Campaigning for Fool Czar

The next president needs a Cabinet official to keep things lite. I know just the man for the job.

Topics: Cancer, Astrology,

Global Village Idiot Rob Brezsny has announced his candidacy for a new Cabinet-level post that he hopes the next president will create: Fool Czar.

Roughly analogous to the role Barry McCaffrey plays as the nation’s Drug Czar, the Fool Czar would organize and lead an all-out War on Gravity — not the kind of gravity that holds our feet to the ground, but rather the absurdly sober, hyper- dignified literalism that infects every level of society.

Just as McCaffrey educates the nation on the hazards of drugs, the Fool Czar would work to show how dangerous it is to take everything so goddamn seriously all the time. He would also foster a national understanding of the threat from simplistic opinion-mongering that turns every issue into fodder for infantile arguments.

To demonstrate his sincerity and commitment, Brezsny has offered to literally kiss the bare asses of the three top presidential candidates. In the event that that would compromise their modesty, he has also indicated his willingness merely to pucker up and smooch the fully-clothed butts of Gore, Bush and Nader.

As the nation’s Fool Czar, Brezsny promises to be available around the clock to serve the buffoonery needs of the president and his cabinet. While he admits that he is not nearly as funny as, say, Chris Rock or Dennis Miller, he claims to have Herculean capacities for dreaming up laughable non sequiturs, inciting boisterous mockery and goading others to act as goofy as himself.

Upon taking office, Brezsny’s inaugural act would be to declare a spate of spanking new holidays, festivals and ceremonial traditions. They would include the following:

Unhappy Hour
During this two-hour blowout every Tuesday afternoon, celebrants will have license to moan and complain and bitch about every single thing that’s driving them crazy. Having spewed all their venom in one neat ritual exorcism, they’ll be free to enjoy sweet moods and broadminded visions the rest of the time.



Dare to Be Boring Day
We all deserve a break from the oppressive demands to appear smart and be entertaining. On Dare to Be Boring Day, it will be socially unacceptable to demonstrate your wit and verve. Long-winded, rambling monologues full of excruciatingly obscure and unprovocative details will be mandatory. The more clichis and buzz words you use, the better. Discuss at length your Partridge Family album collection and the time you almost chose the baked Alaska for dessert, but didn’t.

Bacchanalia
During this week-long extravaganza, work and business will be suspended so that all patriotic adults can explore their repressed mojo with a welter of frothy erotic experiments. Orgiastic marathons will be encouraged. Orgasmic joy will be de rigueur. To promote acceptance of the holiday, the Fool Czar will head up a new Federal Bureau of Lust. Managed by advisors drawn not from the ranks of porn stars and scientific sex researchers but from poetically trained tantric masters, the Bureau will sponsor educational campaigns to help every citizen learn to honor the libido as a sacred gift from the Goddess.

Cheery Sleepy Week
Sleep deprivation has reached epidemic proportions, and the results are catastrophic. Dream-cheated somnambulists are responsible for the rise in incompetence, bad manners and mass hypnosis. During the seven-day and seven-night Cheery Sleepy Week, all Americans will be given the luxury of catching up on their lost ZZZZs. Millions of refreshed citizens will wear buttons that brag, “I slept nine hours last night and I ain’t ashamed!”

Marry Yourself
Let’s just admit that none of us will find our perfect partner until we master the art of loving ourselves with great ingenuity. As a government-sanctioned tradition, getting married to yourself will become the initial step in creating a successful relationship with a significant other. Each rite of matrimony will conclude with the celebrant gazing into a mirror and vowing, “I will never forsake you; I will always treat you with reverence and respect; I will do with you what the spring does to the cherry trees.”

Hallowection Day
The American genius for inadvertent surrealism is nowhere better illustrated than in the proximity of Halloween and Election Day. Why not just honor the obvious and combine the two into a single festival?

Break Bread With Your Nemesis
To observe this feast day, you simply invite the person who drives you crazy to an intimate dinner for two.

Praise Binge
For 24 hours, judgmental criticism will be absolutely taboo. Revelers will stretch their imaginations as they try to praise everything and everyone as sincerely as possible, including themselves. It will be perfectly permissible for celebrants to take detours into brag therapy during which time they will boast recklessly about their own accomplishments.

Do What You Fear Festival
Here’s how the holiday works: First, you make a list of the 100 things you’re most afraid of. Next, you rate them from 1 to 100 in order of how badly they scare you. Then you agree to stop worrying about the bottom 95 fears because they just distract you from the five really interesting ones. Finally, you brainstorm about how you’re actually going to conquer those top five fears — by doing them.

Aquarius | Aries | Cancer | Capricorn | Gemini | Leo | Libra | Pisces | Sagittarius | Scorpio | Taurus | Virgo
- – - – - – - – - – -

YOUR HOROSCOPE FOR THIS WEEK

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It’s not a good time to buy stuff made in Indonesian sweat shops by young boys who’re paid 25 cents a day. I mean it’s never a good time to do that, but this week the karmic repercussions would be even more severe than usual. Same goes for being angry at the wrong targets, trying to slip by with a slight lack of integrity, or nursing fantasies about how unfairly you’ve been treated: You not only can’t get away with any of it, you’ll most likely be punished disproportionately. So be nice, Aries. Be as kind and sweet and loving and helpful as you’ve ever been. Force yourself if necessary. Oddly enough, the karmic rewards for magnanimous behavior will also be unusually large and immediate.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Howling the ecstatic poetry of the Sufi mystic Rumi while parachuting to earth would be good for your soul, as would bowling while wearing the clothes of the opposite sex. Other spiritually rejuvenating activities: meditating naked under a waterfall, making love in a treehouse, creating a royal crown for yourself out of a shower cap and lightbulbs, and fingerpainting your life story. Why, you ask? How could the cosmic omens possibly suggest such unusual behavior? Let me say for the record that God is by no means committed to the transitory cultural conventions of our brief slice of history. He is tricky and experimental and — most of all — loves to keep things moving. If you want to be more like Him, especially this week, imitate His fun-loving, revolutionary attitude.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Strictly speaking, the sweet spot is the place on a tennis racquet or baseball bat where you get best results when striking the ball. But I’d like to expand the term to include the astrological phase you’re now in. You’ve arrived at the sweet spot, baby. From this vantage point, you can do no wrong. Or if you do make a “mistake,” it will precipitate wonderful coincidences. Here in the sweet spot, you are the embodiment of all that’s melodious, delicious and aromatic. Yum yum.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Seeing double? I hope so. Deuces will be extremely wild this week. Contradictions will be sneakily helpful, and substitutes may turn out to be better than the originals. Your patron patron saint saint will be a musician friend of mine named Robin Robin. She’s a bisexual, ambidextrous, double-jointed shaman with a master’s degree in physics, and has mastered the exotic technique of singing two tones simultaneously. I’ll pray, my fellow Cancerian, that you will have her skill at going both ways. It’ll be invaluable when you come across two excellent double-or-nothing gambles.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If you were a sperm bank baby, the coming weeks will be a good time to track down your dad. If you were raised by wolves in the forest, I suggest you return to your old haunts and hang out a while with your original tribe. If you’re the reincarnation of a 15th century Irish scullery maid, it’s a perfect moment to make a pilgrimage to the castle where you slaved away so many years. Once there, you should scrawl graffiti on the walls you once scrubbed, bragging about how far you’ve come. In conclusion, Leo, explore where you came from so you can update your memories. This is the key to unlocking your future.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Launching a new ship, are you? If and when you christen it, please make sure the champagne bottle actually shatters against the hull. If it’s intact after your first swing, keep smacking it until it does. In suggesting this, I don’t mean to give credence to the superstitious tradition that it’s bad luck for the glass not to crack. Let’s just say that smashing the bottle will be a decent symbol for a profound psycho-spiritual truth: that before embarking on a journey in a virgin vessel, it’s often wise to break an old container.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I don’t like the term “bitch-slap.” Everything about it is offensive to me, from its reference to a violent act that pimps use to keep their whores in line to its gratuitous use in comedy sketches and rap songs. Nevertheless, I am going to appropriate it for your needs. There is a part of you, you see, that needs a rather extreme form of therapy right now. This lazy, perverse aspect of your personality seems willing to prostitute itself for the sake of a goal that is ultimately not worthy of you. You are selling yourself too cheaply, my dear! You are devaluing your talents! Which is why I am hereby asking your fairy godmother or guardian angel to give you a spiritual version of a bitch-slap.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): After a long struggle, Norwegian Muslims recently won permission to proclaim “God is great” from a loudspeaker atop the World Islamic Mission mosque in Oslo. Shortly thereafter, atheists in that city were granted the right to electronically amplify their most cherished mantra, “There is no God,” from a nearby building. I bring this up, Scorpio, in the hope that it will inspire you to pump up the volume of your own communications — especially those messages you regard as essential expressions of who you are.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Scientists recently produced a “working draft” of the human genome — an instruction manual detailing how the body is put together. I’m proud to be part of a civilization that’s smart enough to accomplish this feat, which some experts compare to the invention of the wheel. But I’m even more excited by a project that’s afforded considerably less fanfare: deciphering what depth psychologist James Hillman calls the “soul’s code.” If you’re interested in delving into your own spiritual genome, Sagittarius, this is a perfect time to do so. Here are questions to guide your investigation: What is the blueprint of your assignment from God? What mission did you come to Earth to carry out? How did the seed of your destiny reveal itself when you were young?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you threw a message in a bottle into the sea this week, chances are good you’d get an intriguing response from the other side of the world. Your range is breathtakingly vast, Capricorn; your influence is surprisingly far-reaching and your wild impulses are curiously productive. But that’s not all. I also believe you’ll be able to extract much more than the usual amounts of pleasure, insight and nourishment from every little daily experience. The depth of your resourcefulness will match the wide sweep of your vision.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Near the end of a walkabout through Germany’s Black Forest in November of 1978, I had a startling vision. I’d been sleeping outside and eating nothing but apples and brown bread for three weeks. My brain was scoured clean and my whole body surged with an erotic pantheistic strength. Gazing up to the top of a leafless ash tree, I seemed to see hovering there in the gray sky a silvery winged creature resembling a cross between Joan of Arc and Lucille Ball. “In the ninth month of the year 2000,” she murmured, “you must deliver to Aquarians this wonderful news: They will have a joyful opportunity to cure the ignorance that if unchecked would many years later be the source of their death.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I come from a rich family,” begins a Vietnamese folk poem translated by Linh Dinh. “To marry me, my parents will demand/That you bring a hundred bolts of embroidered silk,/One hundred rubies,/twenty eight stars,/Two hundred bamboo trunks,/Nine vats of honey,/Ten baskets of rolled rice, ten hampers of sticky rice,/Seventy thousand goats, nine jugs of bubbly wine,/Banyan leaves plucked under a full moon/Fresh fly livers, mosquito fat and ninety widowed bats./These are the conditions that will satisfy my heart …” After you read this several times, Pisces, I’d like you to compose your own version. What tremendous gifts should your lovers or potential lovers bestow upon you in order to satisfy your heart? Use your imagination and don’t feel an ounce of guilt or inhibition. It’s time to know — and to say — exactly what you’re worth.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

HOMEWORK: Go outside after midnight, make two fists and punch the sky 10 times while you bellow, “Hey God, listen up! I’m gonna fight for what’s rightly mine!”

Rob Brezsny's weekly astrology column appears on Salon as well as on his own Web site and in print publications worldwide. Brezsny's novel, "The Televisionary Oracle," was released earlier this year. He lives near San Francisco.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët
    Kerascoët's lovely, delicate pen-and-watercolor art -- all intricate botanicals, big eyes and flowing hair -- gives this fairy story a deceptively pretty finish. You find out quickly, however, that these are the heartless and heedless fairies of folk legend, not the sentimental sprites beloved by the Victorians and Disney fans. A host of tiny hominid creatures must learn to survive in the forest after fleeing their former home -- a little girl who lies dead in the woods. The main character, Aurora, tries to organize the group into a community, but most of her cohort is too capricious, lazy and selfish to participate for long. There's no real moral to this story, which is refreshing in itself, beyond the perpetual lessons that life is hard and you have to be careful whom you trust. Never has ugly truth been given a prettier face.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
    Squarzoni is a French cartoonist who makes nonfiction graphic novels about contemporary issues and politics. While finishing up a book about France under Jacques Chirac, he realized that when it came to environmental policy, he didn't know what he was talking about. "Climate Changed" is the result of his efforts to understand what has been happening to the planet, a striking combination of memoir and data that ruminates on a notoriously elusive, difficult and even imponderable subject. Panels of talking heads dispensing information (or Squarzoni discussing the issues with his partner) are juxtaposed with detailed and meticulous yet lyrical scenes from the author's childhood, the countryside where he takes a holiday and a visit to New York. He uses his own unreachable past as a way to grasp the imminent transformation of the Earth. The result is both enlightening and unexpectedly moving.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Here by Richard McGuire
    A six-page version of this innovative work by a regular contributor to the New Yorker first appeared in RAW magazine 25 years ago. Each two-page spread depicts a single place, sometimes occupied by a corner of a room, over the course of 4 billion years. The oldest image is a blur of pink and purple gases; others depict hazmat-suited explorers from 300 years in the future. Inset images show the changing decor and inhabitants of the house throughout its existence: family photos, quarrels, kids in Halloween costumes, a woman reading a book, a cat walking across the floor. The cumulative effect is serene and ravishing, an intimation of the immensity of time and the wonder embodied in the humblest things.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
    The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist delivers his debut graphic novel at 85, a deliriously over-the-top blend of classic movie noir and melodrama that roams from chiaroscuro Bay City to Hollywood to a USO gig in the Pacific theater of World War II. There's a burnt-out drunk of a private eye, but the story is soon commandeered by a multigenerational collection of ferocious women, including a mysterious chanteuse who never speaks, a radio comedy writer who makes a childhood friend the butt of a hit series and a ruthless dame intent on making her whiny coward of a husband into a star. There are disguises, musical numbers and plenty of gunfights, but the drawing is the main attraction. Nobody convey's bodies in motion more thrillingly than Feiffer, whether they're dancing, running or duking it out. The kid has promise.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis
    This is a weird one, but in the nervy surreal way that word-playful novels like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Ulysses" are weird. The main character, a teenage schoolboy named Scarper Lee, lives in a world where it rains knives and people make their own parents, contraptions that can be anything from a tiny figurine stashable in a pocket to biomorphic boiler-like entities that seem to have escaped from Dr. Seuss' nightmares. Their homes are crammed with gadgets they call gods and instead of TV they watch a hulu-hoop-size wheel of repeating images that changes with the day of the week. They also know their own "death day," and Scarper's is coming up fast. Maybe that's why he runs off with the new girl at school, a real troublemaker, and the obscurely dysfunctional Castro, whose mother is a cageful of talking parakeets. A solid towline of teenage angst holds this manically inventive vision together, and proves that some graphic novels can rival the text-only kind at their own game.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    NOBROW 9: It's Oh So Quiet
    For each issue, the anthology magazine put out by this adventurous U.K.-based publisher of independent graphic design, illustration and comics gives 45 artists a four-color palette and a theme. In the ninth issue, the theme is silence, and the results are magnificent and full of surprises. The comics, each told in images only, range from atmospheric to trippy to jokey to melancholy to epic to creepy. But the two-page illustrations are even more powerful, even if it's not always easy to see how they pertain to the overall concept of silence. Well, except perhaps for the fact that so many of them left me utterly dumbstruck with visual delight.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Over Easy by Mimi Pond
    When Pond was a broke art student in the 1970s, she took a job at a neighborhood breakfast spot in Oakland, a place with good food, splendid coffee and an endlessly entertaining crew of short-order cooks, waitresses, dishwashers and regular customers. This graphic memoir, influenced by the work of Pond's friend, Alison Bechdel, captures the funky ethos of the time, when hippies, punks and disco aficionados mingled in a Bay Area at the height of its eccentricity. The staff of the Imperial Cafe were forever swapping wisecracks and hopping in and out of each other's beds, which makes them more or less like every restaurant team in history. There's an intoxicating esprit de corps to a well-run everyday joint like the Imperial Cafe, and never has the delight in being part of it been more winningly portrayed.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
    You don't have to be a superhero fan to be utterly charmed by Yang and Liew's revival of a little-known character created in the 1940s by the cartoonist Chu Hing. This version of the Green Turtle, however, is rich in characterization, comedy and luscious period detail from the Chinatown of "San Incendio" (a ringer for San Francisco). Hank, son of a mild-mannered grocer, would like to follow in his father's footsteps, but his restless mother (the book's best character and drawn with masterful nuance by Liew) has other ideas after her thrilling encounter with a superhero. Yang's story effortlessly folds pathos into humor without stooping to either slapstick or cheap "darkness." This is that rare tribute that far surpasses the thing it celebrates.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Shoplifter by Michael Cho
    Corinna Park, former English major, works, unhappily, in a Toronto advertising agency. When the dissatisfaction of the past five years begins to oppress her, she lets off steam by pilfering magazines from a local convenience store. Cho's moody character study is as much about city life as it is about Corinna. He depicts her falling asleep in front of the TV in her condo, brooding on the subway, roaming the crowded streets after a budding romance goes awry. Like a great short story, this is a simple tale of a young woman figuring out how to get her life back, but if feels as if it contains so much of contemporary existence -- its comforts, its loneliness, its self-deceptions -- suspended in wintery amber.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
    This collection of archetypal horror, fairy and ghost stories, all about young girls, comes lushly decked in Carroll's inky black, snowy white and blood-scarlet art. A young bride hears her predecessor's bones singing from under the floorboards, two friends make the mistake of pretending to summon the spirits of the dead, a family of orphaned siblings disappears one by one into the winter nights. Carroll's color-saturated images can be jagged, ornate and gruesome, but she also knows how to chill with absence, shadows and a single staring eye. Literary readers who cherish the work of Kelly Link or the late Angela Carter's collection, "The Bloody Chamber," will adore the violent beauty on these pages.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>