is that even a joke?

Garrison Keillor tells one,
What's grey?
A melted penguin.

Sam said...

wow that tomatoes joke is fantastic! & that is actually quite an incisive tropic thunder analysis by stephanie zacharek. this blog is awesome! i just bought the criterion edition of 'bottle rocket.'