Culture

The Corner

Why Don’t Germans Laugh?

Over at The Weekly Standard, Joshua Gelernter has an interesting and light hearted piece on why Germans have trouble laughing. It’s an intriguing topic. As I’ve written before, Germany was a special breeding ground for envy and resentment, and envy and resentment are not good wellsprings for mirth and jocularity. Gelernter concludes by noting:

What makes the Germans the way they are? Perhaps all the light-hearted, benevolent ones emigrated to the United States and founded Wisconsin. Or else they were murdered by the Nazis. Robin Williams used to tell a story that a German reporter asked him why Germany wasn’t known for comedy, and he answered “Well, you killed all the funny people.” Times change and peoples change with them. Remember, in the 19th century, everyone knew that Germans were most notable for their composers and philosophers, and that the most fearsome warriors in Europe were the French.

Patton Oswalt has a slightly different take. He thinks that Germans clamp down on any joke because they’re afraid it will lead to mockery of Germans over the Holocaust. It’s a very funny bit. 

But I think the real reason has to be that the Germans understand that laughter can kill:

 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More