Monday, March 08, 2010

Quote for the day

Reading CC today reminded me of something else I'd recently read:

Fanatics don't laugh at themselves; laughter is by definition heretical, unless used cruelly, turned outwards against an opponent or enemy. Bigots can't laugh. True believers don't laugh. Their idea of laughter is a satirical cartoon pillorying an opposition person or idea. Tyrants and oppressors don't laugh at themselves, and don't tolerate laughter at themselves.

Laughter is a very powerful thing, and only the civilized, the liberated, the free person can laugh at herself, himself.

- Doris Lessing, from "Prisons We Choose to Live Inside" (p. 46), print edition of the 1986 CBC Massey Lectures
...might have some more to say on this later.

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