“It’s funny because it’s true” – Responding to authenticity

The comedian Joe Rogan often shows his response to internet viral videos. It has become as much prevalent as the videos themselves to record the responses that people have to the videos. One particular instance that I consider is the video described by Rogan as “a man being fucked to death by a horse”. The background story of it shows that due to his lifestyle activity, of regularly intruding into barns and stimulating coitus with horses, there was a result of serious organ damage which led to his death. The video was an example of his activities but, per se was not the video of his death.

Our response seems to change to these events once we have more background information. I was watching a few videos of ‘dating tape’ advertisments where these men seem to be so horrific that it arouses suspicion as to whether it was a real video or not. It has often been exposed that pranks or viral videos were fake to begin with, under the guise that if it were a genuine event, people would find genuine shock and comedy from it. It is all too easy to fool people, and ith as led me to the consideration that a whole set of background propositions come to play in compliment to our immediate reaction.

Often, in emotional reactions, we can be given a ‘false start’. We may be quick to anger, or shock, and then later diffusing the situation and the inadequate basis of that feeling, we then remove (albeit slowly) that response which we have had. This reminds me of an aspect of Spinoza’s ethical system. A lot of our negative feelings can be diffused by an apprehension of their poor basis. A compatible claim is also that authenticity governs a significant component of our reaction to a situation, in contrast to our immediate reaction to it.


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