On Reading

“When we read, we are not looking for new ideas, but to see our own thoughts given the seal of confirmation on the printed page. The words that strike us are those that awake an echo in a zone we have already made our own—the place where we live—and the vibration enables us to find fresh starting points within ourselves.”

Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living: Diaries 1935-1950

HT: Terry Teachout

On Humor

What Terry Teachout writes about the post-modern comedy could just as easily apply to Forensics.

The endless-loop Irony Lite of today’s sitcoms wears me out. It’s mostly nothing more than fast talking heavily sauced with needless-to-say-we-all-agree-about-everything attitude. And it’s not funny. Attitude is not humor. References are not humor. Sniggering is not humor. Above all, clubbishness is not humor. True humor doesn’t exclude—it includes. It reminds us, ever and always, that we, too, partake in the common dilemma. Even in farce, which hinges on the public humiliation of an unsympathetic person, we’re always thinking, “Oh, God, that might be me up there.” And cringing.