I think that I've got a sense of humour, and I think that you share that sense of humour. But when 'literalness' clashes with 'humour', misunderstandings occur.
Unfortunately, I'm getting to the point where I'll say something to jk that I really regret later. Humans and their feelings, eh?
This comes from another thread (on Beliefs, science, and marxism), but rather than reply on that thread it seemed preferable to start another, since this is a very different subject.
At one point that discussion got quite heated, and it was clear that comrades experienced feelings of being under personal attack, or of frustration at not getting their point across (or at being misconstrued). There is no doubt that such negative emotions cloud our judgment and make debate more difficult, and this is often even more the case on a forum where we only have the written word to go on, not the body signals and tone of voice that can show someone is only speaking in jest (for example).
It occurred to me that it might be an idea to ask where these emotions come from. We tend to think of our emotions as being intensely personal, because that is how they feel to us, but in fact is it not more valid to think of our emotions also as a social product?
One reason I ask this is because I am often oppressed by a sense of inadequacy if I compare revolutionaries of today with the Bolsheviks before the revolution. These militants were extraordinary men and women, who engaged in political activity knowing that it would cut them off from any hope of a normal life (they could reckon at most a few years of activity before being sent to prison or to Siberia), constantly in hiding and constantly on the move. Yet many of them (including workers with little or no formal education) were also intellectuals in their own right, reading and even writing at the same time as they were militants.
They seem like super-heroes, and our little frustrations and resentment at being criticised (very common) seem petty and mean-spirited in comparison.
Is this, perhaps, the wrong way of looking at things?
Would it not be more accurate to say that our own emotions, when they spring from our militant life, spring (up to a point) from the situation of the working class as a whole?
If the working class today is crippled by lack of confidence in itself, and its ability to change the world or even to defend itself, then is it surprising that revolutionaries should be afflicted by lack of self-confidence, and even a hyper-sensitivity to criticism?
If the working class is today - for the moment - unable to respond at the level required to the attacks it is confronted with, and often seems even unwilling to look the reality of the world in the face, then is it any wonder that revolutionaries should be infected with feelings of frustration and anger at not getting their viewpoint across?
If we are aware of this, and of the extent to which we can be dominated by unconscious sensations which in a sense do no "belong" to us, then perhaps this will help to overcome them.