No subject is ever too serious for humour. I think many people have a basic misunderstanding: There's a difference between being serious and being solemn. We could be talking about things that are extremely serious -– our marriages, the education of our children, politics, even the meaning of life -- and laughing quite a lot and that wouldn't make what we were talking about one bit less serious. But solemnity, on the other hand; I don't know what it's for. Solemnity serves pomposity, self-importance, and egotism. And the pompous and the self-important always know at some level that their egotism is going to be punctured by humour. That's why they always see humour as negative, as a threat to them personally. And so they dishonestly criticize it as frivolous and light-minded.In other words, frivolity contrasts with seriousness, with regards to the weight one gives to a subject matter; on the other hand, humour contrasts with solemnity, with regards to the way in which one expresses oneself on an issue. Indeed, I'd suggest that most solemn people are treating the issues they discuss in an incredibly frivolous manner: the posturings of politicians on legislature floors are an obvious example.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Wolf Blitzer vs. John Cleese.
Let us contrast Wolf Blitzer's sanctimonious condemnations of comedians, who are deservedly mocking the American right's claims about "World War III", with the sage words of John Cleese: