Tuesday, February 12, 2008

fools are everywhere

Besides being an accurate statement you can pretty much make regardless of whatever situation you find yourself in, Fools are Everywhere is also the name of an excellent book I picked up on Sunday. Written by Beatrice K. Otto, its subtitle is: The Court Jester Around the World and its filled with the quips, jests and lifestories of the ministrelli, joculatores, jongleurs, mimi and histriones from way back in the Early Morning of the Day. Cool thing about this book, Ms. Otto tells us herself in the Intro, is that she came across her abiding interest in the subject while studying modern Chinese. There are many histories and studies, I've just learned, about the European jester tradition, not so much the Chinese. But the Chinese have been around a lot longer, so it follows that they've been funnier a lot longer. Anyway, interesting stuff.

Love it when a project makes me have to read new stuff. Awhile back I was working on Don Nigro's Golgotha, a brilliant, jagged rant being delivered either by Jesus Christ or a homeless madman. Led me to do all of this New Testament research, turned me on to this whole crew of scholars mostly historians and linguists, all of whom have studied the earliest writings of the Church and noticed a whole lot of, how would you say, inconsistencies. Just fascinating stuff for me.

C.J. Hopkins, or Berlin Bob as I like to call him, (mostly because he doesn't like it) is asleep on my couch. Flew in from Miami last night and made me stay up late with him, drinking whiskey and talking endlessly about my new play. Forced me, folks. Swear to God. I tried to slip away but he had a knife.

Or something.

Working on the bouffon stuff yesterday, realized, of course, that we're all bouffons. Every outsider who has to get in, who hasn't figured out yet that its better to stay on the outside, is a bouffon. There was at least one day, if not year after crushing year, in grade school or high school that we were all bouffons. Forced to smile, forced to pretend to laugh along as the world called you an idiot and a fool and a lesser being, "smiling with hatred in your eyes", to use Eric Davis' aka Red Bastard's expression that sums it all up for me. What is an artist here in the eye of the capitalist hurricane but a bouffon?

Want to boast and brag about my genius All-Star crew for this thing. In no particular order, here's the starting line-up:

Kurt Rhoads - Captain Overlord and 1st Academic
Kevin Pariseau- Baron Hastings Agincourt and 3rd Academic
Nate Brochin - John Staine and 2nd Academic
Matt Oberg- Giles
Melissa Lynch- Sue Chester-Hampshire-Shireshire
Wil Petre- Tom Hatcher
Paul Urcioli- The Clown King
Christopher Yeatts- Maniac Clown
Barb Pitts - Older Clown
Nancy Walsh- Heavy Clown
Ben Schneider- Boy Clown
Eva Van Dok- Girl Clown

Getting support on the other side of the table by Emily Fishbaine (bane of all fishes) and Kate Sessions. We're all just laughing our asses off.


Rose said...

So when do we get the time for this delicious reading this weekend? I want to come with the fabulous auntie but I don't know when to schedule my life yet.

Anonymous said...

Berlin Bob (ha, that's really horrible) is going to come home and tell me you forced him, so you guys have till Thursday to get your stories straight! love, jules

John said...

3:30 on Sunday, sharp, at 64 Wooster Street, 6th Floor. I'll post something on Friday saying that again.

And you know me, Jules, have I ever told a lie? That is, one that didn't directly benefit me in the immediate moment? That is...


Bob made me do it. I swear.