Magazine September 10, 2018, Issue

The Rage against Humor

Nothing kills a joke like having to justify it. Which is why I feel sorry for Boris Johnson, the former British foreign secretary whose recent quip in the Daily Telegraph about women in burkas’ resembling letterboxes turned into a national joke-analyzing competition. The Muslim Council of Britain and members of the Labour party said that the joke was Islamophobic. A Guardian writer deemed it misogynist. The prime minister, like many in her party, urged Johnson to apologize. Who knows, perhaps even the queen, reading her morning papers, raised a royal eyebrow. As for the court jester: When journalists showed up

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“Last night, the winds went wild at war, their gusts and gales made chaos swarm, and then . . . they weren’t there anymore.”


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