Sunday, March 14, 2010


Brilliant. It was just a little over ten years ago that Charles M. Schulz died, may he rest in peace.


After the bauble I wanted to look up more jesters, because I liked the idea of them in art. I mostly found them in the details of art, like illustrated bibles.
Yes yes, there are philisophical implications abound, but lets face it first, they are awful cute and pretty.
This next one is on a wall.
In art they represent folly or madness, which lends itself to another fantastic thing I stumbled upon in my search: "The Ship of Fools." It's an old idea that all humans on earth are as silly and sad as a wayward ship of fools out to see. How romantic. Here is the most famous version of The Ship of Fools, by Bosch. The jester is in the back with his little hat and sippy cup.
This next one by Brant is like, all jester.
Although none have quite the allegory of ship of fools, some of the jester art I found hit human folly right in the head with the name alone. For instance, 'A Maiden Tempted by a Fool'.
Or, 'A Jester Points Out God in a Cloud.' Okay, fine, this one is probably a serious bible story, but I like my insinuation better.
The best title by far though is the next one, "The Son of Lucretius Wastes his Father's Money on Women."
Finally, I started to actually read about the actual jesters of the Middle Ages. Some had a certain amount of real, if hilarious, political respect. Think John Stewart . One of the most famous, Stanczyk, was employed by three separate Polish kings for both laughs and guidance. He is featured below as being the only patron of a royal party to be concerned about the political state of affairs.
Another sort of jester was known as a "Fool for Christ". These guys were basically Robin Hood types who thought the system was bullshit and would go around being illegal about all sorts of things and loud about it as well. One of them was my new hero Basil.
Basil here spent his life going off on Ivan the Terrible, and when he died, Ivan himself acted as one of the pallbearers. Isn't that sweet. Oh that's right, then Ivan the terrible built this on top of his grave and called it "Saint Basil's Cathedral."

As far as in art though, I think it's a great little symbol and sorely underused. Although, I do think we get a good little gem every once in a while.

Gas Mask Fashion

In 2004 I was dating a young marine corporal who got deported to Iraq. We had only been seeing each other a few months but I was 22 and found the thought of having a man out at war to be romantic. It wasn't of course, but still, I sent him pictures letters every single day for the seven months of his stay there.
I got to see the gas mask room before he was deported. It was a long room with wooden floors and no windows in the marine headquarters in Pasadena. It was lined, from floor to cealing, with gas masks.
He put one on my face. It didn't fit right at all. After a lot of fiddling and adjusting, one of the pieces came off entirely. Oorah.

As an asthmatic I find anything to do with breath control awful and unsexy, but I still find the fetishizing of gas masks to be interesting.
If you want hot topless goth girls with gas masks, it's a google click away. I like the weird stuff more.
Of course, lets not forget what the masks are for. Nothing better to get a good chill about it than kids in 'em.
I get a real kick out of this last one. It's a shower head.