noticed what a powerful tool humor is? Humor has
say that more important than the fact that smiling
and laughing burns more calories, it allows us to
say things that we may not normally be able to say,
but become "kosher" under the guise of a joke.
are times that we make humorous comments about some
truly dangerous things (like mothers-in-law - just
joking). Seriously speaking, humor allows us to
lighten weighty issues. Sometimes humor is the only
way to survive a difficult situation.
Mendy Pellin, a local Chabad comic, did
an experiment and the results are more than amusing.
However, the results also give us something to
consider: "If it's humorous, does that mean it's
told me, "I did it just for fun, but I myself was
shocked by the results."
went out dressed up like a reporter with cameras and
crew and took a poll. He was trying to find out if
people answer polls because they really believe in
the answer or their reply is given just to please
So he went out dressed as himself, a Hassidic
Jew, but changing his voice so he would sound like
an Israeli, and he asked questions about Middle
Eastern politics; then he went out dressed like an
Arab, affecting a Muslim accent, and asked the
identical political questions.
it should come as no surprise that the answers he
got depended on how he was dressed and the accent he
bring us some food for thought about the validity of
polls. How valid are the answers that pollsters get?
Do they get the answers they are seeking just
because people want to please them?
similar case, a woman working for a news station
trying to prove that people reply to pollsters
according to what they think they want to hear,
walked around at a fair trying to get people to sign
a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide - which is
just the scientific way of saying water - and came
out with equally amusing results. People didn't ask
what the chemical was and they accepted what
the woman said the danger was without any further
investigation. They listened and signed the petition
to ban water.
that many times we answer what we think a questioner
wants to hear instead of thinking things through and
saying what we truly believe. I think we should take
a step back and think before we accept poll results
as an honest opinion about what people really
believe. Because, even though in both the stated
cases the poll results were quite humorous they beg
us to ask a serious question, "If it's humorous,
does that mean it's funny?"