Archive for the ‘humor’ Category


December 10, 2011 2 comments

One of the other closely related terms of litotes can be found in Jason Reitman’s 2007 release of Juno.  This movie follows the life of a pregnant teenager (Ellen Page) and her struggle of whether or not she would to keep the baby.  There are many other issues that arise in this film as well.  This movie is a comedy and is set in and around teenagers.  Even though that it is this it is also very “mature” its themes.  The particular scene that shows the device of litotes in action is the one where an ultrasound technician, Juno, her friend (Leah), and her mother (Bren) are all of them are at the doctor’s office.  Also, in this scene they are all they are looking at the ultrasound of the baby and talking of whether or not they would like to know the sex of the baby and a lot of other things to the like.  The doctor then says something that upsets Juno’s mother and in response to that she says, “Oh, you think you’re so special because you get to play Picture Pages up  there?  Well, my five-year old daughter could do that and let me tell you, she’s not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.  So why don’t you go back to night school in Mantino and learn a real trade.”  The most important thing to take out of this is the saying of that her daughter is not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.  This is a very nice way of putting that she is dumb.  It makes it sound like she is not the brightest but she could be one of the brightest, not necessarily the dimmest though either.  This is a very nice way of implying the dumb hypothesis.  This is done in a very comedic sense even though the undertones of this movie are very serious.  The comment is not very nice but it is meant to be funny.  This is an effective example of litotes because Bren does not directly say that her daughter is stupid but she is implying it and that is how litotes is effectively portrayed.

Juno. Dir. Jason Reitman. Perf. Ellen Page, Olivia Thirlby, Allison Janney, and Kaaren De Zilva. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2007. DVD. Also available:


Categories: description, film, humor, meiosis

Pink’s Song “U + Ur Hand Serves as an Example of Chleuasmos

December 10, 2011 2 comments

Pink’s song, “U + Ur Hand” offers another representation of chleuasmos.   Though most women have had to ward off some sloppy drunk’s unwelcome advances, Pink cuts right to the quick with her dissuasion.  When “Dick Head” approaches her and puts his hands on her, she responds with a plethora of insults that would cause any man to tuck tail and run.  One can only imagine how a gentleman might respond, or choose not to, when confronted with this barrage:

You’re in the corner with your boys, you bet ’em five bucks
You’d get the girl that just walked in but she thinks you suck
We didn’t get all dressed up just for you to see
So quit spillin’ your drinks on me, yeah
You know who you are, high-fivin’, talkin’ shit
But you’re going home alone, aren’t ya?
‘Cause I’m not here for your entertainment
You don’t really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
‘Cause you know it’s over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It’s just u + ur hand tonight

The song does not share what the man says, but it does not take much imagination to come up with a list of cheesy pickup lines, and, although, Pink replies a little harshly towards her suitor, she does have a point.  Her trip to the club, at least on this particular night, was not for the gratification of the predatory wolves.  She and her friends have chosen to treat themselves to a girls’ night out and would prefer that the boys just play with themselves.

As in many cases of chleuasmos, this verbal onslaught should achieve the desired effect.  One can hardly envision another man having the courage and/or stupidity to approach Pink and her friends again on this night.

Dave Meyers, dir. “U + Ur Hand”. Sony Music Entertainment Inc. 2006. 2011. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.

The Colbert Report

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The Colbert Report: The entire concept for this satirical news program is the rediculous nature of the host character. This becomes somewhat complicated in distinction from its actor of the same name. However, the character of the host is an exaggerated conservative anchor stereotype. His ignorance and other problems are fabricated to comedic effect. Additionally, the character emphasizes many of the points being made by distancing them from association with a serious and concerted argument. Some, however, don’t seem to get it. The character famously made a speech at a White House correspondent’s dinner which left former president Bush irate.

The Aporia is that the real Stephen Colbert is not an ignorant archconservative. The wholehearted agreement of an idiot is used to damn by faint praise, to good effect. This is one of the most effective uses of Aporia I have seen. On an unrelated note, I am surprised by the lack of a complete liberal bias in the show. It relies on other methods to mock left-wing viewpoints however.

Categories: aporia, humor, news, TV episode

Meiosis-Monty Python

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

One example of meiosis can be found in the 1974 cult classic hit of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  This movie is a comedic adventure of the classic King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table motif.  It travels through each of the knight’s journey separately and shows of their personal quest of the search for the treasured Holy Grail.  This scene is taken from King Arthur’s journey.  In particular, it is when King Arthur fights the Black Knight.  In this scene, King Arthur winds up cutting off all of the limbs from the Black Knight.  In response to this the Black Knight says, “Tis a scratch” and/ or “it’s only a flesh wound.”  These sayings are far less severe to what actually happened to him.  This is how meiosis is played into the scene as well as the downplaying of the injury that was just received on behalf of King Arthur.  He makes it sound like nothing happened to him.  It is a very belittling experience of the event.  This example of meiosis is done in the comedic sense and it handled very effectively.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail. By Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, and John Cleese. Perf. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, and Terry Gilliam. Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment, 2001. DVD. Also available:

Categories: film, humor, meiosis

Consuela: The problem with the help.

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Consuela, from Family Guy: This character is a clear and unashamed racial stereotype and plays on concerns and misconceptions about the character of the Hispanic maid. Prominent in her character is her supposed inability to properly understand the English language, which is used several times in the series to comedic effect. Also used is her fear of authority figures and immigration services. However, in some later scenes, it is shown that she actually has an astute understanding of the language when it would not be detrimental to her to feign ignorance, such as when talking to Stewie, the baby of the family and openly admitting to stealing his play money.

Aporia. It’s actually the common concern with migrant workers that they claim difficulty with the English language when they are, in fact, proficient. Supposedly to avoid conversation that they don’t want to have, such as regards a bill or the like. Consuela appears to do it for amusement, which is fine.

Categories: aporia, deception, humor, TV episode

New Mexico: The Fugue State

December 9, 2011 2 comments

Walter’s Fugue State in Breaking Bad: This series follows the character Walter White who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Being a proud man, he refuses financial help, and wants to pay for his treatment and leave a substantial amount of money for his family. He does this by manufacturing crystal meth. He obviously hides this from his family, who are very suspicious of his absences. When he is kidnapped by a drug dealer for a number of days, he has to concoct a story to explain why he has been missing and out of contact.

He walks into a grocery store, naked, and claims not to remember anything. His doctors diagnose the event as a fugue state. This is clearly somewhat suspect, and while his doctors are fooled, his wife seems to understand something is up. In the end this does not go well for him. (Very little, if anything, does in the whole series) However, he does get the alibi he wanted and that’s better than spending his last months in jail, I suppose.

This is pretty much textbook Aporia, and in fact uses both kinds (feigned and real) to fairly good effect. First, he does fake the fugue state entirely. He doesn’t remember a thing. That is creating a difficulty related to his illness (or Chemo in this case) that suits his need (for an alibi) without inviting questions. However, alone this would be fairly ineffective. His behavior leading up to the event was rather suspicious. He exaggerates both his illness and his happiness to return home in order to dissuade questions. After all, who would question too deeply a man dying of cancer?

Well…his own wife for one. It goes badly. Watch the series.

Invalid Argument Posters

December 9, 2011 2 comments

By now most of us are familiar with sites like, where an image of anything has a caption placed over it, often making a humorous or non-sensical observation on the image itself. A common theme is to have an odd or nonsensical image, and then have the quote state the subject of the image, and them claim Apodioxis, worded as “you’re argument is invalid.” Below are some examples.

These posters are often used on message boards during a debate, or by a third party, often in a humorous joking way in order to derail said debate. The affect is that its nonsensical correlation between the image, the quote, and how it relates to the debate can have a way of releasing tension in a heated debate.

Categories: apodioxis, argument, humor, website Tags: