Thursday, 12 February 2009

Sam: Off with his head!

The Joker. That wild card in the pack that can be anything you want. The guy in the crazy suit with the dangly bells. The Joker has a long an illustrious history – most people tend to think of them as entertainers. They would juggle, breathe fire and entertain the King and his court. They look silly, they act silly, most people think they are idiots.

But the Joker has always actually played a much more important role. Surrounded by sycophants who were seeking power and favour, the King would only hear what his courtiers thought he wanted to hear. Everyone said the same thing and everyone agreed. All very cosy. But the Joker always played a crucial role in the court – to say the un-sayble, to poke holes, and make the King see things that were being kept away from him, because people were too scared to say them to his face. And by the Joker saying it, others could talk about their views more openly without so much fear.

I know, some of you have been offended by Lee’s comments. And, predictably there have been cries of ‘Off with his head!’. But that’s his job. That’s what makes him interesting. He is willing to say the things that none of us are willing to say, on the record, risk offending and pissing people off and maybe get us to think outside our usual box.

No I don’t agree with everything jokers say and sometimes they go too far – but they make me think. You know, though we like to blame the wicked person who tempts another away from a relationship, actually maybe there is some truth in the fact that if that person can be so easily tempted, the relationship is dead or dying. I’ve talked to a fair number of my wealthy female clients who have had very specific legal advice from their accountants and lawyers that they cannot marry anyone with less money than them. Obviously the same goes for men. Lee makes me think how shit is it that a public display of long term commitment and love is determined by how much money your partner has, not love? Maybe there is something wrong with a system that makes some people so bitter and suspicious about marriage or even relationships.

So readers, swallow the bitter pill. It’s the Jokers job to give it to you. Disagree, shout, argue, and most importantly think: Is there an uncomfortable grain of truth in this? Don’t be like small minded courtiers and sycophants who throughout the centuries, when they heard something they didn’t like and shouted ‘Off with his Head!’.