In ancient Athens, the ritual of the pharmakos was used to expel and shut out the evil (out of the body and out of the city). To achieve this, the Athenians maintained several outcasts at public expense. In the event of any calamity, they sacrificed one or more than one outcast as a purification and a remedy. Via.
As the pro bono Morals Tutor to America's Wealthiest Families, and a Pariah in my own right, I don't know whether to find the Athenian model (of well-fed Scapegoats) hopeful or discouraging. Today, as remedy for the Wealthy Student's moral ills, I am often made the Whipping Boy in my turn. That goes without saying. The idea, though, of being maintained at public expense prior to my being flogged and incinerated in accordance with Athenian tradition would be an improvement over my current situation. Call me Foolish, but I am happy as sacrificial victim, turned satirist, to do my bit for the World We Want, if only I can be maintained at public expense, pending my moment of truth.
You may find this funny. Maybe laughter is the best medicine, Sire. If I make you laugh, perhaps that will restore our community even better than having me flogged seven times on the penis with squills, wild fig branches, and other wild plants, and finally burned on wood from wild trees with my ashes scattered into the sea and winds in order to purify the city of its ills, if it please Your Majesty.
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