“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”

Mark Twain wrote that in No. 44, the Mysterious Stranger, and it was the first thing I thought of after catching my breath from the longest, guffawingest belly laugh I’ve had in months, possibly years.

And that was just day one of the competition.

Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them — and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug — push it a little — crowd it a little — weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.

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