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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Jay Wexler's World; We're Just Living in It

Kudos to Jay Wexler of Boston University for his quote in today's New York Times story on a new study on humor by the justices in Supreme Court oral argument.  Not for being quoted in the Times, but for the quote itself: "Asked about the [new] study, Professor Wexler said, 'I’m not sure what to think about it, but I’m pretty sure it makes me want to die.'”  Many law professors have a gravitas problem: they have entirely too much of it.  If they can be quoted saying something sage in the Times, and then report gravely (and, usually, smugly) to their friends that they have been quoted saying something sage in the Times, all the better.  Jay, God bless him, recognizes that there is something more important than gravitas -- a good joke.  (That is especially true, I think, for those of us who work in constitutional law, which is not a terribly serious field.)  Granted that the story itself wasn't that serious, but Jay deserves credit for honoring a fundamental truth: given a choice between sounding serious and taking the opportunity for a good joke, the joke ought to win every time.

Posted by Paul Horwitz on January 25, 2011 at 03:13 PM in Paul Horwitz | Permalink


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A grave joke, indeed.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | Jan 25, 2011 3:56:57 PM

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