Posted by The Happy Tutor
Life is a jest; and all things show it.
I thought so once; but now I know it.
John Gay (1685-1732)
Yes, Gay wrote of the Beggar and his Opera, of thieves, pimps, and whores in places high and low, and he had it sung to folk tunes, in mockery of the Italian Opera. They say that the Prime Minister came to opening night, found himself satirized as Peachum, the treacherous pimp at the center of the plot, and couldn't help laughing, at which point the whole audience began to laugh as well. Colbert attempted this with the Decider and fell short. The President glowered; and the Press frowned. Gay's precedent, however, remains. Long Live Beggars in Bondage! The Dumpster, or the grave, are but the occasion for another jest. "All things in moderation," as Horace used to say. Laughing at the powerful has its own risks. Don't laugh yourself to death.