On “Folly”…

As the right column shows, one of my categories is “Folly: the Human Comedy As Universal Condition”.  As a former philosophy prof, I consider it my duty, on the record, to affirm that the two greatest texts in the philosophical grounding of the nature of folly are: (1) Juvenal, “The Satires,” and (2) Erasmus, Praise of Folly, the first published in the 2nd century, and the second in the 16th century. You will not believe how much Juvenal’s comedy resonates in our own time (gays, millionaires looking for status, women, orgies, drunks, pedants, and so on). Ditto for Erasmus, who shows how life would be unbearable without humor.  You know that I love Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Steven Colbert, and other people with pins to prick the balloons of current political gas-baggery, and the latest excesses of the media,  but you will be able to find almost all of their material in passages from hundreds/thousands of years ago–minus the references to modern media.  Human beings are a strange, funny, awful species!  (Thus saith the Exocentrist).