|Xangles > frangles > humor||
The following article covers some specific complexities of Frangles' humor. It's not a basic introductory blurb. This section ("Frangles/humor") should eventually cover more basics. In an atrocious nutshell, Frangles' style of humor resembles 3 things. 1. Douglas Adams. 2. Everything in the vague ballpark of Douglas Adams. 3. Everything that's funny. While all art is aided by our influences and exposures to established or past works, Frangles particularly seeks to create a generic average of styles of humor, much like one would explore what makes a top 40's hit and how to write one (for instance, generic or ambiguous lyrics that many people can relate to are often a key ingredient), rather than explore less mainstream styles of music (electric flute, accordion heavy metal, etc).
We do this not just by evolving one style of catch-all humor, but by applying various styles so that there's something for everyone. On our sophisticated end, for instance, is philosophical humor, which many people not prone to logic and philosophy would not find funny, or even get. Likewise, Writer's Bricks involves humor based off of language, creative writing, and professional publishing, and Kyle Kirby involves humor than a teen would associate with more.
Those are the absolute basics, and again, it's a leap from that to the following. A good gradual way to learn about these concepts is to start on the 1st page of Writer's Bricks and read forward, as that progression was written with the newcomer in mind. The following was written more with a reader in mind who's read a little story material and has been confused. (Note that we try to write in a one-size-fits-all manner, but biases and motives when writing often bleed through. Ideally, this article and Writer's Bricks should make you equally confused.
Complexity of Fourthewalse Narations
One complex thing Frangles does that can be confusing to the newbie freer (we haven't stumbled upon any other type) is take fourthwalse jokes that are creative/tricky in and of themselves, and have a fictional character using them inside a creative Frangles setting/medium. This is tricky, so we'll explain some subtleties of this technique.
Let's say your name is Jessie, and you have a friend with a bizarre sense of humor, who seen too many episodes of The Real World (or other reality TV) and has fun one day applying the concept in real real life^1. Every time you both walk up to a group of friends in the mall or at a large party, your friend goes, "Welcome back to MTV's Life of Jessie. If you're just tuning in..." (i.e. as if you have your own reality show and it's back from a commercial break, and your friends had been watching another show before you approached them), then proceeds to supplement what you say and do by narrating background information and commentary when you're not speaking.
Or, less time-sensitive, the friend might narrate the actions of people in public -- e.g. if you're people watching in a busy city -- as if you're both watching an animal or wildlife documentary about the activities and mating rituals of humans. They might apply this to a group of people you don't know, such as a clique of nerds, jocks, beatniks, children on a field trip, or senior citizens heading back from poker. Perhaps they even apply this to a group of friends you're with or right near, maybe an argument between a guy and a girl over their relationship. Your friend whispers, melodramatically, as if the narrator is in the wild with a camera and will startle the subject matter if their voice is raised:
" 'The male human points his finger at his potential mate and raises his voice. This is a sign of aggretion to be taken seriously by the female. He seems to insult her, and she's quite offended. This may escalate to--look at that! She splashes her cup of punch into is face! His eyes are seared with pain! Her rage is weakened by minor guilt, as she didn't realize it had been spiked! She meant to harm him with citric acid, but the alcohol has angered him a little more than she had intended. She seems to consider apologizing, but decides against it and walks away.
" 'Now the males nearby console the female's sudden nemesis. They hand him a few napkins, but his pride has been permanently damaged. He will suffer this loss for days or weeks to come. The nearby females have taken notice, and his chances at obtaining a mate in the near future have been drastically reduced. This doesn't affect the female human, however, for most of the males who consoled our subject matter stare longingly after her. This is a prime time to gain credit by consoling her while she's emotionally vulnerable, but they hesitate, as this is risky and may lead to further angering her. This is especially dangerous because she's already pouring herself another cup of punch, perhaps specifically to defend against any such attempt.' "
The single and double quote combination here is meant to separate your friend speaking normally (e.g. "Jessie, look who's fighting again, geez, I thought they'd made up by now.") from the odd fourthwalse humor. This is perfectly standard, proper grammar, not a violation or creativing twisting, with a minor exception, that these characters are usually combined, without a space^2. E.g. this could be interpreted as your friend quoting a recorded documentary, or quoting what one should be, i.e., "Jessie, wouldn't this make a great episode of World of Humans? I can hear it now. It would go, 'Look! A male and female in a fight! This may yield a physical attack! Let's watch!' "
Note the paragraph break in the narration. This signifies the same speaker continuing, whereas a closing quote at the end of the first paragraph may imply the next paragraph is spoken by another person. This is a subtly to keep in mind when reading Frangles; it can be easy to confuse these two scenarios. It may seem like there's a typo somewhere, as there are many possibilities for grammatical notation here. Without knowing the proper grammatical rules, and/or Frangles' grammatical rules (Frangles rules often slightly to grossly violating established ones), the following possibilities exist when using up to two symbols [or characters; i.e. a double quote character, or a single quote character, again, that a single press of a key on your keyboard signifies an individual character, or, again again, a single text character in standard text data (e.g. ANSI/ASCII)]:
The end.' "
The end." '
The end.' '
The end." "
The same possibilities could apply to the next paragraph:^3
' "And then..
" 'And then..
' 'And then..
" "And then..
There are hence 49 possible combinations of the two (49 grammatical ways to transition to the next paragraph). Supposing there is a typo, then, would lead to a lot of confusion, especially if one didn't know Frangles particular usage of this grammar, and/or standard grammatical usage to begin with. So, know that we're extra careful inserting proper/standard grammar (as we've layed it out, which basically reflects proper standard usage anyway), so you can usually assume there's no typo, that the grammar is intended. We make an occasional mistake, however, so if you've thought things through and the transition between paragraphs still doesn't make any sense, you may have found a typo. [Please email us a discovered typo at the email "typo" or "feedback" @ (relevant domain, e.g. frangles.com, blorkk.com, etc.), or you can always visit the contact page for relevant emails.]
Rhetorically, when a character within Frangles makes jokes of this sort (which already fourthwalsely play with the connection between reality and television creatively, and may be hard to get for people who don't appreciate a bizarre sense of humor, or who aren't paying full attention to the person making these jokes), there's the potential for dizzying confusion. This complexity is usually intended and carefully crafted, and usually has an interesting purpose. Intrinsically, we consider that complexity very good and creative writing when it's done properly, and we rarely post prose utilizing the techniques haphazardly or "draftily", e.g. utilizing these fourthwalse grammar / narration techniques in a way that needs nontrivial revision. Hence, you can be pretty sure that examining and revisting these types of passages will yield insight to our technique and structure, rather than be a waste of time trying to figure out whether there are typos or poor use of them. This is especially so when we post a "lone wolf" instance of any setting, character, writing concept, etc. That is, if we post one single brick of all of frook 52 (currently designating be the story of Vip the bitpire), that is, akin to handing you one page of the entire Harry Potter or Twilight saga, you can more often than not disect it carefully for insight into the frook's style and setting: things any page of that frook when looked at alone would give away. Hence one lone page can give insight into the concept and blueprints for the surrounding story, and is offering you more than a haphazard brick amongst a world you're quite familiar with.
Of course, your confusion that can result from attempting to solve or parse these complexities (as with all of Frangles' complexities) any complexities may be our bad, but for other reasons. We sometimes poorly explain the techniques, or don't offer easy ways to access it. Passages of bricks can be designed to carefully walk you through explanations, as can blurbs and articles supplemental to the writing. Though note the difference between not properly explaining things, and just not offerring that type of straightforward explanation. E.g. a classic play or poem may be handed to a class to figure out and analyze, which may not necessarily include supplemental material walking the reader through what they otherwise would be challenged to figure out for themselves. This is why such analyses are less on our front burners, because if the prose is properly offered, it gives you a challenge that you may be robbed of by curiosity to read straightforward analyses, and at the same time uses up time that we otherwise could use to write more story material (that will indirectly elaborate on what's confusing anyway as you read more).
Let's take a passage from a Blorkk skit that further demonstrates the complexity of integrating already real-world clever jokes into story material. Each line starting with a dash is a line of dialogue. (This type of pre-line marking is part of Blorkk's skit-prose medium, which tabs are not prevalent. Consider the hyphen here the equivalent of a double quote, with another double quote on the end of a line before the next paragraph break (e.g. before a tab on the following line.)
-Ok. How do I use this thing again? I'm kinda confused, there's no purple power light. It--oh wait! I get it! Looking foreward all day to 24!
-What do you--Joe, that was like twenty freaking minutes ago.
-What a dumbass.
-At least I'm a lavendar dumbass.
-Would you stop that Brett?
-That thing where you say stuff that you'd normally send over a chat board to show what your moods are. You're right here, I don't need you to tell me your sighing.
-First of all, you might not be looking. Second, the human pscyhe is very complex. I could be feeling something entirely different on the inside than what I let show through my usual nerdy intellectual extroversion.
-Brett's reaching out to us Mark.
-I think someone needs a hug from a Lavendar the Teletubbie.
-SOMEONE JUST PLAY THE DAMN THING.
-I heard it click, I don't need you to say click.
Blorkk's skit-prose is designed to be very versatile and nonlinear, as it's often ambiguous who is speaking and what is happening. This allows multiple interpretations and multiple frangles about what is going on, ones that are affected by what you have and haven't read, and what background material you may or may have (internal to Frangles/Blorkk, or external, given dialogue can involve external allusions to real real life art, people, culture, etc). Integrating this humor with the prose (e.g. taking the joke of taking text communication and speaking it aloud back into a text medium where it originated) can allow multiple interpretations of things going on. The "-Sigh." line as is has elements of someone actually sighing, rather than someone saying "sigh", as one might type this in when chatting to signify one is sighing. More fourthwalsely It could even be a person watching the skit who typed "sigh" into the next because they found the skit boring. (And so on!)
Similarly, this sort of thing is also done in Frangles prose, where an action is often isolated on a single line with a paragraph break. For instance:
" 'This Poem, by Skip.' "
" 'The Best Poem Ever, by Skip and the hot girl to my right.' "
" 'The Cute Girl To My Left, by Skip and the entire straight male population.' "
"Hey, lookin' hot today! Wanna be my muse? You basically already are, but I feel I'm imposing a bit, so I thought I'd get your permission."
"How about you, sweetheart?"
"Hey fat guy! How about you and me go--"^4
" 'The Cruel Societal Oppression of Extroverted Freelance Sociology.
" 'A real real life documentary.' "
" 'A real life documentary.' "
" 'Dear Freer, BCC: God, The End To Be Continued, Yours Truly, by Skip Friter of Flutonia.' "
" 'P.S., if this story is quoted in a blurb about reading Frangles fourthwalsely, please forgive the writers if they rudely wrap it up, sans summary, by quoting the events of the last few lines of my life. I'm sure they covered quite a bit in the blurb, so it's only a minor sin to bulsh away the laziness of not summarizing the article, via having this footnote serve as a clever conclusion, however poorly structured it reveals the entire article to be. Simply note that they probably would have concluded with their usual bulsh that they are flawless professional writers, and anything anyone else doesn't understand is their own damn fault.' "
" '..his own damn fault.' "
" '..her own damn fault.' "
" '..everybody's fault but Skips.' "
" 'Skips'.' "
" 'Skip's.' "
Check. Circle. Sigh.
" 'Sponsored by whoever's responsible for not inventing an ambiguous- gender pronoun.
" 'Please insert footnotes.' "
[^1 This is a use of the Frangles term "real real life" (or RRL) is subject to debate, as it's in the context of a somewhat complex theoretical scenario. That is, that your name is Jessie, and you have a best friend who likes reality television, who has a joke that involves mimicking reality TV and applying it to your life. However, this is what we consider to be the correct usage, here, so it should be noted as an epitome example distinguishing the term from it's neighbor ("real life", or RL, or R/L). A key factor here is the difference between the involvement of "fiction", vs. "reality". A theoretical supposition is not really "fiction". This context involves something that very well could be a mundane, very actual and nonfictional scenario. It involves you (a real real person), a name (a real real one), a best friend (a relationship that exists in the real real world), a form of television that exists (real real reality shows), and a style of humor that could be executed in the real real world. These are not fictional elements; they're just thrown into a theoretical scenario which supposes that this situation is happening in the most mundane, real world. (If it were true.) The condition ("IF this was your life, and the scenario you were in..") is met, then the situation would everything to do with the real real world.
On the other hand, if one were to write a fictional story about the scenario, this would be an example of non-RRL. If the story itself involved the writing of a play or filmscript, it would have to distinguish the "fictional" film script from "real life" in which the script was being written. Or if it's a story about someone who is too involved with a fantasy or fictional franchise to the point of mild delusion that the fantasy is "real", this, again, would be an example of them not being in touch with "real life" in which their government conspiracy or alien abduction theories, from the point of view of the story, are out of touch with "real life". Then, if someone were to make the supposition about this entire fictional world (involving the writing of the screenplay, or the person portrayed as obsessed with a fantasy) was actually happening to a real real person (you, Bob Dole, Jennifer Aniston, etc), then it could be properly phrased, "IF this story was happening in real real life, I think I'd need a constant supply of migraine pills to deal with its dizzying complexities." (As even our complex supposition about this hypothetical scenario results, if the conditions are met, in a real real life scenario.)
One could of course argue whether we should define this term differently (or argue there are intrinsic contradictions in our own definitions and examples), but note that this distintion is more of Frangles' use of the term, not an argument of what it should mean if someone said "real real life" in general external to Frangles. Lastly, note that the first "real" in "real real life" modifies the phrase "real life", such that "real life" is a subset of "real real life". That is, we may use "real life" where "real real life" could also be used, to avoid the subtlties or confusion. (That is, one might say "dog house" to refer to a "blue dog house," where the dog house could also be read. So if we said, "in Frangles, a 'blue dog house' is a derogatory term for a pool in which a dog is swimming", one may also refer to this is a "dog house" without specifying its type.) (This one is a poor one and basically ridiculous, but it stands proudly offensive to that our commentary on the differences between "real real" and "real" border insanity in addition to obsession.]
[^2 This acception (that Frangles puts a space to separate single and double quote marks, which are oftenusually paired together, making them a little hard to distinguish; that is: '") is an important breach of regular rules, as Frangles' strange styles are already prone to confusion, especially on the fly. (When it comes to proper grammar, spelling, sentence structure, word usage, etc, etc, we endeavor to only break rules when they make a lot of functional sense, not to be lazy or rebelious.
For instance, we think using a period after "etc" is unnecesary, as "etc" is an incredibly common abbreviation, and can be an annoying grammatical doubling (a period and a comma) that sticks out too much, especially in a double instance, for instance, etc., etc., etc..... There's no need to point out that we're abbreviating something. The particular example above ("etc., etc., etc.....") uses a four-period elipsis, used to signify the omission of a string of text which goes past the end of a sentence (e.g. past a period), rather than a 3-period elipsis which signifies an amount of omission that does not include such a period. This, in our opinion, sticks out visually in the prose too much; the eye skimming immediately jumps to this area, whereas this phrase without a period after "etc" sticks out less, such as ("etc, etc, etc....") for example.]
[^3 An intentional Dude Where's My Car joke]
[^4 A slightly stolen Strongbad line (from homestarrunner.com)]