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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
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The most important of all human qualities is a sense of humour.

SairaSaira Posts: 846 ✭✭✭
The most important of all human qualities is a sense of humour.I think without humour life is empty and boring, What do you think?

Comments

  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 2,803 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I think it helps not to take things seriously and keep enjoying life and the people around you.
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    I find it interesting how differently people see the same thing and how 'sense of humour' can be very varied depending on culture and other factors.

    I love the Polish and Russian dark humour. @Xanthippe, @dope?
  • PaulettePaulette Posts: 6,066 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In a conversation, a good sense of humor can very quickly break the so-called ice cream that is sometimes present between people.
    A humorous look at yourself and others creates a pleasant atmosphere in a company. However, humor must not be offensive or degrading. The use of humor is really an art to use correctly in the right place at the right time.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    Saga in The Bridge, the Swedish police series does not have a sense of humour. It is amusing how she tries to learn from her Danish colleague but gets it wrong as she does not know how to respond to people's attempts at being funny.
  • PaulettePaulette Posts: 6,066 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge I think Saga is always so strict and serious in all what she does.She is very conscientious, she wants to do it always perfectly, in a sense she doesn't understand any humour.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    She has some strange mental problems @Paulette. I think in series 3 (which I'm able to start watching), this might be revealed a bit more. In The Tunnel, the British version (using the Channel Tunnel instead of the bridge), the character Elise (based on Saga) is just the same.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge, interestingly I have noticed that many jokes from former communist times are rather obscure for both younger Poles and foreigners. I tried to tell Lynne a joke about canned sardines and police (or rather milicja). Well, she didn't get it at first.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    edited June 9
    > @mheredge said:

    > I love the Polish and Russian dark humour. @Xanthippe, @dope?
    While I'm not one of them, probably I won't be annoying with these:

    ***
    A court in session. A man has been just sentenced for murder.
    Judge: “Mr. Ivanov, are you ashamed for murdering that poor little lady? And all you got from her was only 10 kopecks!”
    Ivanov: “Approaches differ, your honour… Ten old ladies make a rouble…”

    ***

    At the Ku Klux Clan headquarters:
    “How can I join the organization?”
    “Simple. Kill six darkies and a cat.”
    “What’s the cat’s fault?!”
    “Congratulations. You’re accepted!”

    ***
    And old man is wandering a Soviet grocery shop and muttering: “No wine, no cheese, no butter…”
    A KGB officer approaches: “Off you go out, old fart, or I’ll strike you with my pistol!”
    “Got ya… no bullets either…”
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    Xanthippe said:

    @mheredge, interestingly I have noticed that many jokes from former communist times are rather obscure for both younger Poles and foreigners. I tried to tell Lynne a joke about canned sardines and police (or rather milicja). Well, she didn't get it at first.

    What's the joke @Xanthippe? I wonder if with my warped sense of humour I might get it.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard, I adore this sense of humour.

    – Откуда валюту взял? – задушевно спросили у Никанора Ивановича.

    – Бог истинный, бог всемогущий, – заговорил Никанор Иванович, – все видит, а мне туда и дорога. В руках никогда не держал и не подозревал, какая такая валюта! Господь меня наказует за скверну мою, – с чувством продолжал Никанор Иванович, то застегивая рубашку, то расстегивая, то крестясь, – брал! Брал, но брал нашими советскими! Прописывал за деньги, не спорю, бывало. Хорош и наш секретарь Пролежнев, тоже хорош! Прямо скажем, все воры в домоуправлении. Но валюты я не брал!

    На просьбу не валять дурака, а рассказывать, как попали доллары в вентиляцию, Никанор Иванович стал на колени и качнулся, раскрывая рот, как бы желая проглотить паркетную шашку.

    – Желаете, – промычал он, – землю буду есть, что не брал? А Коровьев – он черт.

    Всякому терпенью положен предел, и за столом уже повысили голос, намекнули Никанору Ивановичу, что ему пора заговорить на человеческом языке.

    @mheredge,

    'Milicjanci' i.e. police during the communist period would like to open canned sardines. So they knock at the tin and start crying:
    'Go out, surrender! You are under siege!'
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    > @Xanthippe said:
    > @Practical_Severard, I adore this sense of humour.
    >

    Thanks for this gem, @Xanthippe , Bulgakov is really a master of irony. The method is careful selection of words which mock the main theme. This makes a text extremely funny, but in a very subtle way. If you read in Russian, you may want to have a look at Chekhov, who wrote in the same style. "Тёща-адвокат" (Mother-in-law the attorney) for example:

    ...Это произошло в одно прекрасное утро, ровно через месяц после свадьбы Мишеля Пузырева с Лизой Мамуниной. Когда Мишель выпил свой утренний кофе и стал искать глазами шляпу, чтобы ретироваться на службу, к нему в кабинет вошла теща.

    Just don't know whether there is a good Polish or English translation.

    >

    > 'Milicjanci' i.e. police during the communist period would like to open canned sardines. So they knock at the tin and start crying:
    > 'Go out, surrender! You are under siege!'
    Do you mean they were banging on empty sardine cans? But why would they like opening them? Or their using those empty cans made people brand them sardine-lovers?
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard, I adore Chekhov too but I haven't read "Тёща-адвокат." Thanks for the recommendation. :) He is very gloomy sometimes. Well, I do read in Russian (this was my first foreign language so you can guess I am not very young ;) ). but now with some effort.
    I have found "Master and Margarita" in English but I cited it in Russian because much of the subtle irony you mentioned gets lost in translation. Translations aren't up to the original.
    E.g. I particularly like the expression: в качестве вампира-наводчика - typical Bulgakov. :)

    As for 'milicjanci' - the can wasn't empty. They simply wanted to eat sardines but they didn't know how to open it. There are a lot of jokes like that - they illustrate how stupid the police was.

    Another joke, this time about Soviets - 'you know we are besieged by the allies'.
    Or about the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw (a present from the Soviet nation) - 'It is small but very elegant' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Culture_and_Science

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    edited June 13
    > @Xanthippe said:
    >I do read in Russian (this was my first foreign language so you can guess I am not very young ;) ). but now with some effort.
    > E.g. I particularly like the expression: в качестве вампира-наводчика - typical Bulgakov. :)

    Still, if you grasp the wittiness your Russian is still very good. One needs to know a lot of words to be able for this. At the post-WWII period the Polish culture was also in its peak of interest in Russia, like the science fiction novels by Stanislaw Lem and the fantasy by Andrzej Sapkowski. Barbara Brylska is still well-known because the film she starred in is still iconic.

    > Another joke, this time about Soviets - 'you know we are besieged by the allies'.
    I can guess. I was used to read the blog by a Polish writer and translator from Russian Jerzy Czech. He mentioned several jokes of this kind.

    > Or about the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw (a present from the Soviet nation) - 'It is small but very elegant' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Culture_and_Science
    The Soviet architecture was never small. The Russian one is much the same, though. A land empire loves big scale.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard, Lem is internationally well-known but it is his merit. He isn't as obsessively Polish-centered as e.g. our Romantics are. :)

    Yeah, the empire adores grandeur. I adore this clip:

    I have chosen "Death of a government clerk" for our Monday reading (only a translation of course :( )

  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard I guess you know this one:

    It is very good.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    > @Xanthippe said:
    > Yeah, the empire adores grandeur. I adore this clip:
    Sorry for being late with the answer, I was busy with some building at my "dacha"
    https://yadi.sk/i/M25G6KV03L9ibe
    I'm not sure I've got your message. If you meant that the empire had its low points, that's quite true. Empires, like everyone else, aren't free from hardships and failures. Moreover, Paris 1815 was after Moscow 1812. If you meant something else, please expand on this.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    > @Xanthippe said:
    > @Practical_Severard I guess you know this one:
    >
    > It is very good.

    No, I don't. It looks like a 2 hours' long film, so I'll watch it a bit later.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard, well, I mean architecture in Moscow. :) You can see its grandeur in this clip. You said "The Soviet architecture was never small. The Russian one is much the same, though. A land empire loves big scale. "

    Napoleon looking at a splendid icon. :)

    Good luck with your building. :) I have heard that Russians adore dachas. :) My friend Eleonora, who lives in Siberia, has one too. Her father built it.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    > @Xanthippe said:
    > @Practical_Severard, well, I mean architecture in Moscow. :) You can see its grandeur in this clip. You said "The Soviet architecture was never small. The Russian one is much the same, though. A land empire loves big scale. "
    >

    Well, those buildings aren't good examples of scale, they're not bigger than any contemporary Western European cathedral. Though their style must look very unusual for anyone with the Roman Catholic heritage, I might guess. As for me, I'm accustomed to them. That's natural: a fish never notices the water it lives in.

    >
    > Good luck with your building. :) I have heard that Russians adore dachas. :) My friend Eleonora, who lives in Siberia, has one too. Her father built it.
    Well, yes. I think those Socialist blocks of flats make people want a kind of counterweight.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard, you are right of course. I have never been to Moscow. :)
    I would like to go to Petersburg (there is a Voltaire collection there). Besides, I was told that catalogues are not complete so it is possible to discover new interesting manuscripts. :)

    The same here: grey blocks of flats have been frequently painted in vivid colours: at least they look more lively. And more and more people move to modern buildings. When I was a child everything was grey.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    Some friends want to visit St Petersburg and were going to book a long weekend break that was on offer at a local travel agent for a very reasonable price. However when they went to reserve their places, the price had lept up by 50% and it was no longer such a great deal. They are now going to do it themselves. I warned then to be careful to book the hotel first so they can get the visa, as independent travel for most nationalities is still really hard and you need to pre-book and have confirmation of this is order to get a tourist visa. I don't know @Xanthippe but is this the same for Polish citizens? I would imagine so.

    I can't recommend St Petersburg highly enough. It is really a most splendid city.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,758 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge, I have no idea, but I suppose it is the same. But my friends have applied for a grant (searching for manuscripts in this area) so I hope it would be somewhat easier. I will know in November if the application is succusseful.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > Some friends want to visit St Petersburg and were going to book a long weekend break that was on offer at a local travel agent for a very reasonable price. However when they went to reserve their places, the price had lept up by 50% and it was no longer such a great deal. They are now going to do it themselves. I warned then to be careful to book the hotel first so they can get the visa, as independent travel for most nationalities is still really hard and you need to pre-book and have confirmation of this is order to get a tourist visa. I don't know @Xanthippe but is this the same for Polish citizens? I would imagine so.
    >

    @Xanthippe said:
    > I have no idea, but I suppose it is the same

    Polish citizens are treated like ones from any other EU country. The visa procedure, I guess, mirror the one that Russian nationals need to go through to obtain a EU country's visa. A hotel reservation, among other things, is mandatory for them also. Having in mind the mirror principle I might guess that should @Xanthippe want to go to Russia as a tourist she needs a health insurance, a proof of funds and a return ticket.

    Though, a cruise ship passenger may visit St Petersburg without a visa but the term is no way enough for a research at the Voltaire Collection.

    One needs to find a good agent and/or hotel. There are such ones in St Petersburg, while they might not be the cheapest options.

    My first foreign trip was to Paris and we were independent tourists too.
    I had a problem with the hotel that they didn't want to charge my card in advance as the authorities required. We could cope solely thanks to my wife's fluency in French. Apart from this the visit was great.

    > I can't recommend St Petersburg highly enough. It is really a most splendid city.
    Best visits there are in summer, since the winter weather in St Petersburg is nasty.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    > @Xanthippe said:
    > @Practical_Severard, you are right of course. I have never been to Moscow. :)
    > I would like to go to Petersburg (there is a Voltaire collection there). Besides, I was told that catalogues are not complete so it is possible to discover new interesting manuscripts. :)

    I looked through the Internet to learn something about the collection. The Russian National Library - which is the custodian of the collection, keeps it in a separate chamber and researchers are allowed to work with the books while others can visit with a scheduled excursion. The main purpose your grant is the physical access to the books and manuscripts, I guess.

    They have a kind of presentation in French at http://gallica.bnf.fr/dossiers/html/dossiers/Voltaire/

    Also there is a far more extensive site http://www.nlr.ru/ and even an online copy of the catalogue https://vivaldi.nlr.ru/bx000070514/view#page=3 but they both are in Russian.

    You have demonstrated a marvellous command of Russian, so you can use the both freely as well as communicate with Russian travel agents, hotels and officials.
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