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Miyuki beads, freshwater pearls, mother of pearl centerpiece, cut shell beads 


  • I started this brooch while listening to Stephen Briggs read Sir Terry Pratchett, and to Steven Gimbel tell jokes and analyze stand-up comedy, when I was learning concrete sculpture in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, in January 2019.

    This piece winks at me.


    Terry Pratchett is a master of humor, weaving stories with references that make them even better! I am fascinated by Gimbel in part because I’d like to write like Pratchett. Superiority theory, inferiority theory, taboos, situational hilarity, cleverness, fundamental truths, etc, all are there.

    There is a Terry Pratchett joke to exemplify perhaps every one of Gimbals’ ideas about humor.


    What makes a joke clever?

    For stand-up comedians, what makes a joke good is not whether it “lands” with an audience, but whether it is novel. Is an ethnic joke OK? Is it an offensive way of making the teller and audience feel superior to the ethnic butt of the joke, or a way of including “them” (eg Italian Americans) as part of the larger group by acknowledging their cultural quirks?

    Joking about something can signal that the crisis of difference is actually past.


    Should humor be given a long leash?

    Humor speaks truth to power.

    Edgy hilarity is freedom.


    Pratchett’s Discworld is carried through space on the backs of four giant elephants standing on the shell of Great A’Tuin, the enormous sky turtle who swims through space with a prehistoric mirthful knowing wink.


    The key to speaking truth to power, perhaps, is not taking yourself too seriously.

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