Forbidden Ideas

by Mark English ___ The English writer, actor and stand-up comedian, Alexei Sayle, was born into a seriously left-wing family (they were Communists), and he still adheres to what he sees as Marxist principles. This background shaped his life but did not entirely destroy his sense of humor. The title of his autobiography is Stalin... Continue Reading →

A Duty to Laugh at Oneself and the View from Nowhere

by David L. Duffy [T]he main ideas of the European Enlightenment [include]...practicing irony and especially self-irony." –Karl Popper (1) I hope my thesis is self-evident from the title: that laughter (especially directed against yourself) is a good and requires some level of distancing. I exclude "low humor" involving various types of aggression to the butt,... Continue Reading →

Music, Humor, and Politics

by Mark English P.D.Q. Bach was the youngest and oddest of J.S. Bach's many children. His best known work is probably the dramatic oratorio, Oedipus Tex, featuring the “O.K. Chorale.” Another of his works is the Pervertimento for Bagpipes, Bicycle and Balloons. Peter Schickele, Professor of Musicology and Musical Pathology at the University of Southern... Continue Reading →

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