Friday, December 14, 2018

The death of humor... plus ça change...

By Adolf Schrödter -

IdahoBeauty's comments to the last post caused me to reflect that although she didn't put it quite like this, the proportion in so-called "news" publications of actual news to opinion, innuendo, and repetition is like the proportion of bread to wine in Falstaff's inn tab. Then, because my memory is failing, I had to look up the "bread and sack" quotation so as to be sure I got the words right. And that search led me to a magazine article from 1780 that might have been dictated by one of the humorless scolds we were decrying.

In a comment on the "bread and sack" scene the writer says, "The effects we feel at what I next quote, are sufficient to convince us how dangerous wit and humour are in the power of knaves. They take our hearts in despite of our senses. Although we know them to be all that is bad, yet we cannot withhold our affections."

Oh, okay, we could go back to Plato for examples of the ruling classes distrusting artists. Heck, there's probably something to that effect in the epic of Gilgamesh. But for today, The Lady's Magazine suffices to remind me that the scolds are always with us. God forbid anybody should be funny. Humor is too dangerous to be allowed out.


  1. True oh true and nothing ever changes much. We are quick to think we are the first to suffer whatever current woes befall us and shocked to discover it has always been so. And yet we struggle on and sometimes even upward and in doing may discover what is truly important in our lives, immediate and far reaching. Connections so important. Gladly connected to you. Merry Christmas!

  2. Meant to add that humor and humorists do walk a dangerous line as there is most often a grain of truth in their jokes and jibes, truth the masses can easily see to the ire of those implicated. Death indeed in some cases.


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