Saturday, October 13, 2007
Tyranny and Laughter
It's been out for a few months, but I saw a copy of Al Gore's book "The Assault on Reason" in Hastings today and thought: "When are we nearer the advent of a new tyranny: when reason is 'Under Assault' or when nobody in high places seems to have a sense of humor anymore?" Curiously, the history of tyranny has offered us only one man from its catalogue of corrupt despots averred to have possessed the capacity for laughter-the Emporer Domitian, whom the Roman chronicler mentions as often reaching the heights of hysteria while pulling the wings off of flies. Hmm.