Watching Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows you're Dead yesterday (an entertaining watch, btw, though a tad overdone, especially in the acting department), I found myself thinking about how thin the line between tragedy and comedy really is - how both are constructed out of the grotesque and the unlikely, how both rely on irony and paradox and how both are, often, just a matter of timing. All our pathos carries within in it the seeds of the ridiculous and evil is frequently nothing more than human silliness run amok. Can you imagine anything more cartoonish than Hitler, or, in retrospect, more chilling? Is a mass-murderer anything more than a buffoon with power?
Watching the US bend over backwards to justify their continuing support of a military dictatorship, even after Musharraf's Emergency, I find myself repeating a phrase that comes up much too often now: "It would be hilarious, if it weren't so fucking sad."