« Profits versus Starvation: A Balanced Biofuels Scorecard | Main | John Yoo Deserves a Presidential Medal »

April 21, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


It is as important as language, and language is art.


"...and more important than NURSES"

nurses are the plumbers of the medical world (with more attractive butt cracks.)

Phil Cubeta

Art and giving seem like two children of one divinity. The other professions too, like art and giving, seem to protect or maintain the good of other people.


i am becoming less and less capable of intelligent conversation. you fellers shame me. instead, lame quips and gags burble up like gas in a sulphur pot. to wit:

tell your doctor you are impacted by his treatment. the next person you see will be a nurse.

remember that stinky uncle (someone had) who seemed almost incapable of restraining his sphinctal nature? turns out i have become him.



We are getting deeper into specialized material, and maybe the audience is more "professional"? Hard to balance writing for specialists and for dumpster-denizens at the same time. I assume that is why comments have dried up. The professionals are more likely to subscribe than to visit and comment.

Chuckles Bites The Dust

Chuckles the Clown is crushed to death by a rogue elephant in a parade, which leaves all the newsroom staff in hysterics except Mary.

(Ted's on-air obituary.)
Ted: Chuckles the Clown died today from. . . from, uh. . . he died a broken man. I remember Chuckles used to recite a poem at the end of each program. It's called 'A Credo of A Clown.' I'd like to offer it now in his memory: a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants!

(At the funeral.)
Lou: [low voice] I wonder which ones are the other clowns.
Murray: You'll know soon. They're all gonna jump out of a little hearse.
Mary: Oh, Murray! Enough is enough! This is a funeral. A man has died! We came to show respect, not to laugh.
Murray: I'm sorry, Mary. All right. No more jokes.
Rev. Burns: (beginning the eulogy) Chuckles the Clown brought pleasure to millions. The characters he created will be remembered by children and adults alike: Peter Peanut, Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo, Billy Banana, and my particular favorite, Aunt Yoo Hoo.
(Mary begins to laugh, stifles it, then feigns coughing.)
Rev. Burns: Not just, not just for the laughter that they provided. There was always some deeper meaning to whatever Chuckles did. Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo would always pick himself up, dust himself off, and say, 'I hurt my foo-foo.'
(Mary stifles another laugh and everybody in the row ahead of her turn around.)
Rev. Burns: From time to time we all fall down and hurt our foo-foos.
(Mary again tries to hide her laughter and everybody assembled looks at her.)
Rev. Burns: And what did Chuckles ask in return? Not much. In his own words: 'a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.'
(Mary breaks out in loud laughter and everybody looks at her, including Rev. Burns.)
Rev. Burns: Uh, excuse me, young lady. . . (Mary looks behind her but nobody is there.) Yes, you. Uh, would you stand up, please?
Mary: Uuuh.
Rev. Burns: Please, please, won't you?
(Mary stands up.)
Rev. Burns: You feel like laughing, don't you?
Mary: Uh huh. (stifles more laughing and makes futile gestures)
Rev. Burns: Don't try to hold it back. Go ahead, laugh out loud! Don't you see, nothing would've made Chuckles happier. He lived to make people laugh. Tears were offensive to him, deeply offensive. He hated to see people cry. So, so go ahead, my dear--laugh for Chuckles!

(Pause--then Mary breaks down in uncontrollable crying.)


About captures my feelings too. A little casket for the ashes, shaped like a Dumpster, or trash can. Carnival is a superior form to the essay, or the rant. Carnival is a group production, a play without footlights. A single clown can't keep Carnival by himself. One girl gone wild all by herself gets arrested by the same cop we saw last year flashing his buns from the balcony in the French Quarter. But philanthropy is a serious business and we must change with the times.


Chuckles was a real man, a loser whose only real achievement was making a few people laugh, often at his own expense. He has few friends outside of the ones he made among the children at birthday parties. He drank too much, had liver problems. He had never finished college. He lived in one shabby room. When you knew the truth about him, it got harder and harder to laugh with him, or even at him. Transparency is not always such a big benefit. Sometimes we have to let the clown be a clown without asking for identifying information. Once you get into this authenticity stuff, Carnival is over. In the great age of English satire, no one knew who wrote The Tale of The Tub. The writer just went down to GrubStreet Productions and made up the name of an author, and let the presses run. There is something exhilerating about playing with masks. To be oneself at all times,to be accountable at all times, is for grownups, and the child inside shrivels up. Cyberspace is now just another place where they know who you are, and hold you to account. You can be a clown if you want, but only if you post your resume so anyone who is offended can get in touch with your boss. In this way we collaborate in our own subordination. Transparency is a bad move for those whose art requires a mask, or big red nose.

JJ Commoner

Was Chuckles, knowing, or wise ?

The comment immediately above about Chuckles' lifestyle and how he chose to express his gift is one of the most acute and concise observations of how serious (and dangerous to the human societal experiment, at least in North America) things have become, generally.

And as LC has written, "Everybody Knows", the problem being not enough bodies care deeply enough about owning their souls. One's arc through life has become another straightened-out business process - the first 20 years learning the scripts and how to consume, the next twenty hooked up to 60 hour weeks and the banks, and the last 40 justifying and rationalizing why the masks society demands were accepted without question.


I miss the carnival. "On the internet no one knows you are a dog;" remember those days?

JJ Commoner

That was just the beginning of a period of transition. Everyone wants to figure out how this toobz thing works into or fits into the way things used to be done.

No pain, no gain.

The major thing that "transparency" will bring us is a better picture of just how random, inane and full-of-human-folly life actually is. The structured and managed life of institutions and corporations that come up with new ever-more-byzantine ways of creating the illusions of wealth and controllable human activity will, I believe, be seen as a blip in time, eventually.

I tend to rely on L Cohen's vision of the future as more accurate ... but it's decidedly less attractive, and thus not in the marketers' funnel as messaging to be used.


Leonard Cohen is not the bringer of great hope.

JJ Commoner

In an (obtuse) sense, one could argue that.


Better to let him sing.

Oh God Save Me From Another New Age Man



Lively, indeed.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Wealth Bondage Premium Content

  • Castle by the Sea
    Provided as a professional courtesy at no extra charge to those with net worth of $25 million or more and/or family income of $500,000 a year or more, and to their Serving Professionals of all genders.