The Hangover: Glory vs. Depravity in Humor (Part 2)

1 08 2011

Here it is, part 2 of my analysis of the humor in the movie “The Hangover”.  Remember the Homework I gave?  Here it is:

Make a list of all the examples of Degradation and Debasement you see in the trailer (or remember from the movie) and list your corresponding emotional reaction to that instance of Degradation or Debasement.

Here’s my list:

Debasement: Intoxication via drugs and alcohol (which qualifies as debasement because, particularly in this case, it is done to enable addiction, numbing, infidelity, and other self-damaging behaviors).  My emotional response: Sadness (because I’ve seen loved ones damaged by drugs and alcohol, and have been personally hurt by them as well).

Debasement: Reveling in sin (going to Las Vegas with the explicit intention of violating one’s own moral code for a thrill).  My emotional response: Sadness; anger (because I long to see men act with integrity; their intentional shunning of integrity shows that they are insensitive to the damage they are causing to the world).

Debasement: Intentionally causing physical pain for humorous effect with a stun gun.  My emotional response: joy (I laugh; for some reason, this is really funny); sadness & anger (because the police officer enjoys their pain).  (And yet apparently I, too, enjoy their pain.  Apparently I’m a hypocrite.)

Debasement: Sexual promiscuity (ignoring the connection between body and soul, and failing to treat the body and soul as sacred).  My emotional response: Arousal/excitement (illicit sex seems exciting); sadness/anger (I’ve seen the damage this sort of thing does; I’m angry that these men are cheating on their girlfriends; I’m angry that our society condones paying women to sexually abuse themselves via stripping and prostitution).

Debasement: Self-mutilation for humorous effect (Andy from the office pulls out his own tooth).  My emotional response: sadness/horror (he’s irreversibly destroying his own body, and that feels sick to me); excitement/joy (“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that!”)

Debasement: Child abuse and neglect (the baby).  My emotional response: joy/laughter in some instances (when the baby gets hit by the car door); rage (I want to rip the face off of anyone who would neglect their child in this manner, and also of anyone who would think this is funny).

Debasement: Dishonoring of the marriage relationship (inherent in the whole idea of “going to Vegas” the night before your wedding).  My emotional response: sadness (for the women to whom this happens); anger (at the women who put up with this garbage); rage (at the men who perpetrate this garbage).

Whoa… that got vulnerable.  And intense.

Next time I’ll make some observations about what can be gained from looking at this list.

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One response

3 08 2011

Yeah it did – thanks for being real with us Tim. I find myself feeling much less than you, but I love your heart and I look forward to the work God is doing in mine, to heal it and make me more alive. It seems to be happening already 🙂

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