Friday, March 16, 2007
In principle, of course, Red Nose Day leaves me cold, though, in the spirit of the day, I am considering a negative bid for Guido's uncharacteristically charitable offer of lunch with himself and one Katy Taylor-Richards - ie he pays me. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, however, raised the tone of the entire thing with an anecdote on his Thought for the Day this morning. At the funeral of Basil Hume he spoke to the Cardinal's chaplain who told him that Hume took God seriously so that he didn't need to take himself seriously at all. That, said Sacks, was the difference between those two utterly opposed types, the righteous and the self-righteous, a distinction that echoes Marilynne Robinson's observation on prigs. Red Nose Day and all such charity stunts attract the self-righteous, but all true comedy is self-deprecating (I include Guido in this) and all true comedians are righteous. A sense of humour, it is said, helps you live longer. It certainly helps you live better and, if Hume is right, may secure you a place in eternity.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 9:04 am