Thursday, March 29, 2012

April Fool !

 "Humor is reason gone mad."

                                               - Groucho Marx

Once, in Paris, whilst eating soup in a fashionable district, I observed four immaculately dressed women, dining at the table across from me. They sipped their wine and punctuated their conversation with the affected mannerisms typical of femmes. Suddenly, one of them accidentally dropped some food on her blouse. Her immediate response, even before reaching for her napkin, was to scan the room, utterly horrified, to see if anyone caught her faux pas. A new blouse she could afford, to be seen as a sloppy eater, jamais ! 

At that moment I understood why Jerry Lewis was so popular in France. 

The Fool rushes in, ready or not; a cosmic banana peel, toilet paper stuck to the heel or pie in the face, strategically placed to put ego's self-importance on it's rear. The wisest card in the deck knows laughter lightens the heart, so that it won't end up Ammit chow. 'The best medicine' frees us from Saturn's seriousness - less capri, more corny. 

With Saturn and Chiron in Pisces, Stephen Colbert is a comedic shaman who heals many via seeking to heal his own wound. (His father and two brothers died in a plane crash when he was ten).

"Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner."  - Lao Tse 

Stern old Saturn himself became 'Lord of Misrule' every year during the Pagan festival of Saturnalia, when laws were lifted and masters and slaves traded roles for a week. April Fool's/All Fool's Day may be lighter fare (Spring is an altogether more goofy season than Winter), but in days of olde, the Fool or Jester was the only court member exempt from rules and permitted to mock the King. He was a madman and a trickster, yes, but divinely inspired and therefor excused. His perceptiveness showed he was 'touched by God.' 
In fact, Jesus was both Lord of Misrule and Fool; a mock King, born in a barn and a truth-speaker 'touched by God.'      

Descended from Charlemagne, double Gemini Sir Christopher Lee has Saturn on his ascendant and has seen the darker side of man's soul, but prefers playing it camp. [Note: I had no idea about his autobiography until searching for the above illustration just now...resemblance ??]

"… a time comes, especially when the play of gods and heroes develops to gigantic proportions, when the spectator must feel the need for relief from the high concerns of great immortal themes: and a pathetic consciousness begins to form of little man confronted by these things - seemingly by contrast comic in his limitations, yet peculiarly valiant in his one invincible power to take knocks; the Eternal Butt. His only weapon of offence to raise up against it all is the phallus, or a need 'to be undone and seduced when life becomes too much of an obstacle to step over with ease and dispassion."

- From The Seven Ages of Theatre by Richard Southern, on the introduction of the  comic interlude.

"When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose," saith the Fool. His philosophy applies to both Misero the beggar and the Taoist master.
In Tarot, he is the unnumbered card, representing freedom of spirit, 
nothingness, purity of intent, limitless possibility, space. He doesn't notice the dog biting him, for he is free from pain, having left the material world. 

The Fool can be zero, the cosmic beginning, or 22, the Master Builder (God). In Tarot de Marseilles, clues to his Mercurial nature are the satchel, resembling an alchemical vessel, and the red walking stick, resembling coral, the tree of life. He is the beginning of a universe inherent in every moment, yet he has stepped outside of time, off the beaten path.

Honour the Fool by having fun and not giving a hoot what anyone thinks, being spontaneous, having no pre-conceived notions and no attachment to outcome… or risk being made one !

"The most difficult character in comedy is that of the Fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays the part.'     

                                                                            - Cervantes

                       Bonne Poisson d'Avril !

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  1. Superb! And absolutely timely - you've covered all the bases, and as the Trickster/Fool is the unconscious as well, can I add that he/she holds up a mirror to our follies and makes them palatable enough for us to digest?

    Your material is inspiring - as always.