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But Flippancy is the best of all. In the first place it is very economical. Only a clever human can make a real joke about virtue, or indeed about anything else; any of them can be trained to talk as if virtue were funny. Among flippant people the joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of Flippancy builds up around a man the finest armor plating against the Enemy that I know, and it is quite free from the dangers inherent in the other sources of laughter. It is a thousand miles away from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it.

 

We recently watched the new version of the musical “Candide”. It was excellently performed, well cast, clever and different. But parts of it (specifically Best Of All Possible Worlds) reminded me of this C.S. Lewis passage (specifically “Among flippant people the joke is always assumed to have been made.”)

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