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Dear Nancy,

You don't know me :)  I am given more to laughter than
to serious thought.  And I also come from a tradition
that didn't consider a taboo for mocking even objects
of reverence as the Vedas and other traditional
scriptures.   There is abundant literature of such
kind.

What I abhor is the trite that goes on as comedy or
satire. When a person like Jay Leno makes a mockery of
say, George Bush, what I observe is his calculated
appeal to the newspaper reading common man or the
regular TV watching guy.  Such an appeal is not only
crude but dangerous as well.  The laughter that he
provokes is a consequence of having scratched your
subconscious ego to your pleasure and not because of
any possible humor as related to the issue.  After
watching him, you donít become more conscious of the
issue; you only tend to be less conscious of it.  Or
that you find any further justification for an issue
or an object to be mocked.  Whereas, with a writer as
Swift and Mark Twain, it is exactly the opposite.  
They sure didnít have the Ďintendedí effects in their
mind (it is interesting to note here that Dickens was
thought to have had it in his mind in quite a few of
his works).    

I think humor is much more than just laughing out loud
alone.   For, one could laugh for any reason or even
without one as we all seem to do today ! 


--- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Vishvesh,
> 
> Satire and comedy are ancient forms of social
> commentary.  And,
> ironically for your reaction, they serve as forms of
> correction. 
> Americans and Brits mock and satirize almost
> everything:  there is no
> assumption of transcendent truth "to be respected"
> or "to be obeyed.
> 
> Your distress in several posts seems (correct me if
> I am wrong) from a
> view that both "serious international affairs" and
> Eliot are beyond
> ridicule.  That is just not true in a culture where
> comedy is--and has
> long been--a form of serious critique.  Read Pope. 
> Read Swift.  Read
> Mark Twain.  Read any op ed page or political
> cartoon.
> Cheers,
> Nancy
> 
> 
> >>> [log in to unmask] 04/01/05 11:36 AM >>>
> Rick,
> 
> I don't know if you mean 'amazing transformation'
> seriously or in jest.  I remember having read quite
> a
> few limericks of Waste Land online that were more
> striking (I will see if I can pull them from the
> web).
>  
> 
> Somehow such limericks remind me of the late night
> shows of Jay Leno in which serious international
> affairs are ridiculed ! 
> 
> 
> --- "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > Vishvesh Obla wrote:
> > > 
> > > "I liked a lot Eliot's value judgments on 'Form'
> > (the
> > > whole interview was a pleasure to read).  'The
> > form
> > > gave impetus to the content'. 'It wasn't quite
> so
> > > libre as much vers', 'I don't think good poetry
> > can be
> > > produced in a kind of political attempt to
> > overthrow
> > > some existing form' :  Eliot has made subtle
> > points
> > > here which are also found in many of his
> critical
> > > essays.  Reading such passages lead to a finer
> > > perception of the relation of 'form' to poetry
> and
> > to
> > > wonder if what we generally read as 'Vers Libre'
> > is
> > > really what Eliot (and Pound) tried in his
> (their)
> > > works. "
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > A much later experiment with form led to an
> amazing
> > transformation
> > of an Eliot poem.  There was a rework done of "The
> > Waste Land" where
> > a shortened and more rigid form led to the
> > simplification of TWL
> > where the meaning is clear.
> > 
> > A discussion is at:
> >    
> >
>
http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/859.html
> > 
> > Regards,
> >     Rick Parker
> > 
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> > April is the cruellest month.  And the first is
> the
> > worst.
> > 
> 
> 
> 		
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