The Humor’s in the Contrast

It felt sort of WRONG to have this jokey kitchen magnet on my blog here Tuesday. Even in this far ‘breezier’ culture it felt too…. daring, almost, to post – especially for an old classroom teacher like myself.

But it just struck me so funny, the contrast set up between the crudeness of the phrase and the prim look of this MadMen-era lady with her hands prettily folded under her chin and all. They call that cognitive dissonance; you get that when a thing you believe to be true conflicts with another, previously held thing that you’ve already told yourself you believe. Discomfort arises then, though you wouldn’t know it to look at this lady’s expression.

Here are some examples of cognitive dissonance, offered by somebody in a chat room on the subject:

Say you eat a few grapes in the Produce department of the supermarket. You know it’s wrong but you tell yourself you’re just checking to see if they’re any good.

Or, you speed on your way to work. You’re breaking the law – you know it – but you tell yourself it’s more important to get to work on time.

Or – here’s a doozy- say somebody you dislike makes a really generous gesture towards you. Because you WANT to dislike this person – since you have actively disliked him all this time – you write it off his kind gesture as an attempt to make you feel guilty

A lengthy diversion I know but it comes to mind in relation to this funny picture.

Because, you know, the lady LOOKS like some kind of servin’-others-at-all-times Ozzie and Harriet-style saint but here she is saying something snarky – get it ?

I offer another for you below, which I also really like. Maybe all of us nurturers just really need a little snark to even out all that sweetness and light. 🙂

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