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Last week the Reader asked its writers to contribute any April Fool material they might have. Oddly, I came up empty. I say odd because in the past (and none has yet seen fit to contradict me) I’ve alerted people to the possibility of a halting procession of strangely dressed people with peculiar mannerisms shambling up the North Shore, and told them not to be alarmed, as these would be representatives of the better recognized fools coming north, having finally agreed on the wise decision to make me king, or at least prince. This hasn’t as yet happened because fools are notoriously difficult to organize. A fool parade is as challenging to put on and hold together as a cat procession or a frog march. When is the last time you saw frogs lined in rows going anywhere? It is a rarity indeed. An arrangement of fools does no better. I know this from the bitter experience of having to play the parts of all Three Stooges at once because the others failed to appear and I was thereby forced to leap to the occasion to do the idiocy of all three parts.
In nature, organization is real enough but not always convincingly so (especially in the minds of fools). In ways that would seem to the orderly-minded a bit messy. Take one of the better known and well-run natural events, the Wildebeest migration. They all get together, don’t they, but if you’re looking for order, you won’t see much of it other than as a sort of semi-milling mass not at all as unified as some birds have mastered. Frankly, I don’t see how Noah put up with the Wildebeest mob. They are an uncooperative lot at best and at worst pushy, especially when they can push a neighbor into the river to become alligator food instead of them. Really, this is not neighborly behavior and reminds me more of humankind, though it seems animals are not above that sort of thing, no matter what true believers claim.
A true organization of fools (or at least of foolishness) is all but impossible except in two areas we all know well. In both religion and politics we see some of the top-grade silliness to be found anywhere. Millions of believing beings hold that an invisible boogey-doer who made (solo) an entire universe now has nothing better on His-Her-Its mind than fretting over a human dress code or peculiarities of speech. This can be viewed as followers aligning themselves to an Almighty well-suited to them as His-Her-Its off-sprung creation, but is nonetheless silly for that. The political version of foolishness is found as easily as a petition for tax relief by people having temporarily run out of costly proposals featuring self-benefit above all. We know they will return to self-service surely as the religionists will resume mercy through punishment (akin to promoting peace via war or promoting virginity with intercourse). But for the little while, it is a relief and amusing to see these groups tail-chase clockwise before going at it the other direction as usual.
I can’t give too high marks to either group. Who cannot fail to love politics done with fine seasoning of market theories that few understand, which are seldom wholly reliable, but are nevertheless to be defended with all the high-minded vigor and certainty one would see directed at the existence of day and night. The theory says such-and-so and therefore the politician must do the such-and-so dance with full gestures and inflected tones suited to a such-and-so audience of fond followers rubbing their collective hands in anticipation of the just deserts they wish others to pay for. Now don’t bother to assert that your politics are different or better, because given a crumb of opportunity they all do it. We stupid-stomp on the left one season then do it on the right the next. It’s the middle that gets stomped over the most and the middle that would just as soon halt the stampede for a season of standing still to take stock, which is seemingly the ONE thing politics resists the most. That is, for people to not be distracted long enough that they see what’s going on.
In successful hilarity, religion will most often trump politics because that lot has the Holy Card to play. Page seven hundred and seventy-three in THE BOOK of belated recollections says exactly what’s to be done or considered according to a divine authority that says something different in chapter two hundred and seventy-six. This sort of thing is reliable for keeping people on the hook because it can never truly be resolved. Contradiction does not resolve. A blend of contradictions does not resolve anything but stands a more than average chance of adding some new silliness for the flock to fly with. See why I like religion as far and away the surest way to gain nut bar status quickly and with the least effort?
The sad thing is that same as in political foolery, the true-believing sort wanders the same general paths, but each with his or her own book of contradictions that do not correspond to one another at all unless one wishes to lie about that, which some believers are more than willing to do based on their grasp of contradictory twaddle . Now wasn’t that easy? The person with matching orders from on high has the great benefit of certainty plus the assurance that his/her Deity is well served and he/she is none to blame. That is, after all, one way to escape your human responsibility, isn’t it? Whether it’s Satan or God influencing a person, that individual is left somewhat free of the accountability hook. How can they be blamed for acting under divine or supernatural influence? You’d think that sort of thing would be confined to mental wards, but you’re wrong. Fools may be ill-organized, but they have managed an arrangement much in their favor.
Anyway, one day to celebrate the fool is not enough, considering the twelve-month calendar packed with idiots’ delights.