One of my favourite quotes comes from My Speech to the Graduates by Woody Allen, first published in the New York Times in 1979:
“More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”
There is almost nothing as funny as turning our neuroses and fears concerning the future, and in particular the end of the world as we know it, into an occasion to laugh. None of us has the power to stop the elite class who run the world and prescribe the common dialectic from designing wars and creating the situations which put countries at enmity with eachother for their entertainment and profit – at least it would appear not yet. And so our sense of hopelessness, fed by the popular media, crafted by the organisations which prosper by our paranoia, is only alleviated by an irrepressible faculty of finding the funny side to all things.
Some decades ago Tom Lehrer the satirist, accompanying himself on wickedly played piano, gave us his song We Will All Go Together When We Go, which gave those of us around at the time a little light relief from our terrors of a massive nuclear war which threatened to destroy the world following the Bay of Pigs incident.
I say thank God for the humorists and comics, without whom we might all have sunk into such a deep pit of despair that there might be no possibility of emerging.