Pi Day

Hahaha, I love humans. They’ll find the silliest little bit of humor and turn it into a whole movement. They’ll use one spark of joy to create culture-wide “in jokes” and then whole layers of subculture will surround them.

Today is ‘Pi Day.’ Why? Because it’s March 14th… or 3.14, like the first three digits of pi. Haha, I love this!

It’s like how May 4th is “Star Wars Day.” Because, get this, “May the Fourth be with you.” Ha!

I absolutely love the whole concept of shared, culturally-embedded jokes. Think about ‘knock-knock’ jokes. They’re amazing. Not because they’re particularly funny (though one or two definitely are), but because you just instantly know how to interact with someone if they start off by saying “Knock, knock.”

A perfect stranger could walk up to you on the street and say those words and you’d probably respond correctly. Even if you chose not to, it wouldn’t be because you didn’t know what you were supposed to say. Shared humor constructs give us a way of immediately connecting with our society.

That’s why I never worry too much about “screen time” for kids. I watched a fair amount of television as a kid. It didn’t ruin me, and it certainly didn’t turn me into a “television addict” (seriously, this was a concern for kids growing up in the 80’s); in fact, I barely watch TV at all now. But what it did do was give me a shared connected language of quotes and jokes from all of these culturally-relevant shows that enabled me to engage in conversation with a huge number of people. Conversations that didn’t have a natural starting point were instead enabled because we both knew The Simpsons well enough to quote it at each other. Humor is cultural studies.

So remember as you and your family (and your kids!) are all trapped indoors for the next few weeks, that a little television never hurt anyone, and shared cultural jokes are worth their weight in gold.

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