Tomfoolery : The Jester's Court




Jesters do oft prove prophets.

~ William Shakespeare, King Lear

Mercurial is an apt term to characterize the jester. Changeable, volatile, fickle, flighty, elusive, erractic are more than just descriptions of the jester's nature. They are the tools of the trade for the jester; tactics used to achieve the ultimate goal - to entertain. Sometimes the purpose is solely entertainment. But the jester often also serves much higher purposes. As with the best of art, the jester is often a mirror - enabling us to look at things that we too often leave unexamined. In that way the jester educates us and helps us endure the agonies of human existence - the sickness unto death, as Søren Kierkegaard characterized it.  

We are told to laugh in the face of death. I can appreciate the sentiment and advocate it. But death always has the last laugh. So don't forget to also laugh at life. Fate presents us with many adversities and afflictions. Without minimzing the pain, it is also important to find the humor in all that life presents us. Oftentimes, the lessons to be gained from those experiences comes more from the humor we find in them than in the pain. And it is possible to find humor in the most challenging of circumstances. For as has been said before, comedy equals tragedy plus time. At some point our time will run out and then our comedy also will. So learn to laugh - whether it be a small chuckle, a little smirk, or a full belly laugh with tears running down your face. You will be better for it.

Jesters can take on many forms. They employ a whatever skills and tools - music, dance, mockery, magic, juggling, acrobatics, etc. - they can master to engage the audience. Sometimes their actions are pure tomfoolery - simply playful and foolish - and other times they demonstrate a biting wit. In whatever form, jesters are ubiquitous characters across cultures and throughout history. They have been both reviled and revered - exhaulted to the highest level of society and executed for revealing what the powers that be wish to remain hidden.

Throughout time, and through all the trials and tribulations, the jester lives on. And this section is where he lives on this site. True to the history of the jester, here you will find a hodgepodge that reflects the diversity of things this jester finds amazing and amusing. Anything and everything - and everyone - is fair game. As with much of this site, it will start off small and grow as time permits. Explore and enjoy - and come back to discover new oddities and curiousities.


In this section you will find:

  1. Explorations of and play with words and language.

  2. Miscellaneous stuff I find interesting and humorous.

  3. Recommendations for humorous books and readings about humor, improvisation, etc.