This Fellow's Wise Enough to Create Foolish Position

By Weightman, Sharon | The Florida Times Union, August 25, 1996 | Go to article overview

This Fellow's Wise Enough to Create Foolish Position


Weightman, Sharon, The Florida Times Union


Fools are my theme, as Byron said.

I'm talking about a copy of a letter I recently received

from John Flax, who's been artistic director of Grottesco

Theatre in New Mexico for 13 years.

It's a letter to President Clinton and "what's left of the

National Endowment for the Arts" proposing that the Prez should

create an official congressional position of Court Fool. For one

minute each day, Flax suggests, the Speaker must ask, "What say

ye, Fool?" And the Fool, in non-partisan fashion, would

"ridicule all that is ridiculous."

Makes sense to me. It would be interesting to hear a few home

truths in Congress.

After all, children and fools cannot lie, as Thomas Heywood

said.

Flax says that if the Fool doesn't use the full minute every

day, it would accumulate.

Now, get real!

How could it be possible that there wouldn't be 60 seconds'

worth of ridiculousness out of Congress each and every day? Even

an hour would not suffice.

Does this all sound incredibly theatrical?

Sure it does.

And it's a perfect match for all of our duly-elected Drama

Queens and Kings.

Speaking of kings, Flax does point out that the Fool "was a

trusted confidante of the rulers," someone who could "perform

simple diversions while adding a unique perspective to the

debates and decisions of the day."

Think of King Lear and his Fool.

Now, depending on your political persuasion, you're probably

already ready to hire Don Imus or Rush Limbaugh or Al Franken.

But no.

Flax himself would like the job.

He just happens to mention that the gutting of the NEA has left

him with more time on his hands, so naturally he'd be proud to

serve. …

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