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In a previous post, I mentioned the idea that our decadence from cavalier height to base roundheadedness professes to liberate us from the cruel oppressiveness of gaiety and mirth.

I’ve never understood this, but I have certainly known enough people who believe it that I can recognize its reality. Some people really do feel oppressed by mirth.

Everything for them is grave. Everything portends. Nothing is; everything signifies.

For me, gaiety and freedom seem like two sides of a coin. I certainly can’t imagine one without the other. I don’t understand how happiness can oppress.

Do you know any of these people who feel truly oppressed by levity, gaiety, mirth, joy? Are you such a person? If so, can you help me understand why gaiety is so oppressive?