Thursday, December 08, 2005

James Thurber's Birthday

So how could it be that James Thurber and Ann Coulter were both born on the same day of the year? (That would be today's date, December 8th, Thurber in 1894, Coulter in 1961.)

Thurber just goes to show how good you have to be to be genuinely funny, while Coulter shows how dangerous it can be (mostly to the feeble brains of others) to take yourself sharp serious self waaaaayyyy tooooo seriously. Thurber suffered early on in life and late - and created some timeless antics for his fellow dogs and other mortals. We owe so much of the glory of New Yorker cartoons to Thurber. Coulter, in a more ancient, Old Testament sort of way, just wants her enemies to suffer.

Here's what James Thurber said that seems rather apropos to my slipping and sliding slats and rants here at A Better Nation:

"The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself."

Me, I'm always willing to be the butt of someone else's joke, even at the risk of discovering that it's not a very good joke. Wits, satirists AND humorists take RISKS. And good, genuine laughs, at the unfair expense of no one, really are the gold of the realm, a real salve for LIFE.

As for Ms. Coulter, it's for people like her that Thurber said, "There are two kinds of light--the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures."

We're in the season of supposed humility, when things are but to twinkle and glow, but it sure does seem like there's still a whole hell of a lot of GLARE out there.

James Thurber grew famously blind as he got older, but like Beethoven going deaf, it is as if Thurber's own vision/senses and light/ear just got better. Happy birthday to that, and to you, Mr. Thurber.


At 12/09/2005 4:00 AM, Anonymous rq said...

Glad you're back at the keyboard. Keep up the good work.

At 12/10/2005 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beethoven went deaf. And give me the glare of Ann Coulter any day, compare to your vapid tosh.

At 12/10/2005 3:43 PM, Blogger Lawrence said...

Thanks, anon, I corrected my ref to Beethoven, and I appreciate your moving on to find what you enjoy.


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