nixon front
“Compressed air is a disgrace.” FN1

I have a formula for humour that consists of applying the three following rules:

1- Use reason to explain all human activity.
2- Assume everybody knows what they are doing or talking about.
3- Assume no one is ever under the thrall of the seven deadly sins.

I sincerely believe that this formula will work for anybody. Even cheats and pedants can be funny if you stick to the plan. Richard Nixon was extremely funny. This is why Nixon is my favourite President. I think Hunter S. Thompson grieved the end of his presidency, and now I miss Hunter S. Thompson.

Power is antithetical to humour. Beauty is a kind of power. But sometimes humour is beautiful, and the beautiful is funny.

Sometime in the 1990’s, driving in the United States of America, I stopped for lunch and noticed the bowl of sugar bags on the table. Each one had a President on it, so I rummaged around for Nixon. I saved it.

FN1 Andre Breton and Philippe Soupault, “The Magnetic Fields”, The Automatic Message, David Gascoyne, Antony Melville, Jon Graham trans., Atlas Press, London, 1997, p. 140