Friday, August 31, 2007

Better Comprehension Through Comedy

The human memory is a wondrous thing, able to store, manage, and recall instantly a tremendous amount of information in a fashion far superior to hard drives. Indeed, a growing consensus is that our brains literally capture EVERY bit of information that we interact with, squirrelling it away for future reference and synthesis.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, our recall capabilities are still in beta -- sort of working, but subject to random and unexplainable breakdowns, misfires, and fits of temperament.

While waiting for a zap from God or a few million more years of evolution, those of us who regularly have reason to be teaching adults things that we want to remember have realized that learning tends to "stick" when it is associated with the humorous, the clever, or the obscene. This is why you can recite SouthPark episodes word for word and in the correct voice for each sentence, but get everything but the item you were supposed to get when you go to the grocery store.

As a result, we have realized that, we can either make things clever and humorous, or we can take off our clothes in the course of a lecture. Since I've already tried the latter, we're down to humor.

Thus, to help people understand the reasoning behind my opinions on the Larry Craig situation, I turn to my favorite of the late and much-lamented Ms. Anna Russell's noveau folk songs.

Jolly Old Sigmund Freud
(sung to the tune of "Ghostriders in the Sky")

I went to my psychiatrist
To be psychoanalyzed
To find out why I killed the cat
And blacked my husband's eyes.
He laid me on a downy couch
To see what he could find,
So this is what he dredge-ed up
From my subconscious mind:

Hey, libido, bats in the belfry, hey, libido, bats in the belfry,
Hey, libido, bats in the belfry, jolly Old Sigmund Freud!

When I was one, my mommy hid
My dolly in a trunk,
And so it follows naturally
That I am always drunk.
When I was two, I saw my father
Kiss the maid one day,
And that is why I suffer now
From kleptomania.


At three, I had the feeling of
Ambivilance towards my brothers,
And so it follows naturally
I poisoned all my lovers.
But I am happy; now I've learned
The lesson this has taught;
That everything I do that's wrong -
Is someone else's fault.


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