A dip into the arts-and-culture archive.
Because of my donations at least one woman in Africa will not have to live with the misery and shame of obstetric fistula. I have been donating for at least 5 years now. I started donating because I read Peter Singer's book "The Life You Can Save".
SBF was a fraud and used EA to hide his fraud. Please stop talking about him. I find most people want to bring him up to assuage their own guilt.
I consider myself an effective altruist because I think giving a lot of money to useful charities is good. I've given $3800 (10% of my income) to malaria prevention causes this year.
But because of SBF now I want to say "no, I definitely never give money to charity, and if I did, they would all be ineffective ones!"
THE SOB MUST PUT IN JAIL FOR LIFE IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR LIFE THIS IS WHAT HE HAS EARNED.
Rodeos are very cruel to all the animals involved. I am very disappointed that you have allowed this article glamorizing animal cruelty.
A great break from the doom, gloom and hilarity of the political scene. I'll be diving into those essays based on your charming introductions.
When you open a book a step
inside its pages, you always
learn something. This generally, if you have an inquiring mind, leads you to
want to explore more of the
written word, no matter when
it was written.
The only humor I ever associated with the "classics" was the *CliffsNotes* version of Moby Dick:
Everyone dies but Ish and the fish.
I think that - like a lot of arguments - Joel Cuthbertson's overstates one aspect of an issue to make his point. Yes, humor is a part of many great works, but that does not make them per se humorous. It just makes them more complete and contributes to their staying power. Does "Hamlet" have some funny moments? Yes. Is it a humorous play? Probably only to snarky people. No one was better at putting humor in his books than Charles Dickens, but it is only a part of what makes "Bleak House" seem like a whole society between two covers. So, humor? Yes. Humorous? Not really.
I slogged through War and Peace one summer break from college. I don't remember being entertained, only that I finished. Now I may have to revisit it, but who has the time? I'm 65. And there are so many books! :)
Totally off topic, total t***per so called "judge" Aileen Cannon Just delivered an effective delay of the Document theft case until after the 2024 election. She did so with a paperless order without explanation making it nearly impossible to appeal. I would bet money she had a lot of help from t***p's attorneys on the wording. I guess she secured her invite to MAL for Thanksgiving and Christmas
I have to admit, I was unconvinced by the Classics=humor article. Maybe I'm imparting too strong of an argument to the article than was really intended; and of course I admit the existence of some humor in every classic, humor in some form or another is present in almost every work. But if you take stuff like the Iliad or the Odyssey, are people remembering them for Therisites's speech? Helen being compared to Artemis? I somehow doubt it. It's the much bolder more dramatic elements, the seances and the battle carnage, the howling rampage of revenge over the death of a best friend/possible lover and the homecoming to triumph after a decade at sea which is what draws in readers.
To put my own cast on it, I would say that the real classics need to make large numbers of people react to them viscerally, with a strong emotional imprint that is consistent across large audiences separated both temporally and culturally. They need to speak to something of that baseline human in all of us and draw it out. Humor can be an important element in that emotional cocktail, and any work without any humor to lighten it will probably drag to some extent, but I don't think it's the most important determinant.
About books. I learned how to read since I was 5 years old. By 6 I had read most of Jule Verne books. I did not consider them funny; they opened my mind to a science universe. I also read Homer and it was so entertaining. I never had any interest in the Bible, what I learned from others, and some tries at reading it made me think that it was funny. I laughed so much at the Noah's Arc fiction. At the Adam and Eve fiction, at the assumption that there is a God, and he is a man. So, I became an agnostic and a scientist. But I love reading. I have read a lot about the history of Jews. It is not funny. The atrocities during the Holocaust are horrible. The atrocities of The Catholic Church during the Inquisition are not funny, they were like Hitler, they killed so many.
Really enjoyed that. Thanks, Martyn. :)
Thank you Ms. Jones. Hoping JVL calls you in next time he's out of the office.
What a charming column. Lovely introductions, and I greatly appreciate the article suggestions.