In this country at least, a man who enjoys life is under siege; his happiness is constantly equated with foolishness.
If he likes laughter he's a fool.
If he likes jokes, he's a fool.
When he amuses himself by being amusing, the scum around him try their worst to 'prove' that he is somehow doing it for their benefit, to amuse them.
From this springs the estimate that he, like them, has no self esteem rather than great self esteem.
From that they progress to open contempt, laughing with derision, not amusement.
And since the root of all invention and all talent is amusing yourself, they try to crush all talent.
Their minds are the microscopic robots producing the grey goo of conformity, fear and disguise.
They are the storm troops of mediocrity.
And they rule, even in the last refuges of industrial endeavour.