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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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Can't You Take a Joke???

Here's a thought provoking article from Lee Harris, in TCS Daily, a publication of TechCentralStation.

Much can be learned about a society by observing what it is prepared to laugh at. If it laughs and mocks at cripples, but does not dare to make fun of those in positions of authority, then you will have a very different society than one in which even the most powerful may be publicly ridiculed by those who have the talent and inclination to do so. A society that is not afraid to lampoon its leaders is one that is invariably freer than a society in which men are afraid to exchange jokes about them, even in the privacy of their own homes. It is more egalitarian in spirit. That is why the spirit of satire is interlinked with the social conditions that produce free societies -- the right "to take liberties" with those in authority by ridiculing them is, I submit, the unsuspected source of those three great social virtues: liberty, fraternity, and equality.