Please Use Intelligent Humor

Please Use Intelligent Humor

Modern entertainment has fallen WAY too heavily on shallow, crass jokes.
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Please use intelligent humor.

Your audience, no matter the age group, is intelligent, and you should treat them that way. The rise of crass humor (and in a more specific sense, potty humor), especially in children's entertainment, is disheartening and disappointing to me as a writer. One should never doubt or insult one's readers. It's a common courtesy.

Basically, I've been reading since I was three years old (verified by The Mom) and the books I have loved most are the ones that just shut up and tell a story. They don't use fluff. They don't beat around the bush. And best of all, they don't talk down to me. Recently I picked up a novel--I don't even remember the title--and I read a few pages to test it out. Less than a chapter in, and I slapped it shut and threw it aside. By the wording the author used, I just knew he/she thought the reader wouldn't understand the subject matter and was treating me poorly as a result. I wasn't about to waste my time on that. Why bother?

The same goes for inappropriate humor. To me, a fart joke tells me a whole lot about the writer. Clearly, this person could think of nothing else to make an audience laugh. Either they didn't have the brainpower (unlikely) to generate a more intelligent joke, or they were simply too lazy to do so (way more likely). It's inexcusable and angering. I don't want to dedicate two hours of my precious day to something that will make me feel like an idiot for watching. That's why I couldn't get past the first half hour of the Angry Birds movie. Take a lesson from The Lego Movie, Angry Birds people. They did it way better than you.

But more pertinently, I do not believe writing is about conning a cheap laugh. It's not even about trying to attract the largest audience of middle-school boys, who I suspect only laugh at this stuff because everybody else is. Writing is about communicating an idea or a story, and in a culture that's slowly squashing the beauty and importance of imagination, content like this drives me out of my skull. The last thing I want is for young, creative people to see that this is the stuff that sells and automatically think they must conform. No. Writers don't have to stoop that low. Writers can be intelligent because the audience is intelligent, and if we all treat each other with respect, there is no need to go that route at all.

Overall, if you're a writer, please be smart. Sure, if your character is immature and uses rude humor, that's fine. Rude people do that, and it can make a realistic statement. But if you, the author, start treating your readers as if this is the only way they'll laugh--forget it. There are a million other books that won't do the same, and just like that, you've lost a reader. So put some thought into your work. Let your creativity do the thinking. Your readers will fall in love with it for what it is, and you can take legitimate joy in that fact.

Cover Image Credit: Josh Applegate

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6 Places in New York City Every "Friends" Fan Needs to Visit

Grab a cup of coffee at Central Park.
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As a Friends fanatic myself, I often wonder about the places in New York City featured in the various episodes and whether I could actually visit them. Most of them are fictional or no longer exist, but there are a few places you can go to reminisce about your favorite Friends moments. So, here are 6 places in New York City you definitely need to visit as a Friends fan.

1. The Apartment Building, Obviously

The building used for the exterior shot of the apartments in Friends is real, and is located at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. It's an obvious must-see.

2. The Pullitzer Fountain

This is the fountain that the friends danced around in for the iconic theme song, and it's located right in Central Park.

3. Bloomingdale's

This is the department where Rachel worked before she moved on to Ralph Lauren, where she met Joshua, and where she started her career in fashion.

4. The Plaza Hotel

This is where Monica and Chandler celebrated their engagement in The One WIth Monica's Thunder, and is actually really gorgeous.

5. The Central Perk Replica

While Central Perk isn't a real coffee shop, a pop-up replica opened up in 2014 on Lafayette Street and it's definitely a must-visit.

6. Chandler's Office

The fictional Chandler works in the real Solow Building, located on West 57th street.

Cover Image Credit: Fame Focus

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12 Songs That Prove You're A Sucker For The Jonas Brothers

It's been a long, long time.

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This past week, the Jonas Brothers released a song and music video starring their wives (and in Joe's case, fiancee), completely shocking fans given the fact that there was pretty much no prior warning. As rumors are running rampant about their getting back together and a possible tour, now seems like a good time to reflect on their past. Specifically, my favorite songs that they've written. And if the rumors are true...I hope to find new favorites soon.

1. "Inseparable"

2. "Australia"

3. "Hold On"

4. "Shelf"

5. "Can't Have You"

6. "Turn Right"

7. "SOS"

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11. "Hey Baby"

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