According to the "Blowing Off Steam" theory, rough humor—humor that deals with culturally sensitive issues in a way that bumps into or violates taboos—helps release people’s anxieties and stresses in a safe environment. Specifically, it is a release of sacred anxiety.
One current culture war in North American society concerns rough humor—jokes, skits, writings, cartoons, etc. that deal with culturally sensitive issues in a way that bumps into or violates taboos. But is there something harmful about rough humor?
In the spirit of Plato, I am pleased to announce that I am throwing my hat in the ring for 2020! Just as Plato envisioned an ideal republic, I envision a new republic built on the ashes of the old. It is time for the philosopher-kings to take up their rightful place in this new republic.
Even as we wait in anticipation for Sunday's World Cup final between France and Croatia, there is at least one other major soccer event that we can watch right now: the "Philosophers' World Cup" by Monty Python.
The Simpsons may not seem like a legitimate source for philosophical discourse and ideas. But the University of Glasgow just launched a successful one-day course entitled "D'oh! The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy" as an introduction to the world's most eminent philosophical thinkers.