I spent the morning revising a bit and adding more art to "A Chorus of Clowns and Masked Comic Theater," an article I wrote long ago for the "Folkroots Column" in Realms of Fantasy and then republished the Journal of Mythic Arts. I had almost forgotten how interesting it was (well...to me at least) reaching back to see the long lineage of theatrical clowns from the Greek Satyr plays, to the Roman Atellan Farces, to the Italian Commedia dell' Arte, and finally to the Marx Brothers who remain unparalleled in our culture for that fast cracking wit and hilarity. Here's a bit from the end:
"The chorus of clowns rips apart polite society and in that act exposes our true feelings. In this joyful disorder, we remember primal emotions: we lust, we become envious and jealous, we are starved for affection and fame, and we long for an illusive, trouble–free happiness. We would rather sleep than work; we are clever and undeniably foolish at times. We are complicated, conflicted, and no single character can carry the weight of so many inconsistencies. We need a chorus of clowns to speak for us. Despite their secular natures, the clowns are still mythic to me. Humor is an old response to fear of the unknown and contempt for the familiar. For 3,000 years, somewhere a chorus of clowns has misbehaved, and in their audacity, called down gods, heroes, and legends for a face to face meeting with humanity, offering laughter as a form of reverence."
Art: "Pulcinella in Love" Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727–1804)