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Mad Life

mad life

I am reading Al Jaffee’s Mad Life by Mary-Lou Weisman.  It is a very poignant, detailed account of how a Southern boy, twice uprooted by his mother to Lithuanian shtetls on the eve of World War II, grew up to enliven the lives of generations of American kids through the pages of the MAD magazine.

Reading this book one cannot help but think how many satirists, cartoonists, humorous actors etc have put their past behind them or even made use of self-deprecating humour to forget their past and at the same time change the lives of countless people through humour.

This book is also shows us that though Al was broken by the persistent and physical traumas of Zarasai, he survived and thrived by being down-to-earth, by his good humour and by the guiding comic principle of The Plausible Impossible!

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