Not my circus, not my monkeys.
Not my circus, not my monkeys. Maybe you’ve seen that meme. It’s been going around for a while.
Unfortunately, for those of us living in the good ole U S of A, we can’t really make that claim with a straight face. No matter how we voted in the last election (or even IF we voted), the resulting circus is most definitely ours to deal with. And the monkeys are on the loose.
Is it time for our Inner Activist (Committee Suit) to step out in a big way? Are there other parts of us (Committee Suit), shadow parts or dominant parts, who might be of service or benefit from deeper exploration? Are there Animal Guides (Companion Suit or Community Suit) who bring an appropriate power or message for our times? Which role models or ancestors (Community Suit) can you call upon? Are there any archetypes (Council Suit) who can offer wisdom or guidance?
While I can think of many energies I may wish to call upon, develop more deeply, or ally myself with, in times like these, I am especially grateful for the Fool, the Clown, the Jester.
I so appreciate Stephen Colbert and the other late night comedians, Randy Rainbow with his Broadway tune parodies, satire from The Onion and Andy Borowitz. They bring us the truth wrapped in humor. They help us to laugh at the circus around us. They lighten up the darkness without shying away from the truth. Each is an honorable representative of the Fool/Clown/Jester archetype.
Occasionally, my own Inner Fool teams up with my Inner Artist to create humorous political commentary in the form of digital collage. Sometimes you just gotta laugh to keep from crying.
Carolyn Myss explains in her Gallery of Archetypes, that the Clown (Court Jester, Fool, Dummling) “reflects the emotions of the crowd, making an audience laugh by satirizing something they can relate to collectively . . . in general, the messages communicated through a Clown’s humor are deeply serious and often critical of the hypocrisy in an individual or in some area of society.” Sometimes, the only way to get away with speaking truth to power is by smuggling it through the gate inside the Trojan Horse of humor.
She goes on to say that, “the Clown is allowed–indeed expected–to cross the boundaries of social acceptance, representing what people would like to do or say themselves.”
the Clown is allowed–indeed expected–to cross the boundaries of social acceptance, representing what people would like to do or say themselves
What’s fascinating to me in that last statement is how perfectly Trump himself plays the role of the Clown for his base. They love how he says whatever he thinks, unfiltered. How he calls out the liberals, the lying media, and all those criminal immigrants. When he (jokingly) calls on Russia to find the emails, when he (tongue-in-cheekly) suggests that maybe he’d like to try that “president-for life” thing, when he (locker-room-humorously) brags about grabbing them by the pussy – he’s playing the Clown for a base that’s fed up with the onerous weight of all this “political correctness” that we bleeding-heart, snowflake liberals have forced upon them.
That’s the thing about archetypes: they are universal. They are energies that play through us all in small and large ways. The Fool plays through us all: the satirist, the political cartoonist, the parody songster, the comedian on stage, each of us individually and even our current leader. Unfortunately, the President is not just standing in the spotlight of a late night comedy theater. He’s standing at the helm of our nation and on the world stage representing us.
Oh my God, this IS my circus! And it has turned into a battle of the Fools.