Quote by Samuel Johnson
What provokes your risibility, Sir? Have I said anything that you understand? Then I ask pardon of the rest of the company.
In this quote, the speaker is expressing confusion and apologizing for potentially offending or confusing others. They are asking if anything they have said has elicited laughter or amusement, while acknowledging that their words might not have been comprehensible to everyone. The quote highlights the speaker's humility and desire to ensure good communication with the rest of the company.
If you want to humble an empire it makes sense to maim its cathedrals. They are symbols of its faith, and when they crumple and burn, it tells us we are not so powerful and we can't be safe. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, planted at the base of Manhattan island with the Statue of Liberty as their sentry, and the Pentagon, a squat, concrete fort on the banks of the Potomac, are the sanctuaries of money and power that our enemies may imagine define us. But that assumes our faith rests on what we can buy and build, and that has never been America's true God.
And regardless of the fact that in this country, certainly in the arts, we treat comedy as a second-class citizen, I've never thought of it that way. I've always thought it to be important. The last time I looked, the Greeks were holding up two masks. I've always thought of it not only as having equal value, but as the craft of it, being funny.