An Interview with Marc Berlin


Q: Why do you write books?


A: I feel I can make a lot more money writing books than, say, greeting cards.


Q: Where do you like to write?


A: I can write anywhere – at my desk, under my bed, in the basement. My favorite place is in the yard next to the outdoor grille.


Q:  How important is humor?


A: Humor isn’t as important as love and friendship. It’s much more important than origami or hang-gliding, however.


Q:  Where do you get your ideas?


A:  All my ideas come from divine inspiration. I also steal a lot of material from my accountant.


Q: Who do you admire these days?


A:  I admire people who have something important to say or contribute to society in some meaningful way. My favorite people right now are Pope Francis and Florence Henderson.


Q:   What motivated you to write your newest book, “Obama Confidential”?


A:  I wrote “Obama Confidential” it in a flurry of  activity motivated by a stack of bills on my desk.


Q: Thanks for your time.  

ABOUT HUMOR (from Wikipedia)

"Humour or humor (see spelling differences) is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humors (Latin: humor, "body fluid"), control human health and emotion.

People of all ages and cultures respond to humour. The majority of people are able to experience humour, i.e., to be amused, to laugh or smile at something funny, and thus they are considered to have a sense of humour. 

The hypothetical person lacking a sense of humour would likely find the behaviour induced by humour to be inexplicable, strange, or even irrational. Though ultimately decided by personal taste, the extent to which a person will find something humorous depends upon a host of variables, including geographical location, culture, maturity, level of education, intelligence and context. 

For example, young children may favour slapstick, such as Punch and Judy puppet shows or cartoons such as Tom and Jerry. Satire may rely more on understanding the target of the humour and thus tends to appeal to more mature audiences.

There are many theories of humor which attempt to explain what humor is, what social functions it serves, and what would be considered humorous. It would be very difficult to explain humor to a hypothetical person who did not have a sense of humor already. In fact, to such a person humor would appear to be quite strange if not outright irrational behavior.

Among the prevailing types of theories that attempt to account for the existence of humor there are: psychological theories, the vast majority of which consider humor to be very healthy behavior; there are spiritual theories which may, for instance consider humor to be a "gift from God;" there are also theories that consider humor to be an unexplainable mystery, very much like a mystical experience.

Although various classical theories of humor and laughter may be found, in contemporary academic literature three theories of humor appear repeatedly: relief theory, superiority theory, and incongruity theory. 

Among current humor researchers, there is no consensus about which of these three theories of humor is most viable. Proponents of each one originally claimed their theory to be capable of explaining all cases of humor, however, they now acknowledge that although each theory generally covers its own area of focus, many instances of humor can be explained by more than one theory. Incongruity and superiority theories, for instance, seem to describe complementary mechanisms which together create humor."

ABOUT SATIRE (from Wikipedia)

"Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

A common feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—"in satire, irony is militant"—but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This "militant" irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack.

Satire is nowadays found in many artistic forms of expression, including literature, plays, commentary, and media such as lyrics."

Marc Berlin  •  copyright 2014