It was recently brought to my attention that some publications still peddle the dangerous and deceptive form of discourse. known as "humor." My informant mentioned yours as one such publication, but I sincerely hope she was mistaken. I am myself immune to the effects of humor, but my fortunate condition is rare. The great majority of human beings can be moved to smiling or even laughter by an unprovoked attack of humor.

We must of course make a careful distinction between humor and satire. I am also immune to the effects of satire, but I do understand it in principle. Satire may, in some ways, superficially resemble humor, but in the case of satire the provocation of laughter has a clear utilitarian purpose. The practitioner of satire aims at a reform of certain injustices. The incongruity and exaggeration of the satirist are tools with which the writer intends to make a better world, or a better borough or township, depending on the writer's ambition. Humor, on the other hand, has no purpose at all. It aims at exactly the same effect that could be produced with far less trouble and expense by tickling the reader with a feather. It is not merely useless: it is immoral to waste resources that could have been employed in reforming the abuses of the township water authority merely for the momentary unhealthy pleasure of a convulsion of giggles.

I hope and trust that your publication is produced with a full awareness of this vital distinction. But if you have fallen into the trap of pointless and futile humor, it is not too late to reform. If you are susceptible to humor, you are more than likely susceptible to satire as well. It will be worth the expense to employ a skilled satirist to point out the absurd futility of humor for its own sake, thus making a productive citizen out of you once more.

Rufus Pale III Jr., North Fayette Twp.