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.


Jeff Moss said...

Nero at least knew how to weep--over the pathos of his own compositions.

Thomas Banks said...

I probably would've wept over his compositions too, but for an altogether different reason.