[ 1 ] In "A Fable," by Mark Twain, published with The Mysterious Stranger. According to Twain, it is so easy to call another man liar, for each having seen something different in the same phenomenon. Certainly this seems true in politics, above all, as it does in the modern penchant to overly politicize art and science. " The last portion of this tale of animals seeing their own reflection in a mirror and trying to decide what sort of "picture" this was reads:
"This is very strange," said the elephant; "the cat was always truthful before--as far as we could make out. Let another witness try. Go, Baloo, look in the hole, and come and report."
So the bear went. When he came back, he said:
"Both the cat and the ass have lied; there was nothing in the hole but a bear."
Great was the surprise and puzzlement of the animals. Each was now anxious to make the test himself and get at the straight truth. The elephant sent them one at a time.
First, the cow. She found nothing in the hole but a cow.
The tiger found nothing in it but a tiger.
The lion found nothing in it but a lion.
The leopard found nothing in it but a leopard.
The camel found a camel, and nothing more.
Then Hathi was wroth, and said he would have the truth, if he had to go and fetch it himself. When he returned, he abused his whole subjectry for liars, and was in an unappeasable fury with the moral and mental blindness of the cat. He said that anybody but a near-sighted fool could see that there was nothing in the hole but an elephant.
[ 2 ] As to humor about suicide, many commentators consider such as, at the minimum, "insensitive." Yet literature is filled with stories of death as the consequence of poor decisions, as one finds throughout fables of many cultures. Moreover, humorists have been consistently and thankfully "insensitive."
One might hear again the old joke, "Q. How many times have you committed suicide? A. Four times."
H. L. Mencken observed, "Suicide is belated acquiescence in the opinion of one's wife's relatives." The acerbic and sometimes harsh Bill Maher commented, "Suicide is man's way of telling God, 'You can't fire me - I quit,'" but long before, Friedrich Nietzsche made the ironic observation that, "The thought of suicide is a powerful solace: by means of it one gets through many a bad night."
Even Mahatma Gandhi noted, "If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide."
Lastly as to the aggressive, manipulative side of threats of suicide, psychologist Karl Menninger wrote, "Is it hard for the reader to believe that suicides are sometimes committed to forestall the committing of murder? There is no doubt of it. Nor is there any doubt that murder is sometimes committed to avert suicide."
With such as the above comments, it seems Ringelnatz' seemingly abrupt "Go!" seems sometimes the most appropriate response for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the world's modern political movements aiming to legalize and thereby encourage suicide under law, quite the opposite of those who would consider not treating all threats of suicide as "insensitive."
The world is a funny place indeed, and man sometimes the funniest thing about it.