Some German intellectuals examine whether the West's biggest enemies share a common lack of humor:
DOES THE EUROPEAN Left have a humor problem? The current issue of Merkur, a highbrow German journal devoted to ''European thought,'' explores this ticklish subject. Roughly half of the contributors address the topic of humor and 9/11, and along with the inevitable analyses of American humor after the terrorist attacks, there are a number of well-written polemics excoriating what the authors view as a fundamental hostility within the Islamic world toward Western ideas of fun - and the European Left's tendency to sidestep or blame the West for this hostility. It's an intriguing idea, for which the Merkur has gotten good reviews. But can fun really be the crux of a clash of civilizations? Is it worth thinking about humor as the largely metaphoric war on terrorism threatens to prompt a decidedly literal one in the Middle East?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 November 13 12:47 AM Civilizations Clash Of|