Thursday, May 29, 2008

 

On making fun of bad guys

In an interview with Roger Errera in 1974, later captured in the New York Review of Books (10/26/1978), Hannah Arendt cited this comment by Berthold Brecht:
The great political criminals must be exposed and exposed especially to laughter. They are not great political criminals, but people who permitted great political crimes, which is something entirely different…. If the ruling classes permit a small crook to become a great crook, he is not entitled to a privileged position in our view of history. That is, the fact that he becomes a great crook and that what he does has great consequences does not add to his stature.
Once again, we see that the best response to political sleaze is ridicule.

(Cross posted from From the Rachel)

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