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However funny this joke, there is something pathetic as well to be found in the picture of Hegel so ardently and humorlessly struggling to broadcast the Truths of his system, yet becoming famous among his students for the inchoate character of his lectures.
When a companion joked that she'd always wanted to squeeze like a mouse into the tempting open hatch of an empty stainless steel tank, I humorlessly lectured her on the hazards of suffocation.
I've always loved this trolley, once so humorlessly championed by October.
And there is also a deep and, I suspect, honest desire to amuse the bourgeois soul (remember, she is from Germany, where amusement is sometimes at a premium), even if she has to do it with gentle shocks and humorlessly momentous incongruity.