“The funniest philosopher of all time”? Scott McLemee, at The Chronicle of Higher Education, reviews The Humor of Kierkegaard: An Anthology (Princeton University Press). Thomas C. Oden, a theologian who introduces the collection, argues that Kierkegaard’s humor “emerges from the realization of the infinite gap between even the loftiest ideals and most solemn efforts on the one hand and the absolute mystery and authority of God on the other.” But McLemee suspects that “Most of the book’s 300 pages will leave readers scratching their heads, rather than holding their sides.” “Kierkegaard writes that his life ‘is like the word Schnur in the dictionary, which first of all means a string, and second a daughter-in-law.’…These are the jokes, folks.”

“‘Yes, oh God, forgive us if we are too partisan.'”

Two French journalists being held by the Islamic Army of Iraq were shown on Al Jazeera, pleading for the French government to retract its ban on head scarves, The New York Times reports. The French government argues that the law preserves the country’s secular identity, and French Muslim leaders have voiced their disgust with the “madness” of the kidnappers imposing their will on an internal French issue. Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi further politicized the matter by calling the kidnapping proof that France’s opposition to the war offered no protection from terrorism. “‘Neutrality doesn’t exist…The French are deluding themselves if they think they can remain outside of this. Today the extremists are targeting them, too.”’

The gay Log Cabin Republicans have withheld their endorsement of George Bush in outrage at the Republican Party platform’s plank hostility to any form of gay unions. “This party has a choice to make, about whether it will be the party of Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger or the party of Jerry Falwell and Pat Buchanan,” executive director Patrick Guerriero said. (Link via Norwegianity.)

Different paths to the kingdom: “The rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr is considering a future in politics rather than warfare…”

“‘One gay bronze statue'” of Greek God of Thieves, Hermes, was found this week after being stolen earlier this month.