A Valediction: No one will mourn

This will be my last editorial. Having consistently failed to make anyone laugh, I thought it was only right that I should leave you with some theoretical thoughts on comedy.

1. It is funny when there is a difference between how things are and how they should be. People neglecting their duty is funny. Is laughing at this kind of thing an act of rebellion? Is it an inconsequential substitute for rebellion? Bakhtin argued that subversive comedic theatre was ultimately conservative, because all the radicalism was contained on a stage, a separate and closed world.

2. It is funny when someone appears stupid or out of control of their life. Is ridicule malicious? Or is it a sympathetic act of community that recognises a shared bondage to the low, the stupid, the disgusting? Is laughter relief that we are not alone? Charlie Chaplin said ‘Comedy is life viewed from a distance; tragedy, life in a close-up.’

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